KUALA LUMPUR: It was a special treat for some of the nation's elite who were feted to a unique Chinese Lunar New Year's eve dinner showcasing China's traditional halal cuisines.
The event was held in conjunction with the World Tour of Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve Dinner organised by the Chinese Embassy and the World Federation of Chinese Catering Industry.
China's ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, who hosted the event, said that halal cuisine was a very important school in the Chinese food culture in China which has a population of some 25 million Muslims belonging to 10 ethnic groups.
"Over the centuries, Chinese Muslims have been living in peace and harmony with other ethnic groups of the country all the time.
"This helped the evolution of a very unique culture of Chinese Muslim cuisines," he said in his welcoming speech at the event hosted at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur on Monday (Jan 20).
He said 10 top Chinese Muslim chefs were specially flown in from China to prepare the mouth-watering dishes.
"This evening’s programme can be also considered as one of the highlights of the China-Malaysia’s Year of Culture and Tourism 2020.
"I believe it will help to foster the cultural exchanges and better understandings between China and Malaysia," he added.
He said that the Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve reunion dinner held special significance as a symbol of unity and love among family members.
"It is also an important occasion to bid goodbye to the past and welcome a brand-new year together," he added.
World Federation of Chinese Catering Industry president Wu Li said this was the first time the event was held in Malaysia since its inauguration in 2016.
"We have successfully showcased traditional Chinese cuisine culture in over 50 countries and this is the first time we're are doing it here.
"We hope that it can held again here next year," he added.
Among those who attended the gathering were Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Malaysia's special envoy to China Tan Kok Wai and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
Other guests included AirAsia X independent non-executive chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Berjaya Corporation Group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Star Media Group Berhad's group adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap and fashion icon Datuk Jimmy Choo.