A taste of China in Gauteng

Private Property South Africa
Lucy Sarah Heaney

Experience authentic Chinese food at one of these oriental hotspots in Johannesburg.

With so many Asian restaurants and takeaway spots in and around Joburg, it can be hard to know exactly where you can go when you’re looking for authentic Chinese food. As tasty as deep-fried spring rolls and sweet-and-sour sauce are, we went on the hunt for the best spots to grab some authentic Chinese food in the city of gold.

Unsurprisingly, your first stop in a search for authentic Chinese food should be Cyrildene. Considered by many to be Joburg’s own mini-China, this area is packed with restaurants run by Asian families that serve delicious food. Make your way to New Chinatown on Derrick Avenue, where you will find Li and Shun De – our top two spots in the suburb.

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Li is a restaurant favourite not just with visitors, but with the Cyrildene locals too. A family-run establishment, there’s a focus on tasty food that’ll make you feel like you’re dining in China itself. Grab some friends for dinner and order the incredible cumin lamb or the pork dumplings. Honourable mentions also go to the salt and pepper calamari, bok choy, hat cake, and the generous portion sizes.

On a Sunday, head up the road to Shun De, which specialises in yum cha, or Chinese brunch. Each Sunday, the restaurant’s long food table is loaded with small dishes and guests are invited to load their plates with delicious options from the table like dim sum and soups.

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If you don’t feel like heading out to Cyrildene, make your way to Night Shanghai in Parkmore instead. When available, the crab is an absolute highlight, with the ribs and vegetable salads also excellent – go for the wood ear salad. But the shining attraction has to be the hot pot, which allows guests to cook their meat and vegetables in broth in the centre of the table. Load up on the supplied sauces, create your own concoction, and enjoy your evening in the middle of China.

Find them for yourself:

Li Restaurant and Shun De Restaurant Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene

Night Shanghai: 011 783 1108 , Corner of Elizabeth Avenue and 10th Street, Sandton

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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