Bio: Dan Hong
Starting his career in the kitchen of his family's Vietnamese restaurant chain, Thanh Binh, in Sydney, Dan quickly developed a taste for a career in a challenging and exciting kitchen. Dan developed his culinary skills at an elite list of Sydney restaurants including Longrain, Pello Restaurant and Marque, where he completed his apprenticeship.
Once qualified, Dan joined the Tetsuya team as Chef de Partie followed by his appointment at Bentley Restaurant and Bar as Sous Chef. Impressively, each restaurant held one, two or three SMH Good Food Chef Hat status and during this time, Dan was honoured with the prestigious Josephine Pignolet Best Young Chef Award at the 2008 SMH Good Food Guide Awards.
After a stint abroad working with culinary great, Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 in New York, Dan joined Lotus as head chef. Dan's approach to the Lotus menu was one of simplicity with an injection of freshness, which he demonstrates with his use of fresh herbs and light Asian dressings. It is no surprise that a dish of sashimi of yellow fin tuna with sweet wasabi, soy and ginger dressing has become a signature.
In October 2010, Dan joined forces with Jowett Yu as joint Head Chefs to create an innovative and fun menu for Merivale venture, Ms. G's in Potts Point. Ms. G's has allowed Dan and Jowett to truly express themselves and their Asian heritage. The Sydney Morning Herald summed up their food saying, "They've dee-jayed a contemporary Asian menu that puts many iconic street dishes of Vietnam, Taiwan, China and Korea on shuffle."
In November 2010, Dan appeared on Channel 7's Iron Chef where he went knife to knife against Guillaume Brahimi - one of the world-class chefs who, along with other "Iron Chefs" Neil Perry and Guy Grossi, star in the show.
In April 2011, after a ten day research trip around Mexico and the US, Dan took to the kitchen to open Merivale's first Mexican cantina, El Loco at the Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills.
Dan is also the executive chef at the 240 seat Mr. Wong in the northern end of Sydney's CBD. The restaurant pays homage to classic Chinese influences in a contemporary style, with a predominately Cantonese-style menu and an unrivalled dim sum selection.
Sprawled over two levels, the 240 seat Mr. Wong is one of the largest restaurants in the northern end of the Sydney CBD. It offers a range of dining options varying from large group tables, through to intimate tables for two and seating at the open kitchen.
Mr Wong's recognition and awards are numerous since opening.
2016 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards, Two Hats
2015 Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year, Three Glasses
2014 Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year, Three Glasses
2014 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards, Two Hats & Best New Restaurant
2014 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Awards, New Restaurant of the Year
2014 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Awards, One Star