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Spicy food from Hunan tickles taste buds nationwide

By Zou Shuo in Changsha | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-21 15:06

Stir-fried pork with chili peppers is one of Hunan province's best-known and most commonly seen foods — and the dish that has turned Chef Fei restaurant into one of the most popular eateries in China.

The company sold more than 5 million servings of chili stir-fried pork last year, with total sales exceeding 1 billion yuan ($138 million), according to the company.

Founded in 2003 in Hengyang, Hunan, Chef Fei has expanded to more than 100 branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen of Guangdong province, Suzhou of Jiangsu province and Hunan province.

Its signature dish — fried pork with chili — has become a hit not only with Hunan residents with people from all over the country.

In 2018, the first Chef Fei restaurant outside Hunan was opened in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

As the restaurants became popular, they expanded — to Shanghai in 2021, Beijing in 2022 and Guangzhou last year.

The average waiting time for the restaurant in Beijing exceeds two hours. When the brand opened its first outlet in Guangzhou last year, the lines continued from 10 am to 10 pm, according to Lu Wenwei, public relations manager at Chef Fei.

Lu attributes the brand's popularity to its assurance that each dish is freshly cooked. No pre-cooked food is allowed.

Meanwhile, more young people have fallen in love with spicy food, which has become popular nationwide, he said.

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