Mr. Peng

Hunan | 36y

Hardly anyone knows Mr. Peng’s first name and he doesn’t talk about his personal life, even to his son, Michael.

Born in Taiwan, he left school at 14 and started working as a kitchen porter. Later he applied for both a Japanese and British visa and the British one arrived first.

He founded Hunan, near Sloane Square, in 1982. It concentrates on Taiwanese interpretations of classic mainland Chinese dishes and famously has no menu; after finding out what the diner won’t eat and their preferred level of spice, the team of chefs will create around ten small dishes.

He doesn’t like big business and has always believed that a family business run by family members is the only way to do things. It’s hardly changed in thirty six years because he believes in Feng Shui. If it ain’t broke…

Over the year he’s noticed his customers have changed a little: they’re more health-conscious, they don’t eat out too late anymore and are interested more in quality over quantity. They are also more savvy in terms of spending and want value for money more than ever.