KINGSTON, N.S. - The Wong family is serving up authentic Chinese food out of a new restaurant in Kingston.
Earlier in October of this year, Chris Wong and his wife, Candy Ip, opened the Yellow Leaf Restaurant, a Canadian Chinese and authentic Chinese restaurant on Main Street in Kingston.
The name Yellow Leaf came naturally to the family, says Grade 12 West Kings student Pui Kei Wong, the couple’s son. Wong means yellow in Chinese and Ip means Leaf. The maple leaf in the logo was a natural fit for their new Canadian home.
“Besides,” says Wong, “we wanted a name that people could pronounce, was simple and easy to remember.”
Wong and his family moved to Canada six years ago, arriving first in Moncton. Then, six months ago, they came to the Annapolis Valley to be near where Wong’s sister lives and operates the gas station in Somerset. Wong says his sister came here on vacation many years ago with a friend and loved it so much that she decided to stay.
Wong says he felt the same way.
“Coming from Hong Kong,” he says while his son translates, “it was such a big, busy, crowded city. Here, it is quiet, a small area, and we love the nature and the wildlife.”
His sister is also credited with planting the seed that led to him opening an authentic Chinese food restaurant in the area. A Hong Kong native, he had been a cook for many years, starting out in a hotel in Beijing, then in the Sheraton in Cairo, Egypt, followed by time cooking in Japan. It is only fitting that this international chef cook in Canada, too.
The family says they haven’t had much time to explore the community, or learn of other Chinese families nearby, as they have been so busy getting the restaurant open.
“There were a lot of necessary renovations that needed to be done,” says Wong through his son, “and we wanted to really focus on the restaurant and put our best effort forward.”
Despite having little time to do a concentrated marketing effort, Ip says the restaurant has been busy, with word of mouth bringing in most of their customers. She says by far, their most popular dish is the Singapore Noodles, and during the span of the interview, three take-out orders for them had already come in.
Wong describes the food at the Yellow Leaf as being traditional Hong Kong style, where you can use one ingredient in so many dishes, depending on whether you steam, fry, boil or cook it. The flavour is unique, he says proudly.
The Yellow Leaf Restaurant is located at 583 Main Street in Kingston.