Kusina Tsina’s Eugene Chua: “Pag di masarap, libre na” is the promise of Kusina Tsina, nestled inside SM Southpoint, in SM City Iloilo. The statement speaks volumes of the restaurant’s confidence in their industry – if the food is not good enough, it’s free.
Established in 2008, Kusina Tsina started its operations along Quezon Street in downtown Iloilo, in what owner Eugene Chua describes as a ‘hole in the wall’. With its consistency, perseverance, and strong customer following, it was able to relocate to one of the biggest malls in the metro, inside SM Southpoint in SM City Iloilo – and despite the pandemic, Kusina Tsina was awarded by Grab as an industry leader in Iloilo City – Top 3 Merchant last August and Top Merchant in September.
All in all, the restaurant’s success could not be made possible without Eugene Chua.
Having been trained by Hong Kong chefs in the prestigious Chinese restaurant Gloria Maris, Chua acquired the skills of his superiors – thus abled him to lead his own venture. Chua recalls the lessons he learned during his time working with Hong Kong chefs – he considers Cantonese chefs as the best chefs due to their perfectionism and working ethics.
Chua’s time at Gloria Maris inspired him to open his own restaurant. Having moved to Iloilo, Chua was able to assess the needs of the Ilonggos and deemed he has so much to offer.
“Marami pa akong pwede i-introduce,” says Chua.
Thus, Chua spearheaded ‘Hong Kong Kitchen’ which was located at Paseo de Iloilo, at Robinsons Place Iloilo. A few years later, he spawned Kusina Tsina. An article by The News Today, published 2006, describes the early days of Hongkong Kitchen.
“Chua said there is no authentic Chinese restaurant here which could satisfy the taste and palate of Ilonggos that is why they had ventured to put up one. The restaurant name, Hongkong Kitchen, already connotes the rich and tasty Chinese dishes in the former British colony,” excerpts from an article by The News Today, published 2006.
“One thing that makes Hongkong Kitchen distinct from other restaurants in the city is that it exercises and maintains “quality control” over all its dishes. Their chef along with the entire kitchen staff had been trained in Metro Manila,” the article added.
‘Pag di masarap, libre na’
Kusina Tsina’s bestsellers include its dimsum, roasted items, short orders, and chef recommendations. It highlights its dimsum platter and its Kusina Tsina roasting platter. When asked what makes Kusina Tsina different from other Chinese restaurants, Chua says “hindi lahat ng makikita mo makikita mo rin sa iba, we have our own distinct taste. Walang halong daya. Pag hindi masarap, libre na.”
Moreover, Chua thanks the Ilonggos for their patronage.
“Thank you sa supporta all these years with the blessings and support from the Ilonggos. Higit sa lahat, wag na wag silang mahihiya na lapitan ako, i-pm ako sa mga concerns or request nila. Kasi hanggat sa makakaya ko, ibibigay ko sa kanila,” states Eugene Chua.
“I would like to congratulate the whole Kusina Tsina management and staff for being Top 3 Merchant in August. Also a big thank you to you all, our loyal customers, suki and friends for your un-ending support. Again we did it keep it up guys. Success is ours not mine. As I always said if we want it, work for it.” – Eugene Chua, Owner, Kusina Tsina. (Eugene Chua with Vige Fajarillo, Account Manager, and Ms. Cindy Toh, Director of Cities and Expansion.)
“The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng mga suki and friends na laging sumosoporta sa amin. At sa lahat ng Kusina Tsina staff and admin congratulations tuloy tuloy lang tayo,” Eugene Chua