|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
The taste of India leaves Chinese drooling
January 15, 2008 12:34 IST
As India and China are taking steps to enhance their bilateral ties, Indian curry is playing a major role in cementing friendship between the two peoples.
There is a growing interest among the Chinese to savour the gastronomical delight of the Indian food.
Restaurants in the Chinese capital specializing in Indian cuisine have reported that up to 70 per cent of their customers are made up of Chinese.
Foreign expatriates and tourists who used to frequent these restaurants are now making way for Chinese.
"Every day we are seeing more and more Chinese, and many times they are trying the food for the first time and enjoying it," says Bheemarao Satish, manager in the Beijing [Images] outlet of the famous 'Indian Kitchen' chain.
"Actually, our role is for India, we are promoting our food and our culture to the Chinese people," Satish, who hails from Chennai, was quoted as saying by state-run China Daily.
Ever since it stepped on the Chinese soil, Indian Kitchen has gradually spread its wings and now boasts of 16 outlets across China. It was founded in 1990 in Macao, a Special Administrative Region of China, by Antony Munuswamy, also hailing from Chennai.
Chen Jian, owner of Raj Indian restaurant and bar, says that 70 per cent of his customers are Chinese.
"This shows that the ordinary Chinese want to know more about their Indian neighbours, and they think gastronomy is a good start."
Chen started his business in a redecorated courtyard in 2003.
He says his staff is happy to introduce Indian food to Chinese customers, who may have little knowledge of what comprises this exciting cuisine, besides curry.
"Indian food differs a lot from the Chinese cuisine. For example, fish are served as fillets in Indian, while the Chinese will keep the bones and head, which is thought to be the most precious and nutritious part," he says.
"Many Chinese customers wonder why they should pay so much for curried fish since they have no head".
Chen, who employs several cooks, travels to India frequently looking for more authentic seasonings, as more and more customers desire to experiment with Indian food.