Chinese additions to classic Kiwi menu

  • 28/05/2015

Hot pies and white bread sandwiches - Kiwis love that stuff for lunch or on a road trip, but it turns out Asian visitors aren't so keen.

So Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism (CCT) is holding Chinese cooking classes to help local cafes better cater to Asian tourists' tastes.

Forget the sausage rolls, it's all about rice paper rolls. They're common fare in Asian restaurants, but not often available in traditional Kiwi cafes and lunch bars. 

CCT chief executive Tim Hunter says Chinese visitors want to see more than what's currently on offer.

"We've got used to a diet of pies and sandwiches, but they want to see things like stir-fried veges, wonton soup, noodles and that sort of stuff."

Cooking tutors from Christchurch Polytechnic (CPIT) chose four common simple Asian lunch dishes they believe will entice the taste buds of Chinese tourists.

CPIT chef tutor Ryan Marshall says the aim is to provide food that's quick and easy.

"It's got to be easy to replicate, we don't want anything too technical. The food we are putting up with is very easy to prepare and present, but also a lot of ingredients that are easy to be found in Christchurch as well as the South Island."

They may not like our pies but the Chinese are now New Zealand's second-largest tourist market, with 265,000 visiting last year. And the 31 cafe owners at the workshop were surprised at how simple menu additions like fish cakes can make such a difference.

Jane Hart from Little Sister café says adapting the menu is a lot easier than she thought.

"I think you assume that things are going to be more difficult than they are, but it's things that you're actually familiar with already and many of the ingredients we are already using in the café, which is great," says Ms Hart. 

So next time you're peering into a pie warmer, keep an eye out for the oriental options on offer.

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source: newshub archive