From Australian imported Wagyu steaks to Asian fusion street food, Anthony D’azevedo and his family business are staking a claim on HK’s food scene, having come so far since their first restaurant The Den.
They may have started off in New Zealand running a Chinese takeaway and a Fish & Chip joint, but it’s in Hong Kong’s dining scene that the Chan family have made their mark. Today, their family-run business spans four dynamic eateries in Sai Ying Pun. Powered by a team of 12, mum (TM) is the boss, with son Anthony running one of their restaurants, and his sister busy building the Chan’s next venture. Their first restaurant, The Den, opened five years ago and they’ve since rolled out three more, each one bringing something fresh to Hong Kong’s dining scene. Having just had three out of four of their eateries awarded the Hofex MasterChef award for Recommended Restaurant in 2019, Anthony talked Hive Life through the secret behind their fast-growing family empire.
“Mum has been in hospitality since she was seven. Once she turned 18, she instantly fell in love with Hong Kong and its hustle and bustle. She was working with Wildfire, Stormies and all the big groups for a long time and eventually opened The Den,” says Anthony of how they got started. “She had found a source on an Australian farm which served amazing steaks. She told me that once I started eating Wagyu, going back to normal steaks wouldn’t be quite the same. And, the first time I had it, I didn’t say a single word. It was so good!” And their customers agreed. Widely known for their Australian Wagyu beef that carries a different balance between fat and meat, in comparison to the more prominent Japanese Wagyu, The Den quickly attracted a crowd.
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Next, they turned their hands to Pete’s Place. “It’s a local neighbourhood bar that was ironically named after our grandpa who doesn’t drink! Once we opened it, we were very lucky to find two very executive chefs who designed a Latin American/Peruvian menu which was so popular, we had to expand next door (TM’s by The Den) for a dining room.” With three established eateries now under their belts, the Chans didn’t stop there. “We’ve just opened Bingaz Streetfood, which offers Asian fusion cuisine in the form of street food. We have Laksa which is Singaporean, Tandoori Chicken which is Indian, Sakura Skewers which are Japanese, Rendang which is Indonesian and lots more. So far, we’re getting amazing feedback.”
The Chans truly believe that teamwork makes the dream work. Being part of the family business may have its ups and downs with little time to switch off, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s a lot of fun. Mum’s a really fun boss.” And the hard work is being rewarded – as their Hofex MasterChef awards attest. “We had no idea what was going on or what the award was even about. We were just asked to attend. It was a massive honour,” says Anthony. And, as they gear up for their next venture opening soon in New Zealand, they show no signs of slowing down.