A bite of the past a feast for the senses

By Dong Fangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-07-11 08:16:23
Desmond Chang, the founder of Ruyi Gastronomy and managing director of the French porcelain brand Legle France says: "The dining experience restores what the Chinese table setup was like when they had individual servings, and shows the essence of traditional Chinese dining cultures, which are mostly neglected nowadays."

But how to interpret the essence of Beijing cuisine? Desmond Chang and Chef Menex Cheung of the Waldorf Astoria Beijing went on for the hunt for half a year, visiting food gurus for their opinions, to get to the bottom of what is Beijing cuisine.

They then reached an agreement: Beijing cuisine is an integration of culinary influences from Shandong, Manchuria, and Chinese imperial cuisines.

In Ruyi Gastronomy, nine dishes of Beijing cuisine with a selection of Chinese spirits and teas are all served on Legle France's Ruyi tableware, a porcelain collection designed only for pairing with Chinese food.

The appetizer Jiu Gong Ge immediately creates a "wow factor" to start the whole gastronomic experience.

The nine-in-one starter is presented on nine colorful small round plates in three rows and columns on a platinum rim square platter.

The dish forms a pattern reminiscent of the nine-square grid that was the basis of urban planning in ancient China.

It comprises little bites of traditional Beijing delicacies including duck web with mustard, jellyfish with vintage vinegar, and pear and hawthorn with osmanthus syrup.

Each of the delicacies is presented on a plate of contrasting color with a pattern representing a characteristic historical cultural element, for example, the Ming Dynasty's (1369-1644) blue and white porcelain and the Song Dynasty's (960-1279) pea green clouds.

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