30 years on, restaurateur Rennat Morel remains in love with Beijing

2022-08-06 Ecns.cn Editor:Mo Hong'e

(ECNS) -- "Beijing has improved a lot," said Rennat Morel, owner of a well-known, western-style restaurant with a history of over 20 years in Beijing, when referring to changes in the city over the past few decades.

Living in Beijing for so long, he has developed a growing love for the capital.

Morel, "The Godfather" of Beijing's foreign culinary circle, hails from Belgium and has lived in China for more than 30 years. He opened the restaurant Morel's in the capital with his wife, a native of Beijing, over 20 years ago and decided to settle down in the city.

The restaurateur has insisted on serving authentic western-style food since the opening of the restaurant.

Morel’s menu is exactly the same as in Europe so diners who have eaten here won't feel awkward when visiting the continent, said his wife.

As China opens wider, Morel's is welcoming more and more foreigners, and its business is booming.

However, the restaurant was hit by the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing during which dine-in services were temporarily suspended.

The restaurant has launched a mini app for takeouts, with each order of a certain volume receiving a flower.

Living in China for so long, Morel supports the policies the government has issued, according to his wife.

Morel said he appreciated the government a lot. "I need to say we have a very good back up from the government," he said.

“The respect that the government do to the small business people (is) very good,” he added, saying policies on tax and rent helped Morel’s survive the pandemic.

As such, he strictly abided by the Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

All delivery personnel had to scan health codes and record their body temperatures before entering the restaurant, the owner said.

“We want that the delivering guy is healthy, otherwise we don't give the food, very simple, you have the government to back you up, you need to follow a little bit,” he said.

Besides, Morel is glad to see the Beijing environment improving.

"You need to see how the government makes it (Liangmahe Riverbank) beautiful. It was stink and smelly before, now it is clean water," said Morel, adding that there are a lot of green spaces now.

He is used to getting up early to feed the birds.

He doesn't like people to criticize China. "You are not happy, then you go home. You don't like it, why you come to it?" he said.

As for his expectations for the city, Morel hopes the environment could further improve, while his partner hopes Beijing would become more international in the future and respected across the world.

"I love Beijing," said Morel.

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