Beijing has many traditional cuisine specialties, including Beijing Roast Duck, Mongolian hotpot, Muslim barbecue, and Beijing traditional folk food. Tanjia cuisine is a good example of Beijing's traditional cuisine.
Tanjia cuisine enjoys a history of over 100 years. It was named after Tan Zonghou, who was a high official in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and a great gourmand as well. He was fond of inviting friends to have dinner together, and the food he offered successfully combined the flavor of several cuisines and developed its own characteristics. The unique and impressive taste had been deeply favored by all the guests, and gradually gained its reputation as Tanjia (Tan Family) cuisine. Tan Zonghou's son inherited his father love for food and developed a large collection of recipes to suit the tastes.
Tanjia cuisine is famous for its two principles: First, only the finest ingredients may be used and cooked carefully to retain the flavor; secondly, the taste should reflect the essence of Tanjia cuisine. The dishes taste soft and original, with light, fresh seasonings, not too sweet nor too salty. Typical dishes include stewed shark's fin and fish maw in jar, stewed abalone in delicious sauce, sauted and fried prawn, etc.
In 1958 the Tan family restaurant was moved to Beijing Hotel and Tan family food is now one of the four famous hotel cuisines. Since 1949, visiting heads of state or government from about 60 countries have enjoyed the delicious feast.