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Serving up Asia on a plate

By Li Yingyue | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-24 07:58
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Beijing resident Song Zhenzhong shows how to make the traditional Beijing snack tanghulu.[Photo by Li Yingxue/China Daily]

A festival in Beijing's Olympic Park has attracted foodie from around China and beyond with its dazzling array of regional specialties, Li Yingyue reports.

An Indian chef is rolling out roti prata onto a kneading board as a Chinese chef makes lamian (hand-pulled noodles), while on the other side of the hall, a Japanese chef prepares sushi.

This is all taking place in the main venue of the Asian Food Festival held at the central area in Beijing's Olympic Park near the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest, and the National Aquatics Center - which is also known as the Water Cube.

As a supporting event for the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, the festival, which ran from May 16 to 22, also ran concurrently in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Chengdu, Sichuan province.

As well as the main venue, six Beijing shopping malls also staged festival events, including Chaoyang Joy City, Hopson One and China World Mall.

Hosted by the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau and the China Cuisine Association, nine other organizers were involved, including the Beijing Time-Honored Brands Association, the Old Beijing Traditional Snacks Association, and the Beijing Restaurants Association.

According to Jiang Junxian, head of the China Cuisine Association, more than 200 restaurant brands set up stalls in the main event area, which extended to over 15,000 square meters.

"We have been preparing for the Asian Food Festival for over two months, and we have tried to represent every type of Asian cuisine here," says Jiang.

"It's a comprehensive exhibition, which, as well as offering food, also showcases a range of ingredients and cooking equipment, while offering insights into future trends in catering."

The main venue was divided into eight halls split into categories including Asian specialties and drinks, pastries, cold dishes, vegetarian food, snacks, and ingredients.

In the Asian specialties and drinks hall, Zhang Jingli, a tea expert from the Taiyuanfang Teahouse prepared different samples of white and green tea and offered them to visitors.

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