An ambitious new buffet celebrated its opening in Luton, as its grand design and menu hope to immerse diners in traditional Chinese culture.
Hong Buffet, George Street, welcomed guests to their new venue in style on October 28, as visitors were treated to lion dancing, the art of Chinese face mask changing, and the presence of Counsellor Haitian Lu from the Chinese Embassy.
The new venue has taken months of hard work from owners and business partners, Tony Jiang, 42, and Yam Cai, 37, who took over the venue in September 2016 after former Chinese restaurant, Sizzall, closed down.
Tony and Yam said: “We want to run a restaurant which has a very Chinese style and culture. We want to wow diners with the interior before they taste our delicious food.
“Our culture is very superstitious, so we had a lion dance for wealth and a guest dressed as the ‘God of Wealth’.
“The Mayor Cllr Mohammad Ayub loved it and made a speech, and we chose Luton because it has a big population and for its high street location.
“We know Sizzall closed last August but our strategy is different. We maintain food quality and standard.”
Indeed, Yam and Tony, who own 14 restaurants between them, have a wealth of knowledge, with Yam growing up around her dad’s restaurant business in Fujian and Tony previously working as a chef in top London restaurant, Zen.
Hong Buffet’s food is freshly prepared and, as well as Chinese, offers Japanese, Thai, Italian, Indian, Singaporean and Malaysian dishes.
Tony and Yam said: “The Chinese community like to integrate and we want to offer something for everybody, as well as bringing Chinese culture to Luton.”
The Luton News was invited to dinner at Hong Buffet. The spread on offer in the dining area really was a feast for the eyes, and the buffet catered for all palettes, whether you liked spicy food or milder dishes.
Reporter Jo Gravett enjoyed a delicious Beef in Black Pepper Sauce (a personal favourite), as well as sampling foods from other cultures, including Pad Thai Chicken.
To top the meal off, she enjoyed delicate Italian desserts with beautiful colours, and recommends that you keep an eye out for the beautiful food presentation dishes around the room.