Chinese man serves feeling of home, friendship in Indian restuarant

Updated 2017-11-06 13:01:57
Si Shaojie, 30, cooks at his Desi Food restaurant.

Si Shaojie, 30, cooks at his Desi Food restaurant.

A small restaurant serving Indian cuisine for foreign students, especially those from India and Pakistan, is considered by students as their own nearby "Indian canteen" in Zhengzhou, the capital city of Central China's Henan province.

Si Shaojie, 30, the owner of "Desi Food", has served curry fried rice, chili chicken and other Indian delicacies for three years, with his restaurant attracting a group of lively and friendly customers, connected with each other through food.

Si wanted to run a restaurant after graduation. As an English major, he wanted to communicate with foreigners and learn the different cultures around the world, including food.

Then he learned Indian cuisine from an Indian cook as he knew Chinese food was not to the taste to many overseas students in China.

"Indian food is diverse and extraordinary, reflecting a complex layering of cultures through history and based on religious beliefs, geography, climate and availability of various ingredients," Si said.

In addition, the combination of fresh ingredients and cooking techniques are both a gastronomic delight and fulfill today's requirements, he said, which was also interested him most.

Suman Kumar, 22, an Indian student in Zhengzhou University, said: "I came to Zhengzhou about one year. My friends and I only had two choices, one was to cook at the dormitory and another was to eat here. This restaurant looks like our family in Zhengzhou."

After eating, he said "Goodbye, Mom" to Dong Fenglian, 51, Si's mother. He said the food eases their homesickness.

Si said the customers also offer suggestionsafter eating, making the delicacies much better.

Tarek Mahmud, 22, a Bangladeshi student, said: "The food is tasty. Foreign students mainly go home in summer or winter vacation. People gather here to meet during mealtime or to hold a birthday party."

Foreign students hold a party in the restaurant. (Provided for
The 40-square-meter restaurant has seen many friendships develop. Si said he once received a call from an Indian father who was worried about food for his daughter who was coming to China for the first time.

"I feel happy to make these friends from all over the world, learning about different cultures is a very meaningful thing, which is becoming a part of my life gradually," Si said as Indian songs played in the background.

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