As Chinese New Year approaches, we’re preparing to put our hostess hats on to welcome guests. As tradition dictates, most of us will be serving traditional kueh, cakes and cookies galore. So if you’re having family and friends over for tea, do remember that how you present your food is just as important as what you choose to serve.
The house-proud can learn a thing or two from tea artist Carrie Chen, who has a distinctive talent in plating traditional snacks in a contemporary setting.
“Look at nonya kueh,” says Carrie, who retails Chinese and Japanese teas under her brand, Tea Bone Zen Mind. “People see it in a certain way, but it’s not the only way it can be presented. You can make it more contemporary in the way you plate it, the way you cut it as it affects the way it feels in your mouth.”
“Don’t be afraid to experiment,” Carrie advises. “This plating principle can be extended to almost anything, from laksa to cocktails. The right tableware can freshen up almost anything.”
Rather than plopping your goodies on any old plate this Chinese New Year (or serving them straight out of the box!), wow your guests with these inspiring and contemporary plating tips from Carrie.
Text: Avanti Nim, The Business Times, Additional Reporting by Lisa Twang
Photos: Micky Wong, Styling: Carrie Chen