15 of the most delightful dim sum spots in SA

Where to get the best wontons, dumplings and pot stickers in Cape Town, Joburg, Durban, PE and Pretoria.

20 Jan 2017
 
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Cape Town

South China Dim Sum Bar, CBD
A Cape Town favourite for traditional dim sum and other Chinese dishes like broths and noodles. The space is tiny, with the exposed kitchen and rustic dining area fluidly connected by the movement of staff and paper plates streaming from kitchen to tables. Seats are made from raw wooden crates, the walls are decorated with old martial arts posters, and food is served in eco-friendly paper plates and bowls. The whole feel is that of a bustling street food market or restaurant in the depths of China.

south china dim suim, ceili mcgeever



Beijing Opera, De Waterkant
Food24 recently revisited this dim sum spot and found that a few years on, it's still as good as ever! Beijing Opera always has a nice variety on their menu, with a changing specials board. You'll find pot stickers, steamed dumplings and wontons as well as other Chinese dishes like boa, gao and broths. The space is modern, with shared tables in the centre and striking large dome red and black lights.

Ceili McGeever


Taste of Mongolia, Newlands
We've tried this place a couple of times now, and it really is a hidden gem. Situated on Newlands Main Road, you'll notice this hole-in-the-wall by it's bright fluorescent lighting, exposing the handful of customers it can fit inside. The food is authentic through and through as the restaurant is owned and run by a Mongolian family. There is a lot of dim sum and you can choose between lamb, pork, beef, chicken or prawn and then specify steamed, boiled or fried. The world is your oyster at Taste of Mongolia, and it's really good value for money as well!

taste of mongolia


Hesheng, Sea Point
Hesheng is the real-deal when it comes to Chinese restaurants. There are a string of authentic Chinese spots in Sea Point, but when it comes to dim sum, these chefs know what's what. The homemade dumplings come in portions of 12 and range between R50 and R60 (serious value for money) depending on your filling and you can choose between steamed or fried. The restaurant is tiny and if you blink you might miss it along the main road, so keep a beady eye out. 

Shin Thai, Fish Hoek and Sea Point
Shin Thai serves a little bit of everything from Asia's myriad of cuisines. Sushi, salad, noodles, soups, spring rolls, everything! Both restaurants offer an unpretentious setting with a bold Thai-inspired decor and a retro feel. Shin Thai do a selection of dumplings in a portion so you get to try a few kinds, otherwise try the veg and cream cheese steamed dumplings, or the beef and mushroom wonton.

Joburg

The Good Luck Club, Emarentia
The Good Luck Club, is a trendy, contemporary Asian restaurant specialising in dim sum and noodles. The space is cosy with a subtle quikiness mostly in the form of a certain cat that appears in the wallpaper. Dim sum fillings include combinations that are popular in SA cuisine, like the spinach cream cheese combo and the butternut, mushroom, spinach combo. The merging of local cuisine and Asian cuisine make The Good Luck Club unique, but the majority of the main dishes are more traditional Chinese.

The Good Luck Club
(Image by The Good Luck Club)

So Yum, Hyde Park
So Yum is a Yum Cha focused restaurant which is the term used for the Chinese tradition of drinking tea and eating dim sum. The space is sleek with black walls and golden lighting and has an overall sophisticated feel. The food matches this with careful presentation. You'll find the traditional steamed translucent dim sum, a wide variety of teas and main dishes. The dim sum menu features exciting fillings like crab and cream cheese, and scallop as well as spring rolls, sesame prawn toast, wontons and more.

dim sum, so yum, hyde park
(Image by So Yum)


YuME, Parkhurst
Set on bustling 4th Avenue, YuMe is well-known for their sushi, but they serve great dim sum as well. It's best to mix and match between the two. They also have 3 other branches around Joburg in Montecasino, Clearwater and Dainfern. You can choose between steamed dumplings or pot stickers. Try the beef, shitaki mushroom and spring onion as well as the chicken, ginger and spring onion, and also the spinach cream cheese.

The Great Eastern Food Bar, Melville
This restaurant is known for their outstanding Asian food all-round, having earned the Eat Out best Asian restaurant for last year. They serve a bit of everything, from ramen to noodles to baos and of course dim sum. The dim sum menu is small but good. You'll find gyoza of kimchi and vegetables, spicy wontons and Sichuan dumplings which are dumplings served in broth or sauce.

Shun De Chinese, Cyrildene
Situated in Joburg's China town, this is the most dim sum of places on the strip. Shun De Chinese is very traditional in that they have not tried to Westernise the menu in any way. It's most suited to Chinese expats, those familiar with Chinese food and those looking for a real Chinese experience and not afraid to try something a little different. Try the fried Northern dumplings and the prawn and chive steamed dumplings.



Durban

Green Mango,
Sushi is the main attraction here but don't forget about the small selection of steamed dumplings on offer. You can choose from vegetable, chicken or prawn filling all served in a traditional bamboo basket. Other than that, the menu is extensive with a Thai section, a Japanese section and a sushi menu. The food is authentic and made with years of experience in Asian cuisine.

Mooki Noodle Power, Glenwood
Mooki is a very down-to-earth, quirky noodle bar, specialising in Chinese cuisine. Customers love it for its authenticity and good value. Pictures of animated characters and colours of red and green make up the theme and general playful and cheerful mood of Mooki. So if you're looking for dim sum and other Chinese dishes with a super laid-back vibe, then Mooki is for you. Choose from pork or chicken wontons, and pork or chicken dumplings in a broth.

Port Elizabeth

Foo Jiu Sushi,
Food Jiu offers an extensive menu that connect Japanese and Chinese cuisine. You have the best of both worlds with authentic sushi cooked right before you as well as Tepanyaki dishes, stir fries and Chinese starters like the dumplings. Dumplings are either steamed or fried into a wonton. It's a great place for dinner, with an authentic Asian aesthetic and warm ambience.



Mellas Dim Sum and Noodle Bar,
Mellas is here to provide for any dim sum cravings your might have. They offer exceptional wontons, steamed dumplings, pot stickers and wonton soup, in a great variety! After-all it is their specialty and they do it extremely well. Try the prawn and coriander steamed dumplings, the chicken wonton soup, the spinach and cream cheese money bags, or just about anything - you cannot go wrong.

Mellas, PE, dim sum
(Image by Mellas)



Pretoria

Wing Hin, Menlo Park
Wing Hin serves traditional Chinese food in a typical Chinese setting with round tables and lazy Susans to swing around and share food. The menu is huge! You will never be at a loss for something to eat because there is something for everyone and always a dish to try for the first time. The portions are generous and enable sharing as well. There isn't a lot of dim sum on the menu but there are wontons, a wonton soup and fried pork dumplings.

- Food24

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