On Michaels's 31st birthday in 1989, Michael proudly celebrated the launch of Michael’s Oriental restaurant. This was a brave move, considering Michael’s only experience in catering was as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in England. The original Michael’s Oriental was located at Sunnybank Plaza Shopping Centre with 120 seats. Soon after it opened, the restaurant quickly developed a reputation for excellence. After 11 years and continued success, Michael’s Oriental outgrew its Sunnybank site and Michael decided that it was time to expand his business and relocate to a larger location.