Our Story



Our origins began in 1950 when Lily Kwok (our grandmother)  started off as a maid for a high powered English family. She courageously traveled from Hong Kong to UK on a ship where the journey lasted over 30 days. During that time she crafted her recipes and learnt how to make amazing flavours aboard this ship which docked at each port along the journey of East to West. She served a  family called The Woodmans whom she was treated like family which was unheard of in those days. After the death of Mrs Woodman it was revealed  that she  left a small lump sum for Lily in her will and with that seed capital she started her first restaurant in 1950’s Middleton. Lily Kwok touched thousands of the locals in Middleton with her food and sauces even serving the likes of Cliff Richard, The Shadows and The Beatles. Lily Kwok’s heritage will continue through her grand-daughter Lisa Tse who is the CEO of Sweet Mandarin and SM Sauces.


Lisa Tse the CEO has stewarded the brand Sweet Mandarin into the 21st century by turning the once small pot of sauce for takeaway into a thriving retail sauce manufacturing business. The traditions of manufacturing the sauces in a methodical process is still the same; the only difference is the quantity and the packaging. Sweet Mandarin Sauces has captured a unique market for Coeliacs, where traditional family recipes are made to the same formula and using gluten free ingredients it has allowed Sweet Mandarin to be the leading Chinese sauce brand in the world.



Sweet Mandarin Sauces are made with love. All our sauces are based on traditional family recipes made with the greatest of care over four generations for you to enjoy around your family table. Our adventure through food includes winning Gordon Ramsay’s F Word ‘Best Local Chinese’ (beating 10,000 restaurants), Dragons’ Den and being awarded Her Majesty The Queen’s MBE for services to food and drink.

These sauces can be used for dipping, marinade, stir fries. All the range are gluten free, nut free and have no mono sodium glutamate or artificial colours.

CHIEF SAUCE MAKER – LISA TSE MBE (services to Food and Drink)

Lisa Tse is the CEO of Sweet Mandarin the award winning restaurant in Northern Quarter, Manchester and Chief Sauce Maker of Sweet Mandarin Sauces. She has been cooking from the age of 11 years old in the family business. Lisa also is co-author of three chinese cookbooks with her sister Helen Tse of which two are Times Bestsellers. As well as cooking she is the creative influence in the new products and any spare time she is tweeting her foodie journey. She is passionate about speaking on the speaker circuit about entrepreneurship and women in business. Follow Lisa on Instagram


This is the picture of Lily Kwok’s (Lisa’s grandmother) and Mabel’s (Lisa’s mother) first shop on Taylor Street, Middleton, UK in 1950s which was established before Manchester Chinatown. The food and sauces at the Lung Fung Restaurant was a hit amongst the community even The Beatles, Sir Cliff Richard and The Hollies.

Sweet Mandarin continues the legacy and tradition of making each sauce with the traitional recipes that has been passed down from generation to generation. Each bottle will always be made with love from our family to your family

Best wishes and sweet dishes. It’s my utmost honor to continue to serve the next generations Sweet Mandarin sauces.

With Love 


Chief Sauce Maker

3rd generation restauranteur, 4th generation sauce maker