Of China's 5000-year civilization, Chinese cuisine can be regarded as one of the richest heritages handed down from the ancestors. The real fine food should be a perfect combination of food, culture, etiquette, science, nutrition, health, art and aesthetics. In my opinion, the none-such naturally goes to the imperial food of Ming and Qing Dynasties.
"Court meal is the essence of food; Manhan Banquet ranks top of all feasts." The imperial food of Ming dynasty originasty, then hit its climax during the heydays of the reigns of Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong. According to Qing's historical records, as the eight cooking schools came into being and approached perfect, the Qing courts adopted the essence of different schools, carefully selected the trimmings, recruited chefs around the country and produced the exquisite and delicious dishes of various nationalities. Further for the glittering golden tableware, the dishes tasted delicious, smelt fragrant and looked fine.
The imperial food tastes tender and nutritive. Though the emperors were busy with state affairs, the imperial food might be greatly conducive to their longevity and health. The medical effect of imperial meals quite conforms to modern people's diet pursuit.
The world-known Manhan Banquet, a full, formal banquet combing Manchurian and Chinese delicacies fully embodies the majesty and elegance of the emperors. In the eyes of gourmands, it represents Chinese fine food. In the eyes of us Chinese, we take pride in it.
In the past, most Chinese had no chance to have a taste of the national food. Now, the Mingqing Imperial Food Restaurant in Chengdu, guided by the principle of "develop traditional Chinese food, push forward national culture"' especially offer the imperial meals of Ming and Qing styles, and modern state banquet. The antique and elegant decoration, the typical emperor's eating procedures and court service, together with singing and dance, created an historical and cultural ambience. Customers can experience the emperor-like lofty and enjoyment through the perfect harmony between the imperial meals and state banquet, the classicism and modernism and the fine food and the food culture.