Making an impression abroad
2017-07-22 16:29:00

Steamed chicken with Pickled Cabbage: An unconventional chicken "salad" pairing cooked chicken on top of sweet and sour pickled cabbage and drizzled with a slightly spicy savory dressing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Suddenly, it seems, the world is discovering Chinese street food. The eureka moment is a bit overdue, because street food is the real signature of any country's culinary heritage.

Forget dumplings and hotpots, long soup, short soup, lobster sauce, sweet and sour pork, humongous spring rolls and General Tso's Chicken. These bastardized versions of Chinese food have now been properly relegated to where they first belong, quaint restaurants in Chinatowns very far away from the source of good Chinese food: China.

And, in the past 30 years, local brands have been quietly building up their reputations at home. Finally, some are flexing their wings and ready to take flight and migrate abroad.

One of the first to show the world the successful amalgamation of cultural and culinary heritage is Nanjing Impressions, Nanjing Dapaidang, the stalwart eatery by the banks of the Qinhuai River in the ancient city.

In Nanjing, Jiangsu province, it is already legendary as an outstanding success story of a local boy made good, showcasing all the classic street food, from the city's iconic "saltwater" duck to humble braised tofu and an amazing variety of "little eats" in between.

It is not just the food. The ambiance and decor are equally iconic: rough-hewn wooden furniture subtly polished for comfort, red oilskin lanterns literally lighting up the entire menu on the ceiling, even the costumed greeter at the door with his booming greetings as guests enter the restaurant, with the soft, dulcet tones of pingtan music in the background. All of these have become the restaurant's calling cards, no matter where it is located.

Source:chinadaily.com.cn Editor:Hiram