We opened Aqua Eight in 2006 but the restaurant business is in our family’s blood.
Our parents, the Wing Cheungs, emigrated from Hong Kong in the 1960’s and introduced some of the first Chinese restaurants to East Anglia. By the time we were starting school, our father Simon had already built up a chain of successful Chinese restaurants in the UK, including a branch in London’s Old Brompton Road that remains a favourite dining destination for many of today’s celebrities.
As school boys in Colchester, Friday and Saturday nights meant helping mum and dad in their restaurants, welcoming guests and waiting at table. So, when the time came for us to choose our own careers, it wasn’t that hard a decision! One of us (Patrick) trained as a chef and created Aqua Eight’s signature blend of Pan-Asian fusion dishes, and the other (Vincent, who you’ll usually see leading the front of house team) trained in hospitality management.
Our parents continue to inspire us. Dad’s restaurant appeared in The Good Food Guide and he appeared on television in the 90’s, so we follow his lead in aiming for culinary excellence and for Awards success.
A year after Aqua Eight opened, Suffolk Food & Drink Awards named us their “Best Restaurant”. It was a very proud moment to be announced as the UK Runners Up in the Observer Food & Drink Monthly Awards 2011, in both categories of “Best Place to Eat” and “Best Place to Drink”. More national success followed that year with the Open Table Diners’ Choice Award.
Many of the dishes at Aqua Eight are based on family recipes that we remember our mum cooking at home. Others are dishes that we remember from on our travels when visiting friends and relatives in the Far East. Therefore Aqua Eight’s extensive menu is a fusion of flavours and spices taken from across China, Thailand, Indonesia and Asia, and mixed with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Our front of house team includes lots of Suffolk people too, but the common working language is Cantonese (it’s always surprising how quickly non-Chinese team members can pick up a few words!).
Whenever you come to Aqua Eight, you can expect a warm welcome and courtesy from a team of professionals who take pride in serving you. Our front of house team is trained in customer service skills to anticipate your needs. Click here to book a table or call 01473 218994.