How is this for sheer audacity: a Chinese restaurant chain from India is planning to sell Chinese food to the Chinese. Mainland China, the chain, plans to open shop in Beijing or Shanghai early next year. Just one branch to begin with.
The chain is suitably charged up and is not awed by the prospect of being judged badly. Anjan Chatterjee, chairman and managing director of Speciality Restaurants, was confident that his restaurant would provide Chinese cuisine authentic enough to satisfy Chinese tastes.
“Every single ingredient we use even now, including mundane items like soya sauce, is imported from China,” he said. “We already serve the culinary specialities from all the different regions of China -- Canton, Beijing, Sichuan and Hunan.”
Speciality Restaurants currently has 31 restaurants in six Indian cities. Chatterjee said he had the option of entering Hong Kong first, but preferred to go to mainland China.
He said Chinese delegations visiting Kolkata had been patronising his restaurant for years. “Communist Party delegates, who visit Kolkata regularly, always drop in at Mainland China for dinner,” he said.
Whatever was good enough for the visiting comrades, the restaurant management figured, would be good enough for their comrades back home.
Chatterjee is also planning to take his Bengali cuisine restaurant 'Oh! Calcutta' to Shanghai and Beijing.
If their Peking Duck doesn’t work, machcher jhol might.