Raised in Hong Kong by Malaysian parents, Alex Au-Yeung emigrated to the U.S. at age 17 and made Houston his home.
Au-Yeung returned to Hong Kong and studied with Cantonese chefs, working intensely for no pay to learn their craft. In 2008, he returned to Houston, partnering to open a Malaysian restaurant in Chinatown. By 2018, Au-Yeung was ready for a new challenge and opened Phat Eatery in Katy Asian Town, featuring Malaysian specialties scratch-made with fresh ingredients. In its first year, the Houston Chronicle and CultureMap named Phat Eatery one of Houston’s best new restaurants.
Early success and critical acclaim, including as one of Houston Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurants, led to a restaurant expansion to accommodate twice as many guests. In 2022, Au-Yeung received the distinguished honor of being selected as a James Beard Awards Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas and for “Chef of the Year” in CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards. The restaurant was also nominated for CultureMap’s “Restaurant of the Year” two years in a row, named by Eater among “The 38 Essential Houston Restaurants,” and was highlighted by The New York Times as one of “America’s Next Great Restaurants” in the suburbs.