Hungry? Come for a taste tour of the world

Take a taste trip around the world at Hangzhou's food festival.

Feeling hungry? Get ready for the Hangzhou Asian Cuisine Festival. From Sri Lankan tea and Ethiopian coffee beans to Japanese sashimi and Spanish ham, visitors can take a taste tour around the world from Wednesday to May 22.

As an unparalleled culinary event with a distinctive Chinese style, food vendors from 50 countries and regions are going to share their local specialties in the 110,000-square-meter exhibition space, with Asian flavors and international grandeur.

Top chefs from around the world have been invited to showcase their skills.

Vietnamese cuisine, which is colorful and vibrant with exquisite presentation, is one of the highlights of the festival. The use of spices, combined with sweet and sour flavors, and the seasonal freshness of fruits and vegetables, with hints of a modern influence of French cooking, offer a treat.

For Vietnamese food lovers, try mustard leaf rolls, Saigon fried noodles, ginger-braised chicken chilli and fresh coconut cake, or fresh pancakes made in front of you.

The festival also showcases the best domestic cuisine.

Since Zhejiang Province has long supported Guizhou Province in economic development, the festival has become a platform for Guizhou companies seeking business opportunities. Signature products including Guizhou hotpot soup and spicy pickled beef will be on display.

Popular Hangzhou restaurants including Lou Wai Lou, Hangzhou Restaurant and Xinfeng Snack and the Hangzhou Cuisine Museum will present the city’s noteworthy dishes and dim sum.

The Hangzhou Cuisine Museum focuses on the culture and history of local cuisine. As one of the country’s biggest cuisine museums, all 400 dishes it exhibits in gel replicas are available on the menu at its attached restaurant. Now, the museum is going to bring these Hangzhou flavors to the festival.

In the international food section, stalls and booths would be designed as a train. This innovation symbolizes a railway linking Belt and Road countries and regions.

Since China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, many countries have held exhibitions that aim to revive economic ties and connectivity in Eurasia dating back to the famous Silk Road period. The food festival also aims to boost the cooperation among Belt and Road countries.

In addition to food, organizers are showcasing the city’s role as China’s leading e-commerce center.

Hangzhou-based Alibaba Group will set up a booth to show the latest Internet technology in the catering industry. Last year, the group opened an unmanned restaurant on Wensan Road.

Diners scan the QR code to order their meals and pay online. The new mode is expected to spread across the city to save labor cost and time.

Alibaba is hooking up with local restaurant Bailu to build an unmanned restaurant on the site. Robots welcome diners at the door. They introduce the menu, help them order their meals and serve dishes to the table.

Diners can also log in to Alibaba’s Koubei app to get discounts of up to 50 percent and digital red envelopes up to 99 yuan (US$14.50).

One of China’s largest food-delivery service platforms, Ele.me, will provide the festival with 1 million food containers and 500,000 promotion pamphlets. They are tagged with QR codes. People could scan to get coupons and discounts.

And there will be performances from Belt and Road countries, including Russia, Tanzania, Ukraine, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

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