No special treatment for celebrity diners

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 12:00am

Home made Sichuanese spicy noodles - dan dan mien - are the main attraction at the Yeung family's Wing Lai Yuen restaurant. The noodles earned the restaurant its fame and have attracted a steady stream of customers, including local tycoons and celebrities.

The original restaurant was built in a squatter area of Diamond Hill in 1947.

Every day in the dilapidated 'Squatter Town', hundreds queued outside the restaurant, which limited each customer to one bowl of noodles a day.

There were two big movie studios in the district at the time and patrons included movie mogul Sir Run Run Shaw and native Shanghainese movie stars.

The restaurant, which gave no special treatment to the celebrities, reportedly sent a tycoon, who arrived at the shop in a Rolls-Royce, back to queue up in the rain like everybody else one day when his aides tried to jump the queue.

The removal of the squatters forced the shop to close in 2001. It was later re-opened at the Whampoa Gourmet Place in Hunghom, where queues continued to form almost every day.

The restaurant continues its principle of fair treatment. Last year it rejected a takeaway request by two body guards working for tycoon Richard Li Tzar-kai. It insists on serving food only in the restaurant to maintain the quality.