The owners of Hong Kong's most famous noodle house are suing a former employee after he allegedly made unsavoury remarks about the quality and standard of their award-winning food. Yeung Wong Siu-ling, 54, one of the owners of the Wing Lai Yuen Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles shop, told the South China Morning Post that the comments by their former public relations manager, Leung Chuk-ming, 42, had 'seriously damaged' the family-run business. A High Court writ is seeking undisclosed damages for the alleged defamation, which targeted the restaurant's famous noodles and chicken wanton soup. The noodle house, which is now at Whampoa Gourmet Place in Hunghom, was established 57 years ago in the Diamond Hill squatter area. From its humble beginnings catering to the stars and staff from the nearby Run Run Shaw movie studios, it rose to become internationally recognised for its cuisine. The noodles take their name from the Chinese word for the bamboo shoulder poles once used by noodle sellers in Chengdu. According to the writ filed yesterday, Mr Leung, who was employed in July 2001 to promote the restaurant, made the allegedly defamatory statements after he resigned last September. Some of the comments allegedly made in January include: 'Wing Lai Yuen's chefs have all left and the dishes have become untasty'; 'The dan dan noodles served at Wing Lai Yuen are not hand made but are made by machine'; and 'The chicken wanton soup served at Wing Lai Yuen is made of canned clear chicken soup of Swanson brand'. Ms Yeung angrily denied the standard of food served in the kitchen had diminished. The writ states the recipes for the handmade dan dan noodles and chicken wanton soup were handed down through generations by the family's grandfather, who was a chef to the Imperial Tsing Dynasty Court and the Empress Dowager Ci Xi. Ms Yeung said the restaurant employed 60 staff and seven chefs - two of whom were recruited from the mainland after cooking for the 'leaders'. 'He [Leung] spoke to everyone and said bad things, but we taped his conversations,' she said. 'He was spreading rumours and making things out of nothing and these remarks affected our business very seriously.' Ms Yeung said some regular patrons had since questioned whether the restaurant's standards had fallen. 'But it is very important for us to keep a high standard of food - it is respect for our ancestors,' she said. Ms Yeung said Mr Leung had rejected their requests for an apology, leaving them with no choice but to defend their reputation through the courts. Mr Leung yesterday denied he had defamed the restaurant and said he would contest the case. He said he had told customers the noodles were hand made but not 'hand-pulled'. Mr Leung, a former police inspector who was jailed for 10 months in 1997 for plotting to solicit advantages in a police promotion scam, said he had been arrested last Friday. That matter related to allegations that he stole money from two former colleagues at the Wing Lai Yuen restaurant. He is now managing the Modern China Restaurant at Olympian City, Tai Kok Tsui. Mr Leung said he had asked two of the chefs and seven waiters from the Wing Lai Yuen restaurant to join him at the new premises to 'help him out' on a voluntary basis.