Vietnam Time

10/3/2019 3:24:37 PM

Vietnamese chef yearns to promote traditional cuisine in Beijing

It is planned that in the next 5 years, Le Ngoc Quyen will continue to promote traditional dishes, so that more and more Beijing and international diners will know Vietnamese cuisine.

From a young chef who does not know Chinese, Le Ngoc Quyen has now become the chef of famous Susu Restaurant, making fresh noodles and cherishing many plans to promote Vietnamese culinary culture in China.

Susu restaurant

After period of working and studying in Ho Chi Minh city, the 1987-born young man Le Ngoc Quyen decided to go to Beijing on the last day of March 2011 to pursue his career as a chef, even though without knowing a single Chinese word. However, reality is not what he thought. The place he would work is not a high-class restaurant in a shopping mall like where he worked in Vietnam. Moreover, the weather is dry, snowy.

“In the first day in Beijing, I felt very crestfallen and bewildered. In the next day, they took me to a restaurant where I felt more desperate. The restaurant is in the alley, empty of commuters, with no equipment. I thought I would work here for merely 3 to 6 months, to save enough money for airplane tickets and some souvenir gifts for my family.”, Quyen said recalling his first days in Beijing.

However, with his bravery and determination, Quyen has developed quite a good career in this prosperous urban area. He became the Chef of Susu Restaurant, a restaurant specializing in Vietnamese cuisine, a name that always tops in culinary chart in Beijing.

Commenting on Quyen, Amy, co-founder of Susu Restaurant said

“He is a talented chef. Vietnamese blood flows in his body. He used to study Western food. After coming to China, he was very eager to learn Chinese food. He is not only high qualified but also modest. As for Vietnamese noodles ‘pho’, he found the dish imperfect when using dry noodles, so he researched recipe to produce fresh noodles by himself.”

Up to now, Quyen is the only one producing fresh ‘pho’ in Beijing. To make the most similar pho noodles as in home country, Quyen had to import rice from Vietnam, and invited an owner of a noodle factory in Vietnam to Beijing to provide technical support.  Now, Quyen’s pho noodles is not only consumed in two Susu restaurants but also been sold to some Vietnamese restaurants in Beijing and markets. About 120 kg pho is consumed each day. The figure is expected to double in the near future.   

Fresh 'pho' made by Quyen

Not only tinkering in producing fresh pho noodles, Quyen also makes bread, pate, spring rolls, to extend the menu of the restaurant. When a senior Vietnamese leader visit Beijing, he was invited by the Vietnamese Embassy in China to prepare meals.

Not satisfied with the present, Quyen is cherishing many plans for the future. It is planned that in the next 5 years, Le Ngoc Quyen will continue to add more traditional dishes to the restaurant’s mennu, so that more and more Beijing and international diners will know Vietnamese cuisine. In the more distant future, he wants to bring his wife and children to Canada, Australia or the United States to bring Vietnamese food further.

VNF  ( VOV )
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