One of Taiwan's primary attractions is its food, but unfortunately the selection of Taiwanese restaurants in Beijing is fairly lacking. Taiwanese cuisine fiends will want to head over to the CBD's Grand Millennium hotel for their Taiwanese food festival, which runs until July 17. 

They have invited two chefs from Grand Hyatt Taipei, Chef Hung Wen Chien and Chris Hsu, to cook up a feast of dishes including Taiwanese fried chicken, deep fried pork ribs, "Tai Nan" Dan Tsai Noodle, and oyster omelet, cooked with ingredients brought over from Taiwan. 

Two set menus priced at RMB 300 and RMB 600 per person are on offer. From July 6-17, there will also be a buffet dinner available at Grand Millennium's first floor all-day dining restaurant, CBD International Cuisine.

We caught up with guest Chef Hung Wen Chien, from Grand Hyatt, Taipei, to get his take on Taiwanese cuisine. 

TBJ: What makes Taiwanese cuisine special?
Chef Hung Wen Chien: A lot of Taiwanese cuisine is influenced by Fujian-style cuisine, since many immigrants came over from Fujian. You can also find dishes and influences from the eight great cuisines of China, especially following the large influx of people after 1944. Finally, Taiwan was colonized by Japan for 50 years and incorporated some techniques and ingredients from that cuisine as well. There are a lot of different influences at play.

Since Taiwan is surrounded by the sea, we also have fantastic seafood, which is used fresh or dried in dishes like Buddha Jumped Over the Wall. Fruit and vegetables are very abundant in summer, so we preserve a lot of things so we can continue to eat them in winter.

What advice would you give to travelers to Taiwan?
My advice would be to see more than just Taipei! There are so many beautiful areas of Taiwan, from untouched natural forests in the north, to Ali Mountain national park, and much more. In terms of food, in Taipei you can experience luxury cuisine of course, but once you get out of the city, you can experience local street food that is very cheap, but very delicious.

What are the must-try dishes on the menu during the promotion?
Oyster omelet is a popular street food dish in Taiwan. We also have a dish of deep fried pork ribs, where the ribs are coated with fermented red rice before being cooked.

What is you favorite dish to cook?
I don't really have a favorite dish or favorite thing to cook, per se. The thing that makes me happiest is when I can cook for others and see them enjoying the food.

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Photos: Ray Yu (Flickr), courtesy of Grand Millenium

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