Arsonists broke into a Cheshire restaurant, poured petrol around the bar area and set it alight in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Police have issued an appeal following the attack on Yu restaurant in Alderley Edge, which occurred at about 3.30am.
Luckily, the resulting fire caused only relatively minor damage to the bar area, although smoke damage was more widespread through the building.
Detective Sergeant Simon Mills of Macclesfield Local Policing Unit said: "No-one was inside the restaurant when it was broken into and thankfully the fire went out by itself and caused only relatively minor damage to the premises.
"The consequences of this incident could have been far worse. If the fire had spread it could have endangered lives as well as neighbouring properties.
"We are determined to establish who started the fire and make them face the consequences of their actions. Enquiries are ongoing and as part of our investigation we want to speak to anyone who was in the area in the early hours of Saturday 9 May and witnessed anything suspicious.
"We also want to hear from anyone who thinks they may know who started the fire, or have CCTV or dashcam footage of them."
Yu restaurants were once named best UK Chinese restaurant on Gordon Ramsay-fronted TV show Ramsay's Best Restaurant.
Anyone with information or footage that may help the investigation should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 700902.