Alan Yau (Chinese: 丘德威), OBE (born 11 November 1962) is a Hong Kong restaurateur who founded the Wagamama chain in the United Kingdom. Of Hakka ancestry, he was born in Sha Tau Kok, Hong Kong and moved to King's Lynn, Norfolk in 1975 with his family.

Alan Yau

Alan Yau 01.jpg
Born (1962-11-11) 11 November 1962 (age 60)
Occupation(s)Entrepreneur, restaurateur
Years active1992–present
Known forWagamama, Hakkasan, Busaba Eathai, Yauatcha, Princi, Park Chinois, Babaji, Softchow
TitleCEO of Softchow
AwardsOBE (2006), Michelin Star 2002 (Hakkasan), Michelin Star 2005 (Yauatcha)
Alan Yau

Alan Yau started his career in 1992 founding Wagamama and was appointed an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honour's List for services to the restaurant industry. Following that, Alan founded numerous ventures in gastronomy such as Hakkasan (awarded a Michelin Star in 2003), Yauatcha (awarded Michelin star in 2005) and Park Chinois. In 2016 Alan pivoted into the software world and founded Softchow, a taste aggregation platform.[1]

In April 2019, The Asian Awards honoured Alan for his culinary work with the "Outstanding Achievement in the Arts" award.[2]

Career highlightsEdit


Founded in 1992 by Yau,[3] Wagamama is a ramen bar with nearly 200 locations globally as of early 2019.[4] Yau left Wagamama in 1997.[5]

Busaba EathaiEdit

Founded in 1999, Busaba Eathai is a casual dining Thai restaurant chain.[6] Yau left Busaba Eathai in 2008.[7]


Founded in 1999, Hakkasan was initially a fine dining Chinese restaurant which later expanded to include nightlife entertainment. Hakkasan was awarded a Michelin Star in 2003[8] and Yau exited Hakkasan in 2008.[9][10]


Founded in 2004 by Yau, Yauatcha is dim sum restaurant and patisserie tea house chain. Yauatcha was awarded Michelin Star in 2005. Yau left Yauatcha in 2008.[10]

Princi UKEdit

In collaboration with Rocco Princi, Yau founded Princi in 2008;[5] an Italian Bakery in Soho. He sold his shares to Starbucks in 2016.[11]

Cha Cha MoonEdit

In 2008, a collaboration with Kuwaiti firm Kout Food Group saw Yau open Cha Cha Moon in Kingly Court, London, a ‘fast casual' Chinese noodle bar. A second location was launched in Whiteleys Shopping Centre, but closed down less than a year later to be transformed into Cafe Licious/Chi Wok/Pasta Rossa.[12] The Kingly Court location closed in 2016 as Kout Food Group began to withdraw from the UK market.


Founded in 2014 by Yau, Babaji was a Turkish Pide concept.[13]

Duck and RiceEdit

Founded in 2015 by Yau, Duck and Rice is a Chinese pub with comfort food in Soho, London.[14]

Park ChinoisEdit

Founded in 2015, Park Chinois is a Chinese old school entertainment restaurant.[15]

Similar to most of Yau's other creations, Park Chinois stays as authentic as possible to the restaurateur's heritage by drawing inspiration from popular dishes in 1930s Shanghai restaurants and supper clubs.[16]


Softchow was founded in 2017 by Yau as a "taste aggregation platform".[1][17]


  1. ^ a b "Yau comes out restaurant 'retirement' for third time to launch Yamabahce". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  2. ^ "The Asian Awards Winners". New Asian Post. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  3. ^ "My life in food: Alan Yau, Restaurateur". The Independent. 6 December 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  4. ^ Keil, Jennifer Gould (6 January 2019). "Wagamama opening third NYC location in Murray Hill". New York Post. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b "The Alan Yau factor: Wagamama to Park Chinois". Financial Times. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  6. ^ Burn-Callander, Rebecca (8 January 2014). "Authentic taste of Thailand appeals to cash-conscious Brits". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  7. ^ "The Tao of Yau". Evening Standard. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Michelin Star Restaurant | Award Winning". Hakkasan Restaurant. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Wagamama founder Alan Yau uses his noodle". MoneyWeek. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b Kühn, Kerstin (1 July 2008). "Alan Yau to turn Busaba Eathai into restaurant chain". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Starbucks Opens Princi Bakery in Seattle". 1 August 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Original Cha Cha Moon restaurant for sale". The Caterer. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  13. ^ "The man behind Hakkasan opens a Turkish-style pizzeria in London". Architectural Digest. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  14. ^ Kitson, Rod (2 April 2015). "Wagamama founder Alan Yau launches the Duck and Rice, a pub with a Chinese twist". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  15. ^ Armstrong, Hilary (5 May 2016). "New Openings: Park Chinois". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Park Chinois - A Glamorous Chinese Restaurant Near Berkeley Square, Mayfair". Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Alan Yau Wants To Create The 'Spotify' Of Food; The Man Behind Hakkasan Opens New Restaurant in Singapore". MICHELIN Guide. Retrieved 8 April 2019.