August 31, 1998
Forum brings authentic Hong Kong cuisine to city
by Deborah Stone
Asian restaurants are a definite part of Woodinville's downtown landscape. Residents and visitors to the city can choose from a variety of establishments offering Chinese, Japanese and Thai food.
Recently, the Forum Chinese Restaurant added its name to Woodinville's dining options. Located off 175th Street in the space that had previously housed Chin's Restaurant, the Forum opened its doors August 1.
Co-owners Raymond Liang and C.K. Lam wanted to offer diners authentic Hong Kong-style Chinese cuisine, as well as Peking and Szechwan specialties. Liang is an established restaurant owner who currently operates two successful Chinese restaurants in the Seattle area: the Greenery in South Seattle and Ming Palace in Bellevue.
Originally from China, Liang has been in the food and beverage industry for the past fourteen years, working for several five-star hotels and the noted Peninsula Hotel Group in Hong Kong. He and his wife Juliana have lived in Seattle since 1994.
Liang's partner, C.K. Lam, is a businessman from Hong Kong who also lives in Seattle. He operates a trading company and has many years of international business experience. This is his first restaurant venture.
Liang and Lam thought long and hard about a name for their new restaurant. Lam came up with the Forum and Liang liked it, even though it was definitely not a Chinese name.
"The word 'forum' means a place for people to meet and come together," says Liang. "We want our restaurant to be a kind of forum where people can be together in a comfortable environment and eat good food."
According to Liang, part of making customers feel comfortable is the ability to offer them choices.
He says, "My partner and I feel it is important to present various styles of Chinese cuisine and let people try what they want. We offer spicy and non-spicy dishes, vegetarian items, meat, seafood, different types of soups and noodles and many specialties. We use less oil in preparing the food, so it is more healthy."
The Forum's popular entrees include Peking Duck, Braised Tofu with Black Mushrooms and Vegetables and Fresh Prawns with Honey Walnuts.
Success in the restaurant business means more than having an extensive menu of good food to Liang.
"To be successful, a restaurant needs to provide excellent service and give the customer a feeling of warm hospitality," explains Liang. "Our desire is to please the customer totally."
Both partners are delighted to be located in Woodinville and their impressions thus far of the city are very positive.
They welcome regulars of the old Chin's and encourage new diners to try their restaurant.
The Forum is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and an all-you-can-eat luncheon buffet will be offered.
For more information, call 486-6252.