The Story of Dinkum Oriental

Our creator Ron Lai, is a chef with a passion. A passion for experimenting with traditional recipes to create new and exciting flavours, suitable for everyone’s taste buds.

Dinkum Oriental (originally known as Lai’s Food) began its journey in the port city of Fremantle in Western Australia in 1993 where Ron, owner and chef of the much loved Lai Lai Restaurant. Taking inspiration from the many years of experience in the kitchen and feedback from customers, Ron developed a variety of authentic Asian dishes that were loved by locals and those from abroad.

Though these carefully developed dishes were created with the Australian palate in mind, Ron incorporated cherished family recipes to keep true to their Asian flavour origins and a saying that was at the cornerstone of his cooking experience, “It is the sauce that wins your heart”.

Ron’s belief in that cornerstone steered him towards a new venture. Armed with his experience and knowing taste buds of his family, friends and customers, Ron began to supply his sauces to other restaurants who in turn also received great responses from their customers.

As the business grew, Ron decided to repackage the sauces to reflect the history and “life” that the sauces had taken and for this, a name was required. Through discussions with his family, it was clear that there were two key aspects making the sauces what they were;  the Asian and Australian qualities. It was this great combination that allowed the creation of such wonderful flavours, and it was only fitting that a name be found to reflect that. 

How to describe this wonderful merging? What word embodies the delicious joining of Asian heritage flavours and new findings within the Australian palate?  

Luckily there appeared to already be a word that existed and encapsulated the heart of the new product: Dinkum.

The word “dinkum” was reputedly coined on the Australian goldfields. It comes from one of the Chinese dialects widely spoken at the diggings: “din” and “kum” loosely translating as “true gold”.

Our sauces are simply that… true gold. 

And so, Dinkum Oriental was born.

Today, you can buy the Dinkum Oriental sauces from selected independently owned supermarkets, oriental supermarket shelves and wholesale distributors all over Australia.

Find a stockist