Dan Hong's Profile

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 seater 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.

Taking over from the former Fish Shop site in Potts Point, Lotus is a pop up restaurant with chef Dan Hong behind the pots and pans. Lotus originally opened in the same spot in 2002 and shaped the career of many of Australia’s hospitality heavyweights, notably Dan Hong where he was head chef in 2008.