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An appetizing approach to food

Updated: 2024-04-22 08:44 ( China Daily Global )
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Zhao Jia, owner of Lamdre, a vegetarian restaurant in Beijing.

Two years ago, Zhao started planning for the restaurant, watching it grow from an idea to reality. During the setup and design process, her vision became clear: to create a restaurant focused on healthy, natural and sustainable plant-based cuisine.

"Our plant-based cuisine goes beyond traditional Chinese vegetarian food, focusing on the pure flavors of ingredients and capturing the essence of the seasons," Zhao says, adding that other than boasting a fixed culinary style, the dishes reflect their "deep concern for the connection between humans, the environment, and nature".

Food is presented with simplicity."Some ingredients may not look perfect, but I find nature's offerings already beautiful, so we present ingredients in their natural state, without fancy packaging," Zhao says.

The eggplant dish on its opening menu, created by chef Dai, is an example of preserving the natural shape of the vegetable in an artistic fashion. It featured thumb-sized eggplants, marinated and topped with ground black sesame for flavor. The addition of homemade Sichuan pepper and black sesame paste enhanced the aroma, capturing the essence of Beijing's autumn and winter, a simple and rustic approach that vividly conveyed the natural terroir.

"Food awakens our memories. Take the tofu on our seasonal menu. It tastes like the tofu my grandmother made when I was young, instantly bringing those memories back,"Zhao says.

"It's not about intricate techniques, but about the care we put into our dishes. All our sauces are homemade. This approach has made the tofu a favorite among our guests."

Zhao designed her restaurant around the principle of sustainability, as is shown in many objects from the menu to the furniture. She uses digital menus and cloth napkins to minimize paper use, and any paper that is used is recyclable.

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