Busselton resident Dennis Ngo has returned to the region and following in his family’s footsteps - he has opened his first Chinese restaurant in the Vasse Village.
Mr Ngo inherited his passion for Asian cuisine from his parents who have operated Chinese restaurants in Busselton and Dunsborough for more than 30 years.
He said because his folks had been around for so long, for certain people in Busselton, their family’s food was like comfort food.
On the first night he opened the restaurant two people he had known since he was four years old, and went through school with, came into dine.
“They said it was very comforting to have one of us here again within driving range,” he said.
When Mr Ngo finished school he travelled around the world seeking food experiences to find out what the world could offer him.
“It is not so much what is different about all the different styles of food, it is what is the same,” he said.
“No matter where everyone has their own comfort food or soul food for that particular country – something everyone will know and everyone has their own version of.
“It is comforting to know that stuff like that is prevalent everywhere.”
When Mr Ngo lived overseas he participated in cooking classes to learn about different cuisines and how other cultures blended spices.
“Every country has a version of something whether it be a rice dish, in Spain it is a paella, there is fried rice and in places like Mexico they have their own version as well.”
This is the first time Mr Ngo has run his own restaurant and said the community response had been fantastic.
“Starting was a bit daunting, but now we are in the swing of things we are finding our groove and how we are going to put our spin on things.
“My mum is a legend around town and has been around forever.
“They have their own style, and as much as I want to pay respect to those ways of doing things, I want to try my own things and put my spin on it.”
Mr Ngo’s favourite items on the menu are his five spice chili squid or spare ribs, a Chinese styled roast duck or pork belly (which had to be ordered in advance) and char kwei teo noodles.
“Kwei teo noodles have been a favourite of mine since I was a child, because as a child I would always see noodles in the same shape, but these are flat, white, wider rice noodles.
“I just always thought they were fun.”
Mr Ngo said they did dim sum during their lunch time service and all the items, which were made to order, were all handmade.