Newtownbutler Chinese proves to be a cracker

WHEN Tony and Becky He met in a Chinese takeaway in Newtownbutler in 2008, it was love at first sight. Sixteen years later they’ve formed a formidable partnership and own a chain of top-class takeaways.

Originally from Fucheng in China, Tony He, the head chef at the Lucky House Takeaway, packed his bags and made the challenging 5,000-odd mile trip to Ireland.

The aspiring chef grew up in an underprivileged area in the Hebei province in China. Many of the local residents lived in poverty and the now father-of-four wanted to learn English and train as a chef.


“I didn’t have to go to China to find him, I found him [Tony] in Newtown,” laughed his wife Becky, who’s originally from Fermanagh.

“I was working in the Chinese in Newtownbutler from I was 14. On a break from Dublin, Tony worked with his cousins at China City in Enniskillen and the Chinese in Newtown and I met him there.

“Whenever we got together, I was 16 and we decided that we’d take the business over and things have been going well ever since.”

The pair, who have four children together, created a unique business plan. They established the Lucky House Takeaway brand, opening premises in Main Street Newtownbuter and Ballygawley.

The He’s brought the renowned Chinese dishes and culture to their takeaway in Newtownbutler, but embarked on creating a healthier regime, which has gone down a treat with the active Fermanagh community.

“Tony’s a great chef and he’s always thinking about how he can improve. Even now when we’re doing well, he still thinks about what he could do better and how he could improve,” said Becky.

“Our menu has no MSG [Monosodium glutamate], no additives, no food colouring, no salt and the sugar that we use is rock sugar. There’s no fat in our sugar so it’s healthier than anywhere else.”


The Covid-19 pandemic gave the head chef the chance to explore new dishes. When the takeaway is closed on Monday and Tuesday, he also spends time creating original sauces from scratch.

“After the [Covid-19] pandemic, everyone was so health conscious. When we changed our menu to be healthier, that’s sort of when business got good and made all the difference,” said Becky.

“Here in the community, everyone is involved in sport and fitness and football. People want to have a treat, but they don’t want to go too overboard and that’s what makes us different.”

The majority of the dishes served by the Newtownbutler takeaway are gluten-free. That’s a welcome treat for people from across Fermanagh and the border regions who are living with celiac disease.

“It makes all the difference because those people that can’t eat out or have a takeaway would come here because they know they can eat here,” said Becky.

The He’s are currently in the process of a major redevelopment project at a premises in Lisnaskea, with the aim of opening a third Lucky House Takeaway.

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