Yin and Yang. Bright and dark. Positive and negative. That seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary and are interconnected in the natural world, is a concept Chinese Philosophy is known for. And the concept of “balance” can be traced to Chinese arts, culture, lifestyle, everyday practice and food. Perhaps that is why good, eastern food is so coveted.
A lot of complex flavours can be captured in seemingly simple dishes where each ingredient shines through and yet none demand any attention: this magic happens when a fine balance is struck. And far away in the tiny village of Dangjiacun, a young monk marvelled at his plate of food wondered just about this. About how a universe can be balanced at the tip of a Ginkgo leaf and primal balance can be attained in the simplest of finger food- the dimsum.
Thoughts are what make you dream when you are awake and keeps you awake when you are asleep. In between daydreaming and sleepless nights, this young boy, fascinated by the concept of balance would soon be revered in the Emperor’s court and be known as Monk Zhu- the one who has mastered the art of cooking heavenly food.
Mandarin Oak is a story of how extraordinary can be created in the most ordinary things and inspiration can be found in the most mundane. It is about celebration of balance, food and recipes that a good natured monk created under a loving oak tree which became his greatest inspiration.
But how can an oak tree inspire someone to create more than 200 recipes? Stay with us as we slowly transport you to the east, whether through our stories or our food.