How authentic is Cantonese cuisine in this region?
Bastos: In Hakkasan, 60% of the dishes are the same as Hakkasan worldwide and 40% are based on local preferences and products.
How authentic is Chinese/Cantonese cuisine in this region?
Lee: There are some great restaurants to visit for pure Chinese/Cantonese cuisine. Like in any country, sometimes a cuisine has to play down certain elements and in the malls you have to cater for a large tourist audience. Every culture likes its Chinese in a certain way; in the UK it is very different than in Hong Kong. ‘English’ Chinese uses MSG/glutamate to cater for the local taste.
Chun: We adopt the more artistic and modern techniques, believing in keeping food as authentic as possible, especially in terms of taste.
Chen: Chinese cuisine outside China will not be 100% authentic due to difficulties of sourcing original ingredients. However, with the increasing trend of available imported ingredients from China by local suppliers, recipes are easily adapted.
What challenges are there?
Chun: Sourcing the correct ingredients to create the most authentic experience. The difficulty is always in finding the right balance between creating an authentic menu and finding the best quality, affordable products that your guests can enjoy.
Lee: I don’t see many challenges if your Chinese food is made properly. Keeping to original roots could be a challenge for some, but stick to the real recipe and guests will love [it].
Chen: Cantonese chefs take pride in their cooking; they use the freshest ingredients every day to retain a unique flavour and texture of each dish. Thus the main challenge is sourcing the finest ingredients from China. Another challenge is finding talented Chinese chefs to bring the authentic cuisine over to the Middle East.
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