Marriott International recently launched a new dining concept for Man Ho, its signature Cantonese restaurant, at the JW Marriott Hotel Beijing Central.
The move is aimed at paying homage to Cantonese culinary traditions while enhancing flavors that cater to the modern palate, according to the hotel.
Chen Xiaoqing, acclaimed director of the food docuseries Once Upon A Bite and the first two seasons of A Bite of China, together with renowned food critics Dong Keping and Xiao Kuan, attended the launch event.
Man Ho presents 98 artfully crafted recipes and a select sixcourse tasting menu to deliver an authentic and innovative Cantonese dining experience. The 98 dishes showcase the recipes that have been cultivated and refined by the Man Ho team over the years, embodying the essence of Cantonese food culture, the hotel said.
Interpreting Cantonese food traditions with a modern take, these recipes range from dim sum to lunch and dinner delicacies. They celebrate the house team’s unchanging pursuit of excellence, commitment to promoting and preserving local cuisine, and passion for craftsmanship and innovation, according to the hotel.
The signature Cantonese tasting menu offers a quintessential journey through Cantonese cuisine.
The menu features six classic dishes including the double-boiled sea conch soup with matsutake mushroom, honey-glazed premium barbecued pork, poached chicken in conpoy sauce, steamed mandarin fish, fried rice noodle with beef, and pomelo and sago in thick mango juice.
“Since its inception 30 years ago, the Man Ho brand has witnessed the dedication of many seasoned chefs, and the exquisite culinary experiences they crafted for guests,” said Richard Taffs, Marriott International’s vice-president of operations across China.
“The re-imagined brand concept aims to celebrate the achievements made by Man Ho during past decades with classic Cantonese flavors, showcasing the explorations within this food tradition and paying homage to the local culture.
“The new dining concept is born out of the culinary team’s commitment to creating authentic Cantonese cuisine and perfecting their craft,” he said.
To date, Man Ho has grown to 40 outlets located in Marriott and JW Marriott hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, offering culinary experiences that honor both the old and the new.
To celebrate the stories behind the recipes and the local culture of Guangdong province, Marriott International also released a short film titled A Journey Through Time featuring Leo Cao, the Chinese culinary director of Marriott International.
The movie invites viewers and guests to explore the world of Cantonese cuisine and its unique history and traditions.
With a special appearance from director Chen, who shares his insights into the Cantonese culinary style, the short film follows Cao in his search for Cantonese gourmet food in the streets and markets of Guangzhou, showcasing the Man Ho team’s pursuit of and devotion to true gastronomy, and the local culture that is celebrated with every bite.
The film also narrates the rich history and vivid stories behind these classic dishes, which extend beyond the cuisine to become deeply rooted in the everyday life of locals.
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Char siu, or honey-glazed barbecue pork, is not only a famous Cantonese delicacy at home but also abroad as a result of Chinese emigration to the West centuries ago. However, it’s also a frequently used word in local slang-“sip some tea, eat a (char siu) bun” – thich means to kick back and relax with a little tea time.
Meanwhile, juicy and delicious poached chicken is closely connected to ancient Chinese ceremonies. Idioms such as “to find the chicken missing when presenting an offering to the gods” demonstrates the importance of the dish in the local culture and customs.