The Dish: Donna Cheung
Get to know SavingTakeOuts’ Growth Strategist
What are your favorite types of food
Korean, KBBQ & Japanese especially sushi. Most recently, Indian food.
Do you cook at all?
When I moved out of my parents’ house, I started to learn to cook and meal prep to save money. I don’t really cook too much these days because of my specific living situation and I don’t make anything extravagant. I’ve just been cooking really simple meals like omelets or tomato with egg, sometimes chicken with broccoli and rice. But once I get my own place, I really want to cook more and explore interesting recipes.
What is your fondest food or restaurant memory?
I have two. One memory was from a Chinese takeout place near my parents’ house called Panda Garden. It’s no longer open, but every Friday for four years, my mom would order takeout from them. I used to have really bad allergies so I’d go to the hospital every Friday to get allergy shots. The appointments were always in the evening so between the evening appointments, the waiting at the hospital, and the driving back home, my mom wouldn’t have time to cook dinner on those days so we would get takeout from Panda Garden.
Second fond restaurant memory is when I was a sophomore in high school, I had Indian food for the first time from this place called Taj Mahal. I had completely forgotten about that place until recently when I started craving Indian food. I ordered delivery once from a different Indian restaurant and just didn’t hit the way I remembered from high school. But I recently found out the name of the restaurant from my high school days and it was Taj Mahal. It’s about a 30-minute walk from where I live, but I make the trek there just for the food.
If you could open up your own restaurant or concept someday, what would it be?
So many people dream of opening the big fancy restaurants and I might want to one day, but something about those nice family oriented restaurants is really special to me. When I cook, I want to see people really enjoy it and bond over the food like a family.
What do restaurants mean to you?
Bonding and memories. I’m a pretty nostalgic person so if I walk past particular restaurants, I think of all my memories from there. For example, recently, before my senior year ended, my friends and I heard that a favorite deli spot of ours closed. It was called Urban Taste. They made these huge foot long sized sub packed with insane combinations like chicken cutlet, mozzarella sticks, and French fries. Back during my freshman year when I was pledging, I’d stay at school really late. My friends and I would go get subs from Urban Taste. We weren’t allowed to have food in the library so sometimes we’d have someone go there and stuff more than ten sandwiches into their backpack and bring it back for us.
What is one restaurant you’re missing a lot right or can’t wait to go back to because of COVID-19?
A lot of restaurants in NYC are open right now or have outdoor dining but there is one I want to go to. I can’t say I miss it because I’ve never been, but this all you can eat sushi place called Akino is somewhere my friends and I have been planning on going to for some time now. I doubt they have any kind of outdoor dining and AYCE buffet just isn’t the same with COVID conditions. I can’t wait to finally eat there with friends once COVID is over.