German foods gain popularity as east China city welcomes more foreigners–Xinhua

People dine at Der Landgraf Beerhouse restaurant in Hefei, east China’s Anhui Province, Oct. 13, 2023. (Photo by Ren Li/Xinhua)

HEFEI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — German sausages, craft beer and meatloaf with mashed potatoes, once a rarity in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, are gaining popularity as the city attracts a growing number of Germans. settle down.

Home to several car manufacturers including NIO, BYD, JAC and Volkswagen Anhui, Hefei is striving to develop its new energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

With a planned investment of 23.1 billion yuan (about 3.2 billion U.S. dollars), Volkswagen is building a new NEV center in Hefei, covering research and development, manufacturing and sales, according to Volkswagen Anhui , the German automaker’s first majority-owned joint venture for NEVs in China.

With an influx of automotive engineers and business professionals coming from various parts of the world, especially Germany, the food and beverage industry aimed at serving expatriates has experienced significant growth.

Newly established exotic restaurants and bars not only provide dining options for the city’s international residents, but also provide a convenient social hub for locals to immerse themselves in foreign cultures and socialize.

“The food here is very good. It is very necessary for us foreigners who are far from our home countries,” said Stefan Suckow, while having dinner at the newly opened Der Landgraf Beerhouse Restaurant.

One Friday evening, Suckow, a German engineer at Volkswagen Anhui, and his colleagues ventured out to taste authentic German beef roulade, complemented by the invigorating taste of German beer.

“When we came to Hefei, there was only one German restaurant. Now there are four places where we can get authentic German food,” said Suckow, adding that he has witnessed the rapid growth of the NEV industry in the city in the past. two years.

Not long ago, a beer festival called Octoberfest was organized in Der Landgraf, attracting more than 100 Chinese and German foodies and beer lovers.

All beers are imported directly from Germany and each dish is meticulously prepared with the input of German gourmet experts to ensure authentic flavors, said Wang Gang, a restaurant owner, who brought the restaurant brand from Beijing to Hefei after discovering the burgeoning Local market. .

Located in a European-style block, German restaurant Der Landgraf quickly became a hit in Hefei after opening in July. “I’m surprised to find this German restaurant in my hometown and the cuisine is authentic. It reminds me of my time in Germany when I was a student,” said Yin Qianyu, who frequents the restaurant.

Located just 50 meters from this restaurant is Noah’s, a German bakery and café, which opened at the same time as Der Landgraf. The bakery is owned and operated by a German couple, Max Herwig and Magdalena Herwig. They came to Hefei in 2021 to work with Volkswagen.

“We are the first German bakery here. I missed our German bread and I also wanted to create a place that was like our second living room, a cozy place for everyone, for families,” said Magdalena, who gave the bakery the your child’s name.

Western restaurants and bakeries, including German ones, were initially popular in major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. But with the opening of China and the deepening of exchanges with the world, these restaurants expanded throughout the country. Culinary exchange initiatives have also promoted cultural interactions between China and the West.

It is estimated that around 300 Germans live and work in Hefei, and approximately 40 German companies, including Volkswagen and Continental AG, have invested in the city.

“Hefei is a city with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and many new opportunities. It is becoming more international, with more foreign talents being attracted to settle here,” said Erwin Gabardi, CEO of Volkswagen Anhui.

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