Former Canton Chinese owners garner awards

Restaurant named among nation's best

Blythe Terrell

On the 'Net

Location: 3320 N. Garfield Ave., Loveland, CO

Call: 970-663-1188

— The former owners of the Canton Chinese Restaurant have cooked up a winner in Loveland.

Cheou and Ney Hoa Cheng came to Steamboat Springs after fleeing Cambodia in 1978. The Steamboat community helped them survive and succeed, the Chengs said.

The Chengs started the Chinese restaurant in 1983, running it until they sold it in about 1999. They left Steamboat in 2000 to retire – but they just couldn’t stay out of the restaurant business.

The couple started Canton Palace Asian Bistro and Osaka Japanese Steakhouse in Loveland in 2002.

“We didn’t plan to open another restaurant,” Cheou Cheng said. “When we came here, we had opportunity to do it. We looked at the location and said, ‘That’s a good location,’ so we decided to do it. That’s my specialty.”

Newspaper readers voted it Loveland’s best Chinese restaurant from 2005 to 2007, and the Chinese Restaurant News named it among the top 100 Chinese restaurants in the nation.

Canton Palace earned the latter ranking in December. It was placed in two sets of listings; one lauded overall excellence and another highlighted eateries with the most nutritious menus.

Cheou Cheng said his new restaurant differs from the family’s Steamboat venture.

“Steamboat and Loveland are totally different towns,” he said. “In Steamboat, we just went with a normal menu. Here, I’m creating so many new dishes – my own dishes.”

The Canton Palace offers Thai and Vietnamese food, along with Chinese. Some of the menu highlights are the hot and spicy garlic butter shrimp, the lemon pepper prawns, the Vietnamese flank steak and the Thai basil chicken, Cheng said.

The Canton in Steamboat didn’t grab similar accolades, he said, but Cheng and his wife do miss the town. The Chengs raised their two children, Johnny and Jennifer, in Steamboat, and Cheou Cheng said he loved the skiing. But he and his wife were done dealing with the powder dumps, so they moved on, he said.

“We still have quite a bit of friends there,” he said. “We don’t go back because we don’t have time.”

Their old Steamboat friends occasionally make it into the Loveland spot, Cheou Cheng said. Steamboat resident Al Luce said he used to be a neighbor of the Chengs’ and has visited Canton Palace.

“It’s wonderful,” Luce said. “I appreciate that they are fair-priced and reasonably priced, and it’s good food.”

Cheng said people often swing by with their college-aged children.

“The kids, when they go to CSU in Fort Collins, the kids stop here, their parents stop here,” he said. “I’m so happy they come in here.”

Luce said the Chengs were a great part of the Steamboat community while they were here.

“They’re people making the American dream – whatever that is – work,” he said. “You could put ‘work’ in capital letters. They’ve definitely worked very hard.”

– To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail

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