The Hakka, known as Kejia (客家）or “guest people” in Mandarin, are scattered across southeastern China, mostly in Guangdong and Fujian provinces.
They can also be found in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan. There are an estimated 30 to 45 million Hakkan descendants worldwide.
Famous Hakkans include Sun Yat-sen, the Father of Modern China; China’s late paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping; Singapore’s first prime minister, Lew Kuan Yew; the late Canto-pop star, Leslie Cheung; Canto-pop icon Leon Lai; and Chow Yun-fat, a Hong Kong actor that has starred in countless Hong Kong and several Hollywood flicks.
The ancestors of the Hakka are thought to have originated in Northern China. They migrated to Southern China hundreds of years ago, maintaining their unique customs, dialect, and food preferences.
Needless to say, cooking styles might have remained the same, but ingredients depended on what was available locally.
Hakka Food emphasizes original flavours and nutritional value over presentation. Preserved meats are featured, vegetables are favoured, and those that settled along the coast took to seafood. Internal organs also feature prominently in Hakka style cooking.
Yuan Long Wu
This is home-style Hakka cuisine at its best: unpretentious, fresh ingredients, free-range poultry and preparation that is long on tradition and short on shortcuts.
he marinated three cup duck is meaty, succulent and flavourful. Other recommended dishes include the salty vegetables with beef (better than it sounds!), the fried eggs stuffed with pork served in a pot (yummy!), and the stuffed tofu (made the old-fashioned way).
Special requests such as “Please don’t hack our duck with a chopper, we’d rather carve it ourselves”are treated graciously and without drama.
On about our fourth visit – yes, we really did like this place – the waitress politely suggested that if the bone fragments bothered us that much, we could request that the chef carve our duck next time without them.
The menu has pictures, but no English translations.
Min Tian Road, Cheng Jian Gou Wu Park, Western District (across the street from Coco Park), Fu Tian District, Shenzhen
Tel: (86 – 755) 8290 3128
Specialties: fresh water fish, poultry, and tofu
Average food cost: ￥-￥￥-
Opening hours: 11 am – 10 pm
. . . . . . . . . .
￥ – most dishes under ￥50
￥￥ – most dishes under ￥100
￥￥￥ – most dishes under ￥150
￥￥￥￥ – many dishes/main courses more than ￥150