Chinatown chef to head up Ballarat's first dumpling bar

Justin McKay and Guo "Ryan" Dong with Gorgi and Simon Coghlan at Fu Man Lou. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Justin McKay and Guo "Ryan" Dong with Gorgi and Simon Coghlan at Fu Man Lou. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

THE idea of opening a dumpling restaurant in Ballarat came to Simon Coghlan while he was painting a fence. 

Immediately he ran to his wife Gorgi to share his stroke of genius. 

"He came running up to me with big eyes and I knew he was going to pitch something to me," she said. 

On Tuesday the Coghlans, along with head chef Guo "Ryan" Dong, will open Ballarat's first dumpling restaurant Fu Man Lou. 

The pair decided to name the restaurant after the Chinese proverb of happiness, good fortune and good wishes. 

"Fu Man Lou is about having fun and having a new food experience in Ballarat," Mrs Coghlan said. 

The team of 12 staff, including manager Justin McKay, 19, are excited for the grand opening. 

Mr Dong said the menu was a mix of handmade dumplings and classic Chinese dishes. 

"This is my dream... my grandmother taught me how to make dumplings when I was young" - Guo "Ryan" Dong

"A lot of the favourites are there as well," Mr Dong said. 

"This is my dream... my grandmother taught me how to make dumplings when I was young."

Mr Dong was born in Shandong Province and has been working in Ballarat for three years. He has also worked at Shark Fin House in Melbourne's Chinatown.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Fu Man Lou

WHEN: Opens Tuesday, May 6

WHERE: Camp Street, Ballarat

MORE INFO: www.fumanlou.com.au

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