In 2018 there were fifty four Chinese restaurants in Springfield, Missouri; each and every one of which owes its existence to one man: David Leong. I have blogged in the past about David Leong and his family’s restaurant Leong’s Asian Diner in Springfield, Missouri. One week ago today Wing Yin “David” Leong passed away quietly at home, just days short of his 100th birthday.
During our Christmas holiday travels we visited family in Southwest Missouri. One evening we chose Leong’s Asian Diner in Springfield, Missouri. As we were seated, my Dad whispered to me, “Do you know who that gentleman is?” referring to an older man seated alone with two hands resting on a cane. After I said I didn’t, Dad said, “Well, that is David Leong himself.” When I looked confused, Dad stated, “He is the Original! He created Cashew Chicken.”