Kwoklyn Wan: Wok This Way

You might know him from his TV appearances, his cookery books or social media, but Kwoklyn Wan is a Leicester lad through and through. Here's his story.

Kwoklyn Wan cut his teeth in the Chinese restaurants of Leicester. In fact, in the oldest Chinese restaurant in Leicester, which his Grandad set up after arriving in the city back in 1962. 

This ‘Chop Suey House’ was immediately a big hit, and even played host to the Beatles when they played at the city’s De Montfort Hall in 1963!

In another city first, Kwoklyn’s Dad then set up the city’s first Cantonese Restaurant ‘The Bamboo House’ before buying ‘The Panda’ on Fosse Road North, where at the age of 16, Kwoklyn became a full-time chef (after years of being in and around the kitchen washing up, peeling prawns or chopping vegetables).

While Leicester may be famous for its curry, the Chinese community here drove an explosion of restaurants and fast-food shops which are still thriving today, with changing menus reflecting the changing eating habits of the city and country.

Kwoklyn’s food journey is rooted in this community and his early experiences, and stood him in great stead when taking over the restaurant from his Dad. With increased media profile and variety of interests including a Taiwanese Bubble Tea store and a Hong Kong Street Food Bar, it was inevitable that Kwoklyn’s talents would get noticed and this dream was realised in 2018 when he gained a guest spot on ITV’s This Morning.

Closing his restaurant to concentrate on this new-found fame, he also became a regular guest on ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’ and his TV show ‘Kwoklyn’s Chinese Takeaway Kitchen’ began airing on Amazon Prime in the UK & USA in February 2021.

His new series Man With a Wok is due to launch on Amazon in summer 2024 and he’s about to release his 7th cookbook, the next in a series aimed at showcasing his love of cooking and passing on those skills he honed over a wok in the Chinese restaurants of Leicester.

Take a look at his website to find out more about the man and buy his cookbooks, they're fantastic!