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Beijing hotel introduces tastes of South Asia

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2016-01-22 08:33

Beijing hotel introduces tastes of South Asia

Klang style bah kut teh, a porkrib dish cooked in broth, is JW Marriott Beijing Central's signature dish.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"The simple is the best," Eric Hong says of the South Asian dinner menu he's just developed to go along with the JW Marriott Beijing Central's popular buffet. At JW Kitchen, his healthy yet unsophisticated delicacies include Vietnamese spring roll, tom yum soup, and Klang style bah kut teh - literally "meat bone tea", a pork-rib dish cooked in broth.

A Chinese-Malaysian born in George Town, Malaysia, the hotel's newly appointed executive chef has more than 20 years' culinary experience in globally recognized hotels across Asia. His Chinese origin, international education and work experience has fed a fierce passion for Chinese culture and fusion of Western and Asian fares, he says.

The bah kut teh was a favorite at our table when I dined at the restaurant the other day. Despite its name, there is no tea in the dish's ingredients. Very popular in Malaysia and Singapore, the dish is often served with rice or youtiao (deep-fried breadstick).

Unlike the traditional bah kut teh that is savory and has a predominantly meaty flavor, Hong's version has a sweet aftertaste in the refreshingly smooth and savory soup.

"The secret is simmering simple but high-quality ingredients very patiently," Hong says.

All the herbs and spices he uses are imported for the best quality, and it takes seven to eight hours to simmer the broth, he adds.

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