Feature: Millennials-run Chinese restaurant rolls out "Nixon in China" banquet in NYC
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Junzi Kitchen, a fast-casual Chinese restaurant chain founded and run by millennials, has rolled out a special menu titled "Nixon in China" in New York.
The outlet of the restaurant around Bryant Park in Manhattan, New York City, intrigued diners with the menu inspired by China's welcome banquet for former U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1972 and an interactive conversation on the story behind the then national banquet.
"Now it's all the more important to talk about food when we talk about unity and the moment that has changed our lives," said Zhao Yong, co-founder and chief executive officer of the restaurant.
Noting that Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China benefited the two peoples profoundly, Zhao hopes that his menu could remind people of the "good old times" and perhaps Peking duck would once again make a difference.
While feasting on Peking duck and other dishes and desserts, guests were treated with Chinese liquors and Arctic Ocean, China's first popular homegrown soda, among other beverages.
"The whole idea of Junzi Kitchen is to bring people from different backgrounds together with food, which echoes traditional Chinese Junzi philosophy stressing getting along with others but does not necessarily agreeing with them," he said.
The banquet was the latest of the restaurant's monthly "Chef's Study" dinner series showcasing Chinese cuisine and culture.
Gregory P. Ho, a Chinese American who heads a New York-based private investment management firm, was among the invitees at the soft opening of the banquet over the weekend.
"It shows something that you don't see from just a regular restaurant and the complexity of Chinese cooking," Ho said.
He spotted a harmonious combination from the menu. "The dish of Three-colored Egg, for example, brings together smoked chicken egg, century egg and cured duck yolk. I have never had this combination before," he said.
"And the liquors here come with a first impression, a second impression and a reminder of the taste, also indicating interesting complexity and layers," he added.
However, what Ho liked most was the initiative to look back at the history through food and bring people closer at the dinning table.
"It's very interesting that we get to talk about the complexity of food, the interaction of flavors, the different impressions and all in the framework of history," he said.
First opened in 2015 in Connecticut by three Yale graduates, Zhao Yong, Bai Ming and Zhang Wanting, Junzi Kitchen has expanded to five restaurants, four of which are in Manhattan.