Chinese takeaway closes its doors after 45 years in Eastbourne

Stephen's Takeaway will close at the end of this month
Stephen's Takeaway will close at the end of this month

Stephen’s Chinese takeaway in Lower Willingdon will be closing its doors for the last time on Saturday July 29.

Owners Stephen Shing and his wife Oi Lin Shing, who opened the takeaway at The Triangle in 1987, will retire from the business at the end of this month.

The couple said, “The catering trade has given us the opportunity to meet many of you who have become valuable customers and dear friends.”

Mr Shing and his wife Oi Lin, who are local councillors along with their two sons Raymond and Daniel, started out at Good Friend restaurant in Cavendish Place in 1978.

The eatery became the first Chinese restaurant to feature in the local paper’s good dining guide, according to the couple.

The takeaway was also one of the first to have the kitchen open so customers could watch the food cooking from the waiting area, Mr Shing said.

Mr and Mrs Shing welcomed several generations of some families over the years and trained non-Chinese chefs in Cantonese cuisine.

Richard Ford who worked as a chef for the couple said, “It was a great and lucky experience to learn their recipes and work in their kitchen which not everyone had the chance to do at that time.”

In 1996, after an unsuccessful planning application to expand their takeaway into a restaurant, Mr Shing, who is likely one of the longest-serving Chinese chefs in the South East, was inspired to join the county council.

Mr and Mrs Shing, who first served Cantonese food in Eastbourne in 1970, said, “We cherish being part of your evenings, weekends and holidays and will greatly miss cooking for you.

“This will give us more time to work for the local community.”