Jason Jiangnan Zheng’s Culinary Journey: Bringing Authentic Hong Kong Flavors to New York

In the aftermath of the Second World War, British culture made a significant impact on the cultural landscape of Hong Kong. This influence led locals to add milk to their tea and savor cakes, signifying a culinary transformation. In response to these changes, some enterprising Hongkongers established Cha Chaan Tengs, eateries designed to cater to the local audience at affordable prices. This movement gave rise to several iconic dishes, notably Hong Kong-style milk tea and the beloved pineapple bun, which earned their place in the first Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong. One such establishment that continues these traditions is Sing Choi Kee, led by the capable Jason Jiangnan Zheng, which offers a variety of delectable Hong Kong-style food and beverages.

Jason Jiangnan Zheng is the CEO at Sing Choi Kee, a Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng located in New York, acting as a bridge that connects the city’s diverse culinary scene with the authentic flavors of his hometown. He is not just a successful entrepreneur but also a cultural ambassador who aims to share the rich and diverse heritage of Hong Kong with his customers. Under Zheng’s guidance, Sing Choi Kee has expanded its presence within the US market and introduced new menu items that resonate with the evolving tastes of American diners.

The Diverse Background of Jason Jiangnan Zheng

Jason Jiangnan Zheng possesses diverse talents and deep-rooted passions that span multiple fields. With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, his expertise covers mergers and acquisitions, international business between China and the U.S., and restaurant franchise operations.

In 2006, Zheng earned an MBA in Executive Business and Corporate Communications from the HKU Business School, establishing a solid academic foundation for his future career. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts from Fujian Normal University in China, showcasing his diverse educational background.

Zheng’s professional journey started as a Retail Director at Fujian Dongbai Group, a commercial real estate company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (600693. SHA). In this role, he played a pivotal role in supporting restaurant brands like McDonald’s and Papa John’s after they signed their lease agreements. This hands-on experience gave him valuable insights into the restaurant franchise business, fueling his passion for the field.

Sing Choi Kee: Spreading Delicious Delicacies

In 2021, Sing Choi Kee emerged as a unique Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng, expanding its presence to the United States and China. With 16 locations in China and a global reach, this Chinese restaurant brand aimed to share its culinary expertise with the bustling streets of New York City. Sing Choi Kee takes pride in its rich culinary heritage, a dedication to authentic flavors, and an inviting atmosphere reminiscent of the lively streets of Hong Kong.

Situated in Flushing and Manhattan, Sing Choi Kee offers an array of authentic Hong Kong-style food and beverages. The menu offers a delightful variety, including Hong Kong-style French Toast, pineapple bun, Slippery Eggs Over Rice, Hong Kong Lemon Tea, and the renowned Hong Kong milk tea. This culinary selection includes mouthwatering egg-over-rice dishes and tantalizing pasta options, meticulously crafted to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Sing Choi Kee’s secret to ensuring customer satisfaction is simple but effective: they prioritize their people, cultivate a happy and dedicated team, and lead them to consistently do the right thing every day. Customers have praised the restaurant for its tasty food, ample portions, reasonable prices, and friendly service.

Navigating Leadership

Zheng holds a crucial role within the organization. He underscores the trend of CEOs becoming more hands-on, similar to industry giants like Elon Musk, who are practically always working on the front line. In his specific industry, this hands-on approach is vital. He acknowledges the importance of personally engaging with franchisees, getting to know them, and understanding their goals. This interaction allows him to make well-informed decisions, a role he describes as being a “decision maker.”

Notably, one of his notable achievements was the acquisition of Sing Choi Kee China in 2022, a significant milestone in establishing Sing Choi Kee as an international franchise brand.

For Jason Jiangnan Zheng, the role of a decision-maker carries its own pressure. To handle this, he employs a unique approach – playing video games to stay calm. This unconventional method demonstrates his ability to balance the demanding responsibilities of leadership while maintaining composure.

Building a Strong Team

Zheng proudly talks about his exceptional team, which extends across both China and the U.S. They work together to harness the resources of both countries, ultimately boosting Sing Choi Kee’s competitiveness. This team embodies a blend of experience, energy, and passion. For him, the secret to sustaining motivation and productivity is clear and simple: choosing the right people for the team and avoiding wasting time on the wrong ones. This thoughtful recruitment approach inspires the team and contributes to the company’s ongoing success.

Upcoming Ventures

Zheng has some exciting plans in the works. He is teaming up with Andrew J. Sherman from Brown Rudnick to develop a franchise FDD and franchise system. Andrew J. Sherman, an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and the Georgetown University Law Center, brings valuable expertise to the collaboration. The most thrilling news is that they are on track to introduce the Sing Choi Kee franchise by the end of 2023. The anticipation for this launch is significant, promising new opportunities and growth for the company.

Balancing Work and Life

In addition to his business endeavors, Zheng leads a fulfilling life. Zheng is also a dedicated sports car enthusiast and enjoys exploring new destinations. Furthermore, he operates a used car dealership that allows him to blend his passion for sports cars with his business pursuits. This diverse range of interests brings richness to his life outside the corporate realm.


“People first; build a great team. Make them happy, and lead the team to do the right thing every day.”

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