Hunkering down in front of a movie with a takeaway has become part and parcel of a weekend through the decades and now Cardiff foodies can take their Asian takeaway up another level thanks to Roath takeaway, Da Ling Kitchen.
Specialising in Pan-Asian cuisine, which means they cook Chinese, Malaysian, Korean and Japanese dishes, Da Ling’s chef worked for 10 years at the Michelin-starred Hakkasan restaurant in London’s Hanway Place and now he’s brought his talent and flair for tasty, authentic Asian food to Cardiff.
Hakkasan is a modern, upscale Chinese restaurant first opened in 2001 and was the first Chinese restaurant to earn a Michelin star rating back in 2003.
Since the first venue opened, Hakkasan has branched out to New York, Miami, Dubai and Jakarta amongst others.
Along with owner Sunny Aw, chef Wai Seong Kok has curated a menu with items you’ll rarely see on offer at other takeaways, like his Sambal squid – stri-fried squid in the house chilli shrimp paste – and their crispy duck dish, served with a green salad rather than the usual pancakes.
WalesOnline went along to speak to the pair, who opened their doors just before Christmas. Sunny tells us what they offer to Cardiff diners that’s different.
“Since I left Chinatown (London) I realised that things are changing, they tried to bring in different cuisine,” he said.
“Probably the younger generation want to try something different. Here in Cardiff no-one does this sort of cuisine. I want to be able to recommend to the Welsh people the dishes we are doing and try to do it the best with fresh ingredients.”
Since leaving Hakkasan five years ago, Seong, 50, has worked in Swansea and Sunny has lived in Newport after moving there from London eight years ago.
With Sunny translating, Seong said: “Hakkasan is a big company and a lot of different departments and I learned a lot there.
“Now I want to do what I learned there for our customers here.”
Working together to bring their menu to life, Sunny added that Seong’s knowledge really gave it an edge.
“Seong brought a lot to the menu,” said the 44-year-old. “All the dishes I don’t think they do this style of meals anywhere else here. Crispy duck is normally served with pancakes and we have wasabi squid I think is new as well. And we do beef rendang, which I know is done here but we try our best to do it for the customers.”
He added: “A lot of customers say it’s good and are impressed we are serving something different. And we’ve had some food bloggers give us really good reviews as well.”
Although Seong’s dishes are carefully put together, his reason for cooking is a lot simpler, and heartwarming.
He said: “When I was a child I saw people cooking and fell in love with it. It makes me feel happy when I see people enjoying a meal. “
Find Da Ling Kitchen at 108 Albany Road, CF24 3RT