Kiribath, a Sri Lankan coconut milk rice with mini mangoes, honey and edible flowers, served on banana leaves.
As an “online phenomenon that incorporates world cuisines, contemporary design and a story of love over the meal of breakfast,” SymmetryBreakfastcontinues to captivate connoisseurs of food, art, and photography alike. Created by Shanghai-based food photographer and doting husband Michael Zee, the now-famous Instagram account features photos of delectably designed meals with a twist: each pair of plated creations is not only undeniably appetizing, but beautifully balanced, too.
Each photo has a similar layout: 2 main plates (or, depending on the meal, bowls, boards, skillets, and even leaves) are symmetrically situated and surrounded by equally balanced drinking glasses, soup bowls, and side dishes. The arrangements are shot from above, which emphasizes their matching positioning. In addition to a focus on symmetry, the photographs also showcase the creativity of Zee's cuisines, as well as the color-coordination of his tableware!
While the page began as a visual record of Zee's (literally) balanced breakfasts, it has since morphed into an all-day extravaganza. Morning meals, such as syrup-slathered waffles, swirly cinnamon rolls, and fruit-filled puff pastries, still regularly feature, but, now, so do lunches, dinners, and even desserts. Just like his celebrated breakfasts, Zee's other meals are inventive and eclectic. One look through his Instagram account, and it's clear that Zee and his husband enjoy a diverse daily menu!
Food photographer, cook, and doting husband Michael Zee creates a diverse selection of matching meals for himself and his partner.
Smoked salmon, caviar, dill blinis, and Demi-Sec.
Peanut butter, banana, and oatmeal pancakes, soft and fudgy with soft fruits, edible flowers, carrot & orange juice, and a cup of tea
Grated beetroot, apple, maple and cinnamon bircher made with gluten-free oats, topped with toasted coconut and a side of oven roasted plums and apricots cooked in OJ with an espresso.
Popped Beans and Eggs with hot sauce, cannellini beans, cherry toms, eggs, balsamic glaze, goats cheese, fennel seeds, basil and toast.
Curried Paneer Tacos, a chia and quinoa tortilla with oven roasted paneer topped with a lime yoghurt dressing, avocado, grated carrot, rocket and lime. Washed down with a Mellow Yellow smoothie (apple, orange, parsnip and turmeric) and a cup of tea.
Takoyaki (simple waffle/pancake batter poured into a sea bream fish shaped pan) filled with chocolate and salted caramel. Served with crushed raspberries to resemble some fish guts for added theatre and a cup of Moriuchi Koucha.
Miso salmon, rice with disco topping, tamagoyaki rolled with layers of nori, deliciously sweet tomatoes and blueberries, and hot miso soup with tofu and laver.
Tapioca Pancakes, delicately colored with purple dragonfruit, spinach, and cucumber juices, amlou (a Moroccan nut dip and chocolate spread from Alain Ducasse in Paris), everything expertly balanced out with a green and slightly green with envy matcha.
Steam buns in the shape of pandas and pigs! The pandas are filled with custard and the pigs are filled with red bean with a side of Nan Wong Bao with some added coconut, finished off with homemade black sesame soy milk and a cup of tea.
Sunflower and walnut bread with yellow mango, mulberries, barley yoghurt and purple dragon fruit and a cup of Emperor's Breakfast.
Red bean buns, one dusted with matcha, the other with purple yam, local organic strawberries, mulberries, grapefruit juice and Cloud Tea.
Pandoro, lightly toasted, with some crema spalmabile al latte from Maglio, mascarpone, and freshly toasted hazelnuts.
Baked beans with cheese and sour cream with cactus-shaped cornbread.
Homemade cinnamon rolls with a tahini and maple cream cheese frosting, fresh fruit, rubyberry juice and a cup of tea.
You can find his recipes (and drool over the food photography) in his cookbooks, SymmetryBreakfast: 100 Recipes for the Loving Cook and SymmetryBreakfast: Cook-Love-Share.