‘Best noodles in Hong Kong’ live on – Wing Wah Noodle to return under new ownership
Famous for its bamboo pole noodles, Wing Wah Noodle in Wan Chai closes on Friday, but will return – a restaurant group has bought the name. Its noodles may not be hand-pulled in future, though, and some menu items may go
Wing Wah Noodle – whose noodles Asia’s top chef, Gaggan Anand, said were the best in Hong Kong – closes on August 31, but it’ll be back, somewhere in Hong Kong, under new ownership.
The registered trademark of Wing Wah Noodles in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore was sold to LHGroup, which owns such restaurants as Banqueting House, Gyu-Kaku, Lucky House seafood restaurant, and MouMouClub, it was announced in early August.
LHGroup CEO Simon Wong Kit-lung explained at the time that Wing Wah Noodle was a locally owned brand to cherish, and it made sense for it to be “passed from one old name to another old name”.
However, Wong would not promise the egg noodles would still be handmade using a bamboo pole to knead the dough, saying: “If you stay the same, you face the same business problems in the end. You have to use modern management [and] equipment to retain the manpower. I can’t guarantee [the noodles will be made the same way as before].”
Nevertheless, Wong did say he would have a chef go to the Wan Chai restaurant to learn how to make the noodles.
LHGroup has yet to announce where the new Wing Wah Noodle shop will be, and when it will reopen. Wong said the menu would change but he would try to keep some of the old items. Menu favourites include wonton noodles, braised pork knuckle, braised beef tendon and brisket, and hot chilli sauce with sliced pork on noodles.
Cheung Tse-sau, the third-generation owner of Wing Wah Noodle, said she was approached by more than 10 parties interested in buying the business, but in the end she settled with Wong and LHGroup, saying she felt Wong was young and sincere.
Wong said LHGroup could not disclose what it paid for the Wing Wah name, but both parties were happy. He said the current staff were welcome to stay if they still wanted to work.
Anand, whose restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok is number one on the Asia’s 50 Best restaurants list, flew to Hong Kong in July just to eat at the noodle shop one more time before it closed.