Local Voice: Kenny Sung, Restaurateur

In our series Local Voice, we’ll be introducing you to locals and some of their favourite things to do in Stockholm.

Photo by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Meet Kenny Sung.

Kenny is a Chinese restaurateur born in Hong Kong. He’s been living in Sweden for close to 30 years, runs his own Chinese-Swedish fusion restaurant called Kennys Restaurang in Stockholm, and speaks four languages fluently – English, Swedish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

After living and studying in England in the 1970s, he relocated to Sweden to work with his cousin who had just opened the first Chinese restaurant in Sundbyberg, a suburb of Stockholm, in the early 1980s.

In Kenny’s words:

The first three months of my move to Sweden were challenging mostly because of the cold winter weather. Yes, England was cold but Sweden was even colder. Also back then, there wasn’t a large Chinese community here in Sweden. In terms of the language, because I could already speak English, it was my default way of communicating while I was learning Swedish. So I could always speak English to be understood.

For someone moving to Sweden without a family or job, it can be difficult to integrate but luckily, I already had family (my cousin) and also a job (working at his restaurant) when I moved to Sweden.

Fresh air, access to nature, and the kindness of the people are what I like most about living in Stockholm. It definitely gets challenging when the cold winter comes and there is still a relatively small Chinese community in town but I like living here.

Kenny’s restaurant serves traditional Swedish husmanskost such as raggmunk and stekt strömming alongside classic Cantonese dishes.

Author: Lola A. Åkerström

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger, and is also the Founder/Editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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