In our latest Chef's Life Series we caught up with Taipo Wong, chef-owner at Kobe Burgerin London. Taipo has picked up a vast amount of experience in the industry after working as an executive chef, senior chef, and head chef at a variety of eateries around the world, including at the Shimadaya restaurant and Sakura restaurant in Hong Kong, and at the Port Palace Hotel in Monte Carlo.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU START IN THE INDUSTRY?
I originally started out in Hong Kong at 17-years-old. I decided to apply my skills in London and moved their two years later. I’ve probably spent around 16 years in the Japanese cuisine industry.
I love using traditional Japanese cooking skills and using local ingredients to turn them into a fusion Nikki cuisine. My biggest influence is Hiroyuki Kanda, who I met when I was younger. Hiroyuki is a three Michelin-starred chef and it was great to meet him; he was a very good teacher.
Although it’s very hard to make and has taken a lot of practice to taste so good, it has to be sushi.
It has to be any home cooking cuisine. It’s great because the dishes put together from home can only be made for around six people, whereas if you went to a restaurant, they cook their dishes in high volume, meaning the flavour changes.
Chefs often don’t know how to use Asian sauces, like soy sauce, kimchee sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce etc. Every Asian dish should have a signature flavour and a different story behind it.
I think it would have to be noodle soup mixed with oyster sauce etc. This has become very common in many countries. Wonton soup is big in Hong Kong and ramen is big Japan.
Seafood, noodles, Chinese cabbage, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine.
IF YOU COULD COOK FOR ANYONE IN THE WORLD, ALIVE OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU MAKE THEM?
It would have to be my Mum, simply because she’s cooked for me half of her life and I am not always able to be at home with her all the time. I would cook her steamed fish; however, I would find it hard to make her happy unless the fish was not super fresh
Sushisamba in London offers great food and drink and a brilliant view from the 38th floor. You get everything in one and it’s a lot easier than visiting somewhere in Mayfair.
I’d probably say something simple that people can eat at least once a day, like a rice dish or noodles.