A bite of the past a feast for the senses

By Dong Fangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-07-11 08:16:23

The first course is followed by chicken soup with braised fish maw, a classic soup of Tan Family Cuisine, which dates back to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and which is now a representative of China's imperial cuisines.

It's a rich nourishing soup made by boiling a combination of three types of free-range, mature chickens; while some pumpkin juice is added to the soup to enhance the texture. The fish maw adds a satisfying crunch .

Interestingly, the drink paired with the soup is also a chicken soup, but this one is much lighter, like clear water, yet aromatic. So the drink dilutes the rich flavor of the main soup while providing a subtle, yet slightly sweet aftertaste.

The main soup is served in a wide-rimmed gold-colored bowl with a pattern reminiscent of Ming Dynasty furniture on the outside rim. Diners will discover the indigo-blue glazed porcelain inside as they gradually eat up the soup. It reproduces a characteristic color of the famous Jun Kiln of the Song Dynasty.

Another dish - tender lobster balls with a secret sauce - is served with four layers of white plates stacked up incrementally in size; the largest at the bottom. Seen from the top, the plates glazed with thin gold lines form a concentric arrangement.

When you open the lid of the container, the white lobster balls with a golden yellow sauce are revealed, this time, echoing the color of the tableware.

Chang's idea of Ruyi Gastronomy came from a simple conversation he had when he was dining with his friend Peter Ting, a British Chinese porcelain designer in Paris in 2010.

"It turned out we two foodies both love Chinese food the most. But we wondered what had happened to Chinese tableware? There were no complete sets of tableware that could present the beauty of gorgeous Chinese food," he says.

Chang and Ting began working to change this sad state of affairs. After two years, the Ruyi collection designed by Ting was launched for contemporary Chinese fine dining.

After the launch of the Ruyi collection, Chang couldn't help imagining what kind of food could be paired with this amazing tableware, so he designed a series of Ruyi Gastronomy to pairing Chinese dishes with the tableware.

Before the Beijing event, the Ruyi journey began in Hong Kong and Shanghai, interpreting Cantonese cuisine and private kitchens, and Huaiyang cuisine.

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