Former Fortune Palace owners open new restaurant

Choa Hui “Mike” Chuen and Bobo Liew have good news for fans of Fortune Palace, one of the area’s premier Chinese restaurants until its closing in 2012. The husband-and-wife team, who owned the North Raleigh landmark for the last 10 years of its existence, have opened Red Pepper on New Bern Avenue.

While the name and location are different, the new restaurant’s menu revives many of the Fortune Palace favorites.

“Beef chow fun and Singapore rice noodle are already our best sellers,” says Liew, who runs the front of the house while her husband does the cooking. “And we still make the best salt-and-pepper fried calamari.”

That’s not to say that the new restaurant’s menu is a clone of the old one. Fortune Palace’s famously extensive selection of authentic Chinese and Chinese-American fare has been pared down to make room for a sampling of the Thai repertoire.

The offering also includes a taste of locally hard-to-find Malaysian fare, which had become something of a signature cuisine for Chuen in the later Fortune Palace years. Anyone in search of Malaysian coconut curry noodle soup will find it listed under the “Chef’s Specials” heading, available with your choice of chicken or shrimp. Sambal and other Malaysian specialties aren’t listed on the menu, but Bobo Liew says her husband will be happy to make them on request, time and ingredients permitting.

Red Pepper (4121-109 New Bern Ave.; 919-594-1006; is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and on Sundays from noon until 9 p.m.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also reports restaurant news. Tune in to his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at