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Taipei's Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ killed by COVID

COVID kills oldest restaurant to serve Taiwan-style Mongolian BBQ in nation's capital

(Facebook, Genghis Khan Mongolian Bar-B-Q photo)

(Facebook, Genghis Khan Mongolian Bar-B-Q photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A restaurant that had been a fixture in Taipei for seven decades announced on Monday (Aug. 2) that it was going out of business for good after the pandemic inflicted too many losses on the business.

On its Facebook page on Monday evening, Genghis Khan Mongolian Bar-B-Q (成吉思汗蒙古烤肉餐廳) announced that due to the impact of the pandemic and the "pressure of rent," it was closing its doors forever. It then thanked its loyal customers for their many years of support.

It was believed to be the longest-surviving restaurant serving Mongolian barbecue in Taiwan, having been founded in 1963, according to Taipei Expat. Its signature dish is not actually Mongolian cuisine but rather the invention of Taiwanese crosstalk comedian Wu Zhaonan (吳兆南).

Wu, a native of Beijing, opened a street stall in Taipei in 1951 and originally wanted to call a newly devised dish Beijing Barbecue. However, due to political tensions with China, he opted for the name Mongolian barbecue.

The concept is the stir-frying of a customer's choice of meat, vegetables, and sauce on an iron griddle. The idea soon took off across the city, with Genghis Khan being one of the early adopters.

The restaurant had recently relocated from Nanjing East Road in Taipei's Zhongshan District to Jilin Road. It was originally planning a new opening on May 24, but it had to postpone its plans when Level 3 restrictions were imposed in Taipei on May 15, which included a ban on indoor dining.

Taipei's indoor dining ban was finally lifted on Aug. 3, the day after the revered restaurant announced its permanent closure.