Q & A with Dan Hong, Chef, Mr Wong, Ms Gs, El Loco

Dan Hong1

Dan Hong.  Merivale royalty and Executive Chef at much loved favourites Ms G’s, Mr Wong and El Loco.  Dan’s cooking draws inspiration from his Vietnamese heritage and his style of cuisine is fresh, simple and downright tasty.  It’s no wonder he has gained a loyal following.

We caught up with him to get his take on the top spots to eat and drink in Sydney.

Q:  Where do you go to get a great cup of coffee (or tea if you’re not a latte lover)?

I don’t drink coffee but I am very partial to the “Iced kumquat black tea with herbal jelly” at Chatime.

Q:  If you could only eat one last meal on this earth, where and what would it be?

It would be “Bun Bo Hue”, a spicy beef noodle soup from the central region of Vietnam.  My mum would be making it.

Q:  Please share with us your 5 all time favourite restaurants.

  1. Cafe Paci – Pasi Petanen is doing the most interesting food in Sydney right now.  Modern Scandinavian cuisine.  It’s fun and inspiring.
  2. Khao Pla – The owner/chef Khao Pla used to work with me at Ms G’s and Mr Wong.  He has gone back to his Thai roots and is now doing some of the best Thai food in Sydney with a modern twist.
  3. Golden Century – It has always been an inspiration to me.  A Chinese insitution that has been open for over 20 years.
  4. Marrickville Pork Roll – It is a tiny shopfront in Marrickville that does the best “Banh Mi” in Sydney.  There is always a line.  I like to get the Pork Roll with an extra 2 meatballs inside.  It is hectic and delicious.
  5. Hartsyard – Amazing American style food and desserts.

Q:  If you had visitors in town, where would be the first place you would take them to drink and/or dine?

I would take them to Cabramatta during the day. We would go to at least 4-5 restaurants specialising in a certain dish. From Vietnamese to Chinese, Laotian, Cambodian and Thai. Cabramatta is a hub for Asian cuisine and produce.

Q:  Where do you buy your produce in Sydney?

I like to go to the Sydney Fish Markets.  Not only is there fresh seafood, but the fruit/veg shop there is great.  I also love the Blackwattle Deli.

Q:  What inspired your passion for food and what does food mean to you?

My mother Angie Hong is a huge inspiration.  She used to own a few Vietnamese restaurants.  Being a chef and learning more and more about food everyday really develops your passion.  Food is everything to me.  My life revolves around 3 things: food, friends and family.

Q:  What do you want your ‘food’ legacy to be?

I want people to remember me for creating delicious food in a fun environment.

Q:  Please tell us an interesting fact not many people know about you!

I am obsessed with sneakers. I have over 150 pairs!

You heard it here first, folks!

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