When you go to a fancy restaurant, chances are you won't find any plastic utensils. Instead, your table is likely to be set with heavy forks and knives — and according to new research, there may be a scientific reason why.

Researchers at Oxford University found that heavier cutlery can actually amplify the taste of the food you’re eating. This certainly makes those of us who have shelled out $100 per person for the prix fixe menu Yelp says features the most delicious duck confit this side of the Mississippi a little better: if you're paying more for your meal, you want to know you'll truly enjoy it. Turns out, those five-pound forks and knives may be key to ensuring this happens.

At a hotel eatery in Edinburgh, Scotland, 130 hotel restaurant patrons were served the exact same meal of trout, mashed potatoes, spinach capers, and brown ship butter. For half of the patrons, there was a twist: Researchers provided them cutlery that was three times heavier than the utensils the rest of the group received. Amazingly, the group using the heavy cutlery reported enjoying their meals 10 percent more, and would be willing to shell out 15 percent more money for their meals.

Charles Michel, the study's lead researcher, told Wired UK that this phenomenon is known as “sensation transference," and it may make patrons more mindful without even realizing it. Michel added that the weight of forks, knives, and spoons can capture the attention of the eaters more, thus increasing their awareness of the food and how much they are actually enjoying it.

Another interesting aspect of the study was that changing the color and the shape of the plate they served dinner on also affected how much patrons enjoyed their dessert. Imagine the white plate chocolate lava cake is typically served on determining whether or not you take more than a single bite. When the waiter asks what’s wrong with it, you might want to inquire about any pink, octagonal plates to possibly boost your satisfaction.

Restaurants are all about making a diner's experience as memorable as possible. It will be very interesting to see if this research makes its way into restaurants around the world.

Source: Michel C, Velasco C, Spence C. Cutlery matters: heavy cutlery enhances diners’ enjoyment of the food served in a realistic dining environment. Flavour. 2015.