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Review: Authentic Chinese dim sum at Taste of Mongolia in Newlands

This mom ‘n pop dumpling kitchen offers an A-Z of authentic, homemade dim sum in a tiny joint that will transport those lucky enough to have visited Hong Kong straight back to the city.

Photo by Graham Howe.

Steamed in bamboo containers, the dumplings are light and ethereal. Photo by Graham Howe.

Best for: Chinese dim sum, dumplings, soup and salads
Price for three courses: R90
Corkage: Unlicensed. BYO. No charge.
Parking: Plenty in guarded parking lot and on-street
Star ratings: Food 4, service: 4, ambience: 3

Food

Opened in September 2016, in the little space next to Kobe sushi, Taste of Mongolia is run by the delightful Jianli Liu who left a career in accountancy to take up cooking. Steamed, boiled or fried; stuffed with really tasty lamb, chicken, beef, prawn or vegetables, dumplings are the main, comforting dish available here.

Perhaps the Cantonese name says it best; dim sum translates as ‘little hearts’. Photo by Graham Howe.

Perhaps the Cantonese name says it best; dim sum translates as ‘little hearts’. Photo by Graham Howe.

A popular snack throughout China, the ubiquitous yum cha lunchtime treats go by many names from won tons in Hong Kong to momo in Tibet and guo tei in Mongolia. Perhaps their Cantonese name is the most apt though; dim sum’s literal translation is ‘little hearts’.

Taste of Mongolia's Jianli Liu left a career as an accountant to open her dumpling shop. Photo by Graham Howe.

Taste of Mongolia’s Jianli Liu left a career as an accountant to open her dumpling shop. Photo by Graham Howe.

Start with salted edamame beans and fried, salted Mongolian-style peanut snacks. Don’t miss the exotic seaweed or healthy mu-er (wood ear fungus) salad, thinly shaved, served in a piquant chilli and soya dressing. The hot and sour noodle soup is also delicious and very filling.

Then move on to mix and match a selection of dim sum served with fried rice. Try large pork baozi (steamed bun), the fried guo tei (elongated dumplings), cha shao (steamed BBQ pork) and the fluffy purse dumplings. Subtle spices enhance the dumplings and salad with hints of sesame seed oil, pickled ginger, cumin and exotic Asian mushroom. Steamed in bamboo containers, the dumplings are healthy, light and ethereal, a delicious mouthful, served with a fragrant soya-based dip.

Drinks

Try the jasmine tea or a wide variety of sodas. Taste of Mongolia doesn’t have a liquor license, so bring your own at no cost or pick up a bottle at the local Woolworths on nearby Dean Street.

Ambience

Informal and intimate with two to three cheek-by-jowl tables, including the main communal table for six.

Service

Friendly, quick service from the chef proprietor who offers helpful advice on the different styles of dumpling.

The affordable menu offers a taste of authentic dim sum. Photo by Graham Howe.

In addition to the dim sum, don’t miss the exotic seaweed or healthy mu-er (wood ear fungus) salads, thinly shaved, served in a piquant chilli and soya dressing. Photo by Graham Howe.

And…

A chalkboard offers daily special combos and takeaways of twenty dumplings at a bargain of between R68 and R88.

Eat Out reviewers dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

 

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