A Warm Family Tale Over Ultimate Won Ton Soup
September 23, 2014
David Parker/Calgary Herald
Having lunch at King's Restaurant at the corner of Centre Avenue and Barlow Trail N.E. is like being at a family gathering.
It's a delight to watch Christina Lee chatting with so many of the customers she's gotten to know over the years since she began helping her dad at the age of 12.
Now Christina and her sister, Angela Chuy, are preparing to expand again with the opening of an Edmonton Trail location.
Their father opened his first 'greasy spoon' in that location in 1979, the year after he moved his family to Calgary from Guatemala. He had moved with his father to Guatemala from Hong Kong, and thanks to the helpful insistence of the immigration officer who welcomed them, the family name was changed from Chu to Chuy and dad's passport name reads Jose Alfredo Chuy.
He did well in the textile and garment industry there until the country went through a phase that spelled danger for them. He had relatives in Calgary, New York and Los Angeles but chose Calgary as his next place to call home.
His children grew up speaking Spanish but quickly adapted to life here where Jose had to decide what to do with the limited amount of Central American currency he was able to bring with him.
He had always loved food and with a leap of faith opened King's with hired cooks to serve North American breakfasts and western Chinese lunches. It still does and has become quite famous not only for its incredible service but its Wor won ton Soup.
Wor means ultimate and looking around the tables it's evident the soup - laced with meat, vegetables, noodles and won ton - is still a favourite.
A man seated at the next table, hearing our conversation, said, "I come down from Red Deer for this and take cartons back home with me."
The new King's on the Hill restaurant, located next door to Diner Deluxe on Edmonton Trail, will be open early in the new year for breakfast and lunch seven days a week - like all of the other locations - in a modern but warm environment with seating for 45 and will offer a variety of ready-to-go meals.
No doubt it will soon attract the kind of appreciative customers as King's on Barlow where you can expect to see three generations of the same family enjoying the food and friendly atmosphere.