Former Bournemouth restaurateur Chi Ming Pang, has died aged 91.

Known to everyone as ‘Pang’, he fed generations at his restaurants ‘The Hong Kong Chinese’ in Boscombe and later, ‘Mr Pang’s Restaurant’ in Springbourne. Pang and his late wife Karleen made countless friends over the years, and initially introduced many local people to Chinese food.

Through the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, Mr Pang’s restaurants were a byword for good food and sociable company.

The restaurants received many accolades including national reviews.

Amongst their customers were visiting politicians and show business personalities including entertainers and celebrities like Danny La Rue, Cilla Black, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Vaughan and Harry Redknapp.

Everyone loved Pang and Karleen who, with their daughters Kim and Ka- Ling, served wonderful food and ensured that Chinese New Year and other cultural events were particularly special - they were one of the first provincial restaurants in the UK to import a dancing dragon from China.

Pang was not only a marvellous self-taught cook but could also skilfully carve vegetables and fruit into exotic flower and animal shapes.

Pang was born in a village called Fanling, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, where he and his mother lived during the Japanese occupation.

He came to England by ship, in the 1950s, to make a new life. At first he worked in London before finding a job as a waiter at the Nan King Restaurant in Bournemouth’s Albert Road.

In 1957 he met his future wife Karleen - a local nurse at Christchurch Hospital. She was a customer at the restaurant and Pang initially wooed her by teaching her how to use chopsticks.

They married three years later and set about opening their own restaurant. They quickly built a solid reputation and loyal clientele.

The Pang’s eventually retired in 1999, closing their Holdenhurst Road restaurant and devoting their lives to enjoying time with Kim and Ka-ling and their grandchildren James, Aimee, Chloe, Daniel and Thomas.

Pang still made regular trips to Hong Kong to visit relatives, and was hoping for more travelling adventures when lockdown struck.

In February this year he received a diagnosis of gall-bladder cancer and died peacefully at the Macmillan Unit in Christchurch earlier this month.

He spent his final months surrounded by his family that by now included two great grandchildren.

In a tribute the family spoke of his love and devotion to family time. They thanked him for teaching them the joys of good food, cooking and eating.

Ka-ling said: “Daddy loved being recognised. Everywhere we went someone would greet him. Even in his last few days he managed a smile as one of the nurses recognised him and the doctor at Macmillan Christchurch remembered being taken, aged 18, by her parents to the restaurant, before she went to China. He was strong and dignified to the very end – an absolute legend.”