Chinese Performing Beijing Acrobatic Show Prospect at Mantra

Coming back to the subject of our dear India neighbouring country of China. Our plans for a Chinese night with a menu filled with Chinese cousine is approaching to concrete solutions. We have been talking about it a lot and communicating with the Chinese end on what could we possibly bring here to Palo Alto, other than just food. Of course, as we mentioned the Panda show before, something in the name of performance has been high on our list of suggestions. Now the unfortunate problem with Shichahai Theatre was that they really don’t have any internationa experience. So bringing the act here to the US would be a lot of work, trying to organise everything for them. It would be benefitial for all of us, if the group can organise the trip for themselves and all other necessities. Then we could concentrate on what we do best, which is cooking of course. While enjoying the performance itself with all our customers.

Acrobatic Performance in Beijing

Then we found a very special troupe that already has international recognision in many countries of the world. It is a world famous Beijing acrobatic show that is held at the Chaoyang Theater in their proud city which we have had the great honor of visiting. But Mantra has little experience over any kind of acrobatic performances. We just felt that this is something, that is like original Chinese. Having some experience of acrobatic performance in circus from in India, we know that it’s more likely something that can be enjoyed by everyone. Since we want all our customers to be happy and to find something from Chinese culture that they like, on top of Indian culture of course. It is because of that, why acrobatics could be our best bet.

In fact, we want to put this into a small vote. So we welcome any comments about if they think that this is a good idea or not. Do check out the Chaoyang Theatre Trailer on YouTube to see some of the highlights of what to expect from the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe. Knowing that the Panda show was amazing because we went to see it, and that is a small production. This one at the Chaoyang Theatre is probably one of the biggest productions in at least acrobatic form.. if not in the whole of China, surely in the whole of the city of Beijing.

A combination of Indian Food and the above YouTube trailer has been warming us up to thinking that this just right might be somewhat of a destiny. The contact with the theatre in question came to us by surprise, since we started to engage with the performing arts community in Beijing.. all of a sudden it all started to come to us in a very active form. This vibrant, and motivated atmosphere is excellent and what we not only look up to but also try to live up to in regards to our Mantra restaurant.

Chinese Acrobatic Show

I mean, just think about it. If we would have Palo Alto with a Chinese acrobatic show. Sounds almost too good to be true, and hilarious at the same time. But as our dishes trancend, so should all of our experiences. We welcome the unknown as well as new things, through tradition. Just the traditions of Indian food and Chinese acrobat performance are very similar in terms of depth and profoundness. Connecting them together doesn’t sound obscure to us at all, instead mix is what our restaurant has been all about in these years. And what better mix there could be, than culture and history itself.

It’s a great time to be living in our multi-exciting land of California. Let’s join together for some fun and remember to drop by Mantra anytime soon. Cheers everyone, and don’t forget to voice your opinion about this acrobatic prospect!=)

Food is Mantra

Mantra Experience

I am not sure if everyone really knows the meaning of the word mantra, but at least most people have heard of it. However, the idea behind our restaurant is that even though we represent a state of “Mantra” in our food. It is not words that we are eating, and therefore the experience itself represents exactly that.. for even those who don’t know it’s meaning. The essence is something given from us to our customers, which is one of the most happy things in our daily lives of running the business.

You could say that for us, food is a spiritual experience. Because it is the heritage from India that we want to continue and respect in our cooking. But really the magic here is the one without words. As we strongly believe that when people eat our Indian dishes, they fall in love if they are sensitive enough to our secret ingredient of love. And then, want to come back again and again. Up to the point, that we have gotten a lot of regulars that to us are like furniture. While we don’t keep a regular seat for anyone, it is as if by some spiritual miracle that often enough those very seats prefered by our regulars are open upon arrival. It’s a really strange thing, and has happened so many times that we don’t considered it that strange anymore!

Besides that, we just want to give an example to our neighbours and fellow citizens on how to run an ethical business. If you don’t belive me, please come and check us out. It is most likely that you will at least get a smile from us. And those who don’t want to smile, be prepared since it can be contageous.

At some point we thought that if our food doesn’t make people smile, we would give it for free. But then we realised that probably a lot of people would just fake not to laugh. Right! But we don’t need to make such promises, since we are seeing the effects with our own eyes. It’s a great life to run a restaurant in such a great city as Palo Alto. Food is the Mantra experience!

Come and say hi!

The spirit of Masala

The spirit of Masala

I think a lot of our readers have heard about Masala before. It is an important ingredient in Indian cooking, making everything spicy.. even so spicy that some have difficulties to manage with it. But there are lots of different types and varities of Masala. All in all, it’s a mix of different spices and depending on the region and home in India the recipe can become very different.

For us, we are using a secret but traditional mix that has been caried over centuries by our ancestors. Many might make claims like that, because it is really true that India is full of such secret spices! The history is so long and the culture so deep, that it is no wonder to us at all. What’s interesting in the case of our restaurant, The Mantra, is that people have instantly fell in love with our Masala mix. In fact, many other restaurants have had to adopt their ingredients to fit Californian or American taste buds. Which has of course not been a good influence on the secret tradition of Indian cousine.

For us, we think that we have been incredibly lucky and managed to preserve the spirit of Masala in our food. It’s extremely important for us, to be able to show our customers the real India in all it’s aspects. And that if anywhere, is transmitted through taste. Fire and hot is definitely one of the important spirits of the Indian people. Likewise, we connect with all nations that have the capacity to appriciate that. Such as the neighbouring China for example. They have lots of spicy and hot food too!

Namaste.

Mantra Panda Show and Chinese Performing Arts

Artistic Picture of Beijing Performing Arts

It doesn’t always feel like that, but China is really close to India. A neighbouring country in fact. Besides being close neighbours, the two cultures have had a lot of influence between each other. The biggest influences have been in food culture, with Chinese restaurants being commonplace in most Indian cities. While we love Chinese food as much as Indian food, there is a lot more you can discover and enjoy while eating it!

Having extensively traveled in China and seen many shows from there, we wanted to invite some group to Palo Alto so that we could do a bit of a mix of culture kind of thing. This project is still in the planning phase and for that we have been visiting several theaters in China to seek for possible co-operation. The results have been wonderful!

While not everyone might not know so much about China, everyone knows Pandas right! One of the most famous symbols of China, well known all around the nation of India has taken theatre form in the capital city of Beijing. As soon as we heard about it, we thought to ourselves that we just have to go and see it. We were absolutely thrilled how entertaining such a show is, especially because it is flavoured with both kung fu martial arts as well as old Beijing culture. This show, which is held at the beautiful Shichahai Theatre in the centre of the capital is a proud example of Chinese performing arts. We instantly thought that customers of our Mantra restaurant would love the Panda action too! That’s why we have started conversations with them to try and see if we could get them to come here for everyone to enjoy.

Our plan would be to design a special Chinese menu which would replace the regular Indian menu just for the occasion.  In return of course, we would do the same in China, where we would bring Indian food to their plates to enjoy. This kind of a cultural exchange program is a big dream of us that we hope to see become reality in the future. Also we are also looking at other theatrical performances in case, as such a huge project is not going to be easy we need to have a plan B, C and so on.

If any of our readers have any experiences from China, especially when it comes to the performing arts. Please let us know in the comments. Or if you have visited the panda kung fu show at Shichahai Theatre, we would be thrilled to know more about it. Now back in Palo Alto, we are cooking some of our favourite dishes to get into the mood. See you soon guys at the Mantra Palo Alto blog!

Namaste and regards,
Sachin, Dhawan.

The Spice of Life

Collection of Spices

We at Mantra, believe in the spice of life. In ancient times, spices used to be very valuable and treasured ingredients. That was because they were not as abundant as in todays world. Even in India, the spice market has exploded in massive scale that could not have been even imagined before!

Of course this has some unfortunate effects, such as the use of them has lost some degree of importance. That’s why we at Mantra, are dedicated into reviving our senses towards the spice of life. Naturally, Indian food contains a lot of ingredients as it is well known for that. But it’s not just the skilful mix of those spices, it’s also the quality. That’s why it’s extremely important to know the source of the ingredients. For example, in China there is a lot of agriculture that produces cheap food stuff that is not suitable to experience Indian food the the fullest. In fact, many times knowing the country is also not enough. And that’s why when we travel to other countries, we always try to investigate and find good sources for the spices we use in our dishes.

We have had many amazing travels and trips just because of this, both in India and outside in other countries. Mainly in Asia. Hopefully we will be sharing some of those wonderful moments with everyone on our blog. So hold on tight to experience the spice of life. Both in food, and adventure!

Our Favourite Indian Foods: Delhi

We would like to start of by presenting to you some our “all time favourites” within the Indian delicacies available today. Of course, all of the dishes presented here are also available in our restaurant menu. In fact, we mostly recommend them for first timers, and for those who are new to Indian as well as Asian food. Rest assured, these are not just favourited by Americans and us, but also they are very known in the whole of India. So jump in, and let’s tart the journey of food, culture and travel!

First a representative of the capital of city in India, Delhi. There the food is known as part of the “Mughlai cuisine” which is as tasty as ever and ranges from extremely spicy to mild. So there is something for everyone. It’s actually heavily influeced by Pakistani cuisine as well as the cuisine from Karachi. While the range of influence is broad, the Mughlai cuisine is well established and recognised as it’s own genre of Indian food.

Korma

Korma DishAnd our favourite dish, known as “Korma” is a Delhi delight that probably originates from somewhere around South Asia. It consists of braised meat or vegetables and a spicy sauce that’s made with yogurt, cream and nut paste. While there are a lot of braised dishes in India, this one has a very special texture and tasty flavour because of it’s ingredients. In our restaurant, we prefer to add chicken to take the overall flavour to it’s heights!

For desert, we recommend the Sheer khurma which is a sort of vermicelli pudding that is especially popular amongst muslims. We’ll cover another Indian location in our next post so stay tuned!

Blogging About Food & Culture

Blogging Food Culture

We’ve decided to extend the fine dining experience and make this website more dynamic, with interesting articles about anything related to food, india or travel and culture. For us at Mantra, dining is is a profound experience. For all the many previous years, we have been concentrating on bringing a mix of culture and the best of both worlds in the form of a plate. But we have a further passion, and that is to write about it, not just eat! So as a natural course of action, we came up with an idea to put up new content every once in a while. We want to attract not just food lovers, but food adventurers.

We want to share experiences in India and it’s neighbouring countries in Asia. We want to show you the differences of Chinese food, and Indian food. There is so much to explore, and simply running our restaurant is not enough. We want to become friends with out customers, and want you to know us.

Being transparent in business is one thing, and the other one is being transparent people. This is an issue so dear to us, yet we sew few businesses or restaurants engaging in it. That’s why, we will do our utmost best to give everyone a good example. Join with us for the adventure, in Palo Alto and beyond!