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19 October 2023 - Jann Raveling

A plate of Shanghai in the middle of Bremen

Investing in Bremen

Chinese dumplings in the city centre

Juicy dumplings, freshly prepared, with savoury or spicy sauce - Mr. Dumpling brings Chinese flair to Bremen's city centre.

First of all: Mr. Dumpling is actually a Ms. Dumpling. Because behind the new snack bar in Bremen's popular street “Sögestraße” is Changyao He. The Chinese woman from the metropolis of Shanghai and her team serve delicacies of her homeland.

"China has many different cuisines. You can't fit all that into one restaurant. I grew up with Shanghai cuisine and remember my grandmother's recipes. And it is precisely this food culture that I want to celebrate with Mr. Dumpling," she says.

First and foremost there are the dumplings that give Mr. Dumpling its name. They come in three different flavours - one filled with chicken, one with pork and one with mushrooms. Six of the dumplings, called "Jiaozi" in Chinese, make up one portion, with a choice of soy, peanut or chilli sauce. Perfect for a quick snack or a fast lunch break.

In summer, she adds another dish to the range: cold noodles with vegetables and tofu or meat. And if you don't have time to visit the small and modern bistro, you can order a lunch box with noodles and/or dumplings. Side dishes such as spicy edamame beans, steamed lettuce or tofu round off the menu. In the future, the menu will also change according to season.

Hearty filled, hot and compact - perfect for a quick snack
Herzhaft gefüllt, heiß und kompakt - perfekt für den schnellen Snack © WFB/Rathke

Insight into the kitchen

She is pleased to offer an insight into China's culinary diversity with her restaurant. For a long time, Chinese cuisine in Germany was synonymous with buffet restaurants or fried noodles in a box. "There is actually nothing like that in China. A new generation of Chinese is now also bringing with them a new, more authentic cuisine," says the founder.

For this reason she has decided on an open kitchen; every visitor can take a look at the steaming pot with the dumplings. Or at the fresh vegetables and the preparation of sauces according to her own home recipe.

In search of a location

Changyao He has lived in Bremen since 2015 and worked for a long time in the Bremen branch of the export/import company Howee from Shanghai before she decided to start her own food business.

With its relocation services, Bremeninvest helps international companies and skilled workers to gain a foothold in Bremen. In addition to assisting them in dealing with the authorities, bank matters or permits, this also includes finding suitable premises.

Frau in Restaurantküche
In China, dumplings come in many different shapes and flavours - Changyao He prepares one of the most popular shapes, the jiaozi © WFB/Rathke

Well received in the city centre

Since the opening in August, more and more people from Bremen have been coming to the small shop in Sögestraße. But the little shop is also popular with the surrounding traders. "Many of our neighbours have already become regulars. Of course I'm very pleased that they like the food, but I also enjoy the fact that I've been well accepted into the local community here, we talk often, it's very nice here."

It's a judgement she also makes about Bremen as a whole. She enjoys the greenery of the city and likes living here. "I enjoy the work-life balance here, even as an entrepreneur. In China, there's a lot more pressure on employees and on doing business, but I think if you find a more balanced approach to work, like here, you end up being more creative and productive."

Not only people from Bremen get a taste for it

In the future, He can also imagine setting up other restaurants - starting a small chain. After all, the simple dishes and the clear menu paired with the small amount of space required make it possible to open more shops quickly. Until then, however, she is still perfecting her own processes in Bremen and gaining experience of what tastes best to the people of Bremen. Anyone who takes a look at the delicious menu will quickly realise that this decision will not be easy.

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