Just in time for the Beijinger's 2nd International Foodie Weekend (August 13-14 at Sanlitun Soho, 11am-8pm both days), the China World Summit Wing has announced their newly appointed Executive Chef Johnston Ang. As he will be peddling China Summit Wing's The Lounge's specialties, Hainan chicken rice and laksa, throughout the weekend, we decided to grill him about how he's finding Beijing, which previous culinary experience and influences he'll be bringing to the table, and what makes his laksa and chicken rice so special.

How are you finding Beijing so far? Had you been before?
I find that Beijing is actually very modern, especially in the Central Business District (CBD) area, where the China World Summit Wing, Beijing is located. At the same time, there is so much fascinating history and culture in the capital city. The simple and relaxing lifestyles in the hutong areas always bring back childhood memories for me. The city has a balanced contrast of old and new.

Beijing is not unfamiliar for me. I visited frequently in my previous appointment in Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, where I was based in for three years. My first visit to Beijing was 10 years ago, but the city has certainly changed since then. 

How will you bring your Malaysian roots into the restaurants?
There are many signature dishes from Malaysia and Singapore that most Chinese are familiar with, such as laksa, Hainanese chicken rice, nasi lemak and satay – all are available in The Lounge and Atmosphere. I grew up eating these dishes, and know what the authentic taste and flavors are. Ingredients are very important. I will be importing the best possible basic ingredients from Malaysia and Singapore such as cooking pastes and flavoring powders for the restaurants here.

What sets your laksa and chicken rice apart?
I believe that we are the only restaurant selling these signatures from Southeast Asia in the event. We will maintain the best authentic taste outside of the hotel during the event. Of course, food safety will also be our priority. Guests can look forward to the best flavors and quality from the hotel, prepared under strict hygiene processes.

Hainanese Chicken Rice and Singapore Laksa are our signatures in The Lounge, and many guests have given feedback that they are best in CBD, if not, Beijing! Our guests return not only for the view that The Lounge is known for, but also for the authentic flavors in our dishes. What makes our Singapore Laksa perfect and authentic is that the culinary team only uses fresh curry leaves imported directly from Malaysia when cooking the laksa paste. It is a small action but goes a long way.

Want to try Chef Ang's Hainan chicken rice or laksa, or any of the other delicacies that will be on offer at the 2nd International Foodie Weekend? It is not too late to get discounted pre-sale tickets via yoopay here.

More stories by this author here.

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Photos courtesy of China World Summit Wing

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