Tony Hee – scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I am a chef by profession (Sate House) and a foodie at heart. You can’t really have one without the other and hand-in-hand, it leads to a gastronomical adventure. Starting a food stall and then building a food truck seemed like the natural thing to do.

Why do you do it?
Coming from Malaysia, I grew up in an environment with strong food culture accumulated from the various ethnicity of people in the country. From there, I give the people a chance to try authentic Malaysian and Indonesian style cooking without actually being there themselves.

What do you love about the city you live in?
I would say Brisbane is like a hidden gem in Australia. While the growing population has brought about more shops, restaurants (good food!) and more life to the city. It still has its serene and peaceful side to it. A walk along South Bank or a stroll through the Botanical Gardens still feels fantastic and it’s like a mini getaway from the bustling city life.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
Malaysia, back to my hometown so that I could show my kids what it was like to celebrate Chinese New Year during my time and also for me to try out the various local dishes which have withstood the test of time and also to get some inspiration for my own cooking as well.

What's your favourite item of clothing?
I love wearing comfortable, casual clothing for everyday wear, just for comfort. But I love to dress up in style when I go out for dinner with my family and friends.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid? (If you've got kids, what's your favourite show to watch with them?)
I used to watch all the superhero films when I was younger with my friends at school and now that I have a son (8-years old), we both love watching the NEW version of all the superhero films.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I would probably go back during my school times playing with my best friends…nothing to worry about anything. Just play.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
As I have been running Sate House for nearly 20 years now, it would be right to serve you the best dish that we can offer, where we pride ourselves on offering delicious chicken satays with satay sauce which is made to be as authentic as possible and also some curries to tingle the senses or we can teach you how to make your own dumplings.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
Never give up, no matter what. Good things will come to those who persevere and always be prepared for the unexpected. It is not the end of the world if something negative happens but rather an opportunity to come out shining and rise from it. When we first started out as a food vendor, we were probably the first outdoor Asian food stall in Brisbane, it wasn’t easy given that the exposure towards Asian food was very low then. However, as time passes on, it catches on and here we are today, with amazing opportunities to take part in amazing events throughout the year.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows... ask my wife!

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
I love what I am doing now and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When people working in offices go on their holidays, that is when we get busy. We are there to make their holidays even better (through the tummy)!

How do you define success?
To seek success is to put an end to the journey. Success is something that you brew and nurture along the way. Seeing my kids growing up into fine kids that they are, success. Getting compliments from satisfied customers, success. Ultimately, I believe in continuously seeking success in everything that I do.

What's your spirit animal?
Horse. I am always very passionate about what I do and always try to lead by example and be a driving force for my kids and my staff and hopefully this all translates into delicious food and an amazingly, satisfying experience overall for my customers.

Sate House will be among a slew of food trucks and craft beer vendors at the Stones Corner Festival Sunday 29 May.


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