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MAYUCHING.jpgMa Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House( ), located in Kaifengmarker, Chinamarker, is by some accounts the world's oldest restaurant. It allegedly opened for business during the Jin Dynasty in AD 1153. Having survived numerous wars, invasions, and dynasty changes, it still offers takeout food.

Despite its reputation, it is known that restaurants existed in Kaifeng before 1153, since there is documentation of them during the Northern era (960–1127) of the Song Dynasty.


Traditionally, "bucket chicken" is believed to originate from roast chickens sold in the markets of Kaifengmarker, when it was the capital city during the Song Dynasty. The Ma family began trading in bucket chicken in Nanjingmarker, in today's Jiangsu Provincemarker, after the Song Dynasty moved to the south.

In 1855, Ma Youren, a descendent of the original Mr Ma moved back to his ancestral home Kaifengmarker, bringing with him a bucket of the traditional sauce. There, Ma Youren established the "Ma Yuxing Roast Chicken Shop" in 1864, specialising in bucket chicken. In 1954, a branch store was established in Zhengzhoumarker when that city became the capital of Henan provincemarker.

See also


  1. The present restaurant in Kaifeng was re-established in the 19th century. See below.
  2. Stephens, John Richard, Weird History 101, p. 127
  3. Gernet, 133–134.


  • Gernet, Jacques (1962). Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276. Translated by H. M. Wright. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0720-0

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