Born in Hong Kong in 1946, Mathew Chan’s life took one of its many twists and turns when he was sent from Hong Kong to boarding school in Albury at the age of fifteen.
In the early sixties, Mathew worked as a waiter at the Nanking Restaurant in Campbell Street and the Golden Pagoda in Kings Cross before moving to the Mandarin Club in 1966.
With popular Sydney restaurateur Mathew Chan at the helm, the Peacock Gardens has been a huge success since its opening in 1975. Its consistently fine food and personal service continues to delight patrons from all over Sydney. Mathew’s long-term commitment to running a first-class restaurant is reflected in every detail of the operations. The Peacock Gardens has won numerous awards, including the American Express Restaurant Award for Outstanding Performance & Service in the category of Best Asian Restaurants.
Mathew Chan was inducted Hall of Fame in 2003
Mathew’s first restaurant was the popular Pagewood Kitchen Take-Away in 1974. This was of course, just a stepping stone to Mathew’s Peacock Gardens in Crows Nest. “Born” in December 1975, Peacock Gardens has changed the face of Chinese dining in Sydney. Not only did Mathew introduce innovative dishes like Sang Choy Bow from Hong Kong backing the seventies, he established a standard of style and service not previously seen in Chinese restaurants in this city.
It seems that Mathew knows every customer who walks through the door by name. And it is the relationships that he has developed with the clientele of Peacock Gardens that has seen the restaurant not just survive but flourish for thirty two years.
Mathew Chan is a man who inspires loyalty from his customers and his staff. Two of Peacock Gardens waiters – John and Ricky have been with Mathew for over thirty years. When Mathew suffered a severe stroke in 1993, the staff simply took over the restaurant and the customers kept coming. Mathew bravely returned nine months later, albeit with a (now discarded) walking stick to do what he does best – greeting his guests and making them welcome, seven days a week.
In a city where restaurants come and go like fashion, Peacock Gardens longevity makes it remarkable. What makes it unique is Mathew Chan, a restaurateur loved by his customers.