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Fujian's fragrant feast

As the popularity of regional cuisines heats up, a once-unappreciated tradition discovers fresh confidence, Li Yingxue reports.

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-01 10:25
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Fish liver and rice.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Two years later, he expanded his culinary footprint to Shanghai's iconic Bund area, opening a high-end Fujian cuisine restaurant named Meet the Bund.

"At that time, Michelin was starting to evaluate restaurants in China. I thought that if our food could win an award, it would help more people discover Fujian cuisine. My main goal is to share our food with a broader audience," Wu says.

Over the last 10 years, he has noticed the increasing popularity of regional cuisine, which he sees as a great opportunity for his own province's food. Awards like the Michelin and the Black Pearl have also recognized this growth in regional cuisines, contributing to the better promotion of Fujian cuisine.

Wu says that when he first opened his restaurant in Shanghai, many Fujian restaurants did not mention their geographic origin, but in recent years, more have begun to proudly include it in their name. "In the past two years, I feel that Fujian chefs have become more confident," Wu says.

While managing Meet the Bund, Wu continued to run the Mr Rong's Fujian Cuisine restaurant and earlier this year, he opened a branch in Beijing.

"At this small restaurant, the average cost per person is around 80 yuan ($11), and guests can enjoy a variety of authentic Fujian snacks, such as oyster omelet and Quanzhou vinegar pork," he explains.

"I believe in promoting all of Fujian cuisine, it's not just about the high-end. Our cuisine includes both high-end dishes with rare ingredients, and street snacks and small seafood dishes. I want diners to develop a comprehensive understanding of Fujian cuisine."

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