YTL’s Hutong brand goes global

NST, June 20, 2013

GLOBALISED: YTL plans to open 100 Hutong food courts in China

Through the Hutong brand of gourmet heritage food concept, YTL Corporation Berhad plans to export Malaysian heritage food to China, starting with Guangzhou, the southern gateway to China. Guangzhou was chosen as it is the third largest city after Beijing and Shanghai, and has a large population of 20 million people, says Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corp.
Guangzhou is also home to Zhujiang New Town Development, which is the new Central Business District (CBD) and financial centre of Guangzhou. Zhujiang is known as an ultra modern megalopolis comprising a cluster of 39 skyscrapers in a well-planned city.
To reproduce the authentic taste, all food ingredients will also be brought over including even equipment in a move described by Chua Lam as “transplanting the entire Lot 10 Hutong” to Guangzhou. Chua Lam, celebrity food critic, TV producer and media host specially flew in to Kuala Lumpur to announce the globalisation of the Hutong brand starting in Guangzhou and later to other parts of China.
The move is not without challenges as was witnessed earlier when its plan to expand to an estimated 33 locations in China was postponed due to red tape. “It took 20 - 30 years of hard work to reproduce authentic Malaysian Chinese food in London,” said Yeoh, comparing it to China. He said China should be an easier country to expand as the “Chinese including Hong Kongers love Malaysian food including chendol, char kway teow, etc. We know we will be welcomed and we are thinking of opening at least 100 of these concept food courts there.”
The recent event also witnessed the opening of two new stalls at Lot 10 Hutong, namely Layumcha from Hong Kong and Tai Lei Loi Kei (Pork Chop Bun) from Macau. Also present during the opening ceremony and food tasting were YTL Corp’s founder and chairman, Tan Sri Datuk Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay and Joseph Yeoh, Vice President of YTL Land and YTL Hotels.
Lot 10 Hutong is the brainchild of Tan Sri Francis Yeoh who personally persuaded the owners of each of these heritage stalls to open in Lot 10 Hutong in order to preserve their culinary arts for the enjoyment of future generations. Since its establishment in November 2009, Lot 10 Hutong has attracted the attention of food aficionados worldwide with even The New York Times listing it as one of “Asia’s Top Odysseys”.