Chef Yozuo Han is all set to make Hyderabadis give the desi Chinese a break and fall for his authentic recipes
The taste of China
Though Hyderabad is known for its biryani and haleem, Chinese cuisine in the city has a fan base of its own. It’s that comfort food you can rely on, when you fail to zero in on what you want to gorge on, at the moment. However, it’s no news that the Chinese cuisine most of us love here is the desi kind, which is far from authentic. So here’s chef Yozuo Han who is looking to change that a little.
He who recently joined chef Krishna Rana as the head chef of Rika, the Chinese restaurant at Park Hyatt, has added 30 new authentic Chinese dishes to the existing menu. He gets candid about the most-loved but often misunderstood cuisine in the city.
“Chef Krishna and I have known each other for a while now. We hit it off well when we worked together at the China House restaurant in Mumbai. The place is known for its Szechuan food where the who’s who of Tinseltown would drop in for some authentic Chinese food. I can’t wait to bring these Szechuan dishes to Hyderabad through Rika. I will be helping the chefs here to learn to prepare some popular and authentic Chinese dishes,” chef Han tells CE.
Sharing the need for Hyderabad to have more authentic Chinese recipes, the curator of the menu shares, “I was told that during the Covid-induced lockdowns, when everything remained shut, people craved for some authentic Chinese food. This motivated chefs to try and curate more such recipes for fans of such food and they reached out to me. I will be monitoring and training the chefs here and they will soon get a good hang of the dishes that we wanted to introduce. We have put in crab, pork and duck which are used in authentic Chinese cuisine. I heard that Hyderabadis love meat and I’m excited to serve them a delicious experience.”
Admittedly, we love our Chinese with some desi tadka to make it our style and authentic food is not really that high on spices. “If you want your guests to come back to have your food you need to be consistent. Also, here, people love Szechuan food and I am trying to get that into the dishes here. The local Chinese is pretty much different from what we serve here so I hope the city will love what we have to offer,” chef Han says.
Curating these 30 dishes took the chef more than a year’s research. He says, “I had to sit down and put them all together from scratch. Sourcing all the ingredients was surely a task as the city did not have all the things that go into our food. We import the Szechuan pepper and some exotic vegetables from outside the city. Most others, we’re trying to source from the city itself.”
After having made Hyderabad his home for a while now, chef Han has become a fan of the food the city has to offer. “I enjoyed the different kinds of dishes made of chicken and mutton here and the biryani too, but I couldn’t tell much difference between the dish served at various places here,” he laughs.