EDITOR’S NOTE: We kept reading rave reviews of what the new owners are cooking up at New Queen restaurant at the corner of Stittsville Main and Hobin. Writer Rebecca Smart and photographer Barry Gray stopped in to find out.
For more than 30 years, Sunny Cheung (pictured above) has been working in restaurants, learning to cook traditional Chinese food in their kitchens.
Stittsville’s New Queen restaurant also has a 30-year history.
Now, as the fourth owner of the New Queen, Cheung is looking forward to bringing his experience and personal twist to the restaurant.
To be sure, owning a restaurant is a challenge but, as Cheung said, “If you don’t try it, you don’t know.”
Beginning in February, Cheung and his wife began looking for a restaurant to purchase. They looked at many options before they found the New Queen. It was actually the last restaurant they looked at and it seemed like the best fit.
Cheung spent some time working in the kitchen to learn about how things had been prepared by the previous cooks to figure out what dishes had been popular.
Previously, the New Queen menu focused heavily on what Cheung referred to as a “chop suey” style menu. That refers to the American-style Chinese food items such as chicken balls, mixed vegetables, garlic spareribs and, of course, chop suey.
Cheung’s cooking style lends itself more toward Traditional Chinese and Teriyaki styles of cooking, so he wanted to incorporate those into an updated menu.
After spending some time in the restaurant, Cheung has developed a revised the menu and hopes it will be very popular.
The updated menu keeps the popular American-Chinese favorites and adds some more traditional cooking and some Thai food.
Some of Cheung’s best dishes are listed as Chef’s Specialties – Imperial pork and the Salt & Pepper shrimp, chicken or pork. Already, these dishes have been a big hit!
Cheung’s personal favourite item? His Dry Garlic Fried Rice with chicken. No short cuts – he uses real garlic in the recipe.
“It takes more time, but it’s worth it!” said Cheung.
Cheung is putting his all into make the restaurant a success. So far, he has been working from 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., every day.
“I haven’t stopped,” said Cheung. “I do it for myself.”
The menu has been overhauled and so has the interior of the restaurant.
Explaining that business at New Queen had previously focused on take-out, Cheung wanted to make the interior more inviting for people to stay and enjoy the dining room.
To make the dine-in area more attractive, it has been painted, there are new tables, chairs and linens.
But don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard about all the changes at the New Queen, it’s because Cheung wanted to get his new menu set before doing any advertising.
Now, the “under new management” signs have been printed and ready to go up and the new menu is ready to go.
Already, Cheung has been surprised by the quantity of word of mouth advertising from people posting on Facebook, specifically in the Stittsville Neighbours group.
“I didn’t know Facebook could do so much,” Cheung said.
The restaurant website newqueenrestaurant.ca doesn’t have the new menu posted yet, but Cheung hopes to have it up soon.
The New Queen offers dine-in, take out or delivery after 4:30 p.m., and Cheung wants to know what you think of the changes!
“I still learn,” he said. “You need to keep trying and talk to customers.”