CHINA - Hua's Restaurant in Guijie food street has recently designed an array of new dishes, made with a new ingredient - potatoes imported from the United States of America.
Hua's Restaurant was one of the first to open and become popular on Beijing's Guijie food street. It is particularly known for providing popular Beijing fare and spicy crayfish. At a recent press release, the Chinese restaurant announced it is cooperating with Simplot, which supplied fries for MacDonald's, to offer customers some potato dishes.
The restaurant will first start to offer customers waiting to be seated snack foods made of Simplot's potatoes. There will be the usual French fries, but also a fried potato cake paired with a fragrant sesame and spicy sauce.
The theme of the press release was "when Chinese chef meets American potato".
The chef at Hua's also paired potato chips with a signature dish - "eight banners" roast lamb ribs. The potato cake is fried with crispy slices of fish to create an interesting comparison of taste and texture.
Hua Lei, the restaurant's general manager, said the potato chips and potato cakes bring a fresh element to the dishes.
The restaurant is offering a 30-50 per cent discount for the two dishes until May 10.
The potatoes provided by Simplot are from Washington State. They are natural and not genetically modified, said Jiang Ningfu, deputy director of Supply Chain and Marketing with Simplot Beijing. The vegetables have no additives, trans fatty acid or cholesterol.
"If you compare them with local potatoes, you will find they are a bit more tasty," Jiang said.
Jack Simplot, founder of the Simplot Company, is dubbed the "French fry king". The company is also a brand name promoted by the government.
Hua said by introducing the American company's potato, it recognises the brand name. At the same time, the eatery hopes to reassure its customers of food safety by using the American product.
He said there will be more potato-related dishes on the restaurant's menu. Because potatoes are vegetables, they are relatively healthy, while providing necessary fiber and vitamins.
Hua said his restaurant hopes to bring Chinese customers a Beijing style of serving healthy and tasty potatoes.