Venues

Chef Pon’s Asian Kitchen

Chef Pon’s Asian Kitchen
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  • Phone Number 021 465 5846/6058
  • Location 12 Mill Street, Gardens, Cape Town
  • Website URL http://www.chefpons.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Dinner: Monday to Sunday (Takeaways from 5.30pm) 6pm to 10.30pm

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Cost
R85 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture
Food
Asian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40

Critic's review

Bianca Coleman

Food
Whatever region of the Far East you feel like sampling, you’ll find something here, from Thai curries to Chinese noodles. The menu is vast, starting with Asian-style tapas like satay’s and spring rolls, wontons, and dim sum. The traditional Thai soups can be found, as well as tofu miso soup and chicken sweet corn. Thereafter, everything is divided into groups – chicken, duck, beef, lamb, ostrich, curries, Szechuan, seafood, vegetarian, noodles, and rice – with several options under each heading. It’s like a mini tour of South East Asia in one place. A mixed starter platter is a good place to get going, with chicken and beef satay, prawn toast, spring rolls, chicken in seaweed and fried calamari. The presentation, it must be said, is a touch bland. Follow that with an all-time favourite: aromatic crispy duck with pancakes. The Szechuan beef with orange and cinnamon is tender and full of flavour. If you’re feeling adventurous and your palate is inclined towards heat, consider ordering dishes like sizzling Mongolian lamb, Angry duck or Thailand’s infamously hot jungle curry.

Drinks
A good selection of well-priced wines supplement the Asian beers and spirits.

Service
Friendly and casual. You pretty much get left to your own devices and order when you’re ready. There was no offer to explain anything on the menu.

Ambience
It’s a large restaurant with two seating sections. If the main are feels a bit cavernous and cold, head to the smaller room on the left.

And…
Take a group of friends so you can order more dishes, and share.

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  • Graham Howe

    Food
    The exotic pan-Asian fare at this landmark restaurant takes your tastebuds for a walk on the wild side, from Mongolia to Japan, Indonesia to Singapore, Thailand to Vietnam. Start by sharing starter plates of Asian tapas, which range from dim sum, satay and tempura to prawn toast and wontons. The extensive menu can be overwhelming for newcomers, and the regulars tend to stick to their favourites, prepared freshly to chef Pon’s authentic recipes, Asian ingredients and spices.

    Duck flies out of the kitchen as the main ingredient in standout dishes such as imperial stir-fried duck, fiery Thai duck jungle curry, angry duck and Szechuan ginger duck. While the Thai curries range across the green, red and spice spectrum, many regulars simply stick to sizzling Mongolian lamb or garlic and black pepper prawns. There is a good choice of stir-fries and noodle dishes for vegetarians, and also unusual Mongolian or Thai style ostrich curries for visitors.

    To end the meal, cleanse your palate with an exotic dessert of lychee, rambutan (a tropical fruit), or fried banana with ice cream, or opt for the sago with coconut milk.

    Drinks
    They offer a good selection of Asian beer and spirits, along with Cape wines on a well-priced wine-list.

    Service 
    Knowledgeable staff will guide you through an extensive menu and help you to mix ’n match savoury, spicy, salty, sweet and sour flavours.

    Ambience 
    This is relaxed dining in an intimate setting with dark woods and exotic décor.

    And…
    While a chilli meter registers the heat level of dishes from hot to “it’s on fire", every dish is also marked with its country of origin, from M (Mongolia) to Vietnam (V).

    (July 2014)

     

  • Many fans call this their all-time favourite restaurant in Cape Town. Chef Pon is a legend in the city. Make a reservation for
    consistently great Asian food. Highlights on the varied menu include Mongolian lamb and Imperial duck. The romantic lighting and dark wooden décor make this a perfect spot for a date.
  • Food
    Asia on a plate is what you can expect from this popular joint that dishes up a variety of foods from various eastern countries. Expect a large range of options including sweet and sour pork with peppers; chicken with cashew nuts; roast duck with chilli; or good old Thai green curry. The standard of the food is consistent and it’s an ideal spot for a quick weekday supper or a night out with friends.

    Wine
    A basic wine list, so rather try some of the imported beers or sake to go with the Oriental flavours.

    Service
    The service is speedy and well informed as this is a buzzing spot.

    Ambience
    A recent revamp has spruced up the dark oriental interior, with Thai wall hangings and screens adding the necessary mood.

    And...
    It’s a relaxed spot so there’s no need to dress up. (LvA, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Great spot for authentic Asian dining. It’s a great choice if you feel like a casual Chinese dinner, but perhaps something more special than your local Chinese takeaway. We went on a Monday evening so the restaurant was quite empty, but it still had a lovely ambience – it feels and looks like a proper Chinese restaurant. Our waitress was so friendly, smiley and informative of the menu which always contributes to a good experience. We ordered the chilli basil beef, spicy chicken, and sizzling Mongolian lamb dishes. The food arrived really quickly (between 5 & 10 mins – perhaps too quick for some but we didn’t mind!) and all dishes were incredibly tasty. You have to add your noodles/rice as extras to your dish so it can be a bit pricey for the quantity you receive, but the quality and taste was excellent. Will be back to sample some of the other menu items!
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  • If I'm craving good Thai cuisine, this is the place i'll come. After a visit to Thailand 2 years ago, all I wanted was to experience Mussaman curry and a thirst-quenching Singha beer again. I was so stoked to find both of these things at Chef Pons Asian Kitchen. Another favourite main of mine is the Indonesian Bali curry: the perfect balance of sweet and salty - I have yet to experience anything like it! As far as price goes, it's a little bit more than your average, roughly R100, because side dishes come separately. Service is swift and efficient, and ambiance is great for dates as it's dark with candles on the tables. All-round one of my favourites.
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  • OMG NOOOO. Never go here. This was hands down the WORST dining experience I've ever had in Cape Town. I still regret spending a rare date night here... totally awful. The food was terrible from the start, greasy and over sweetened! Tom Yum soup - too sweet! Duck spring rolls - tasteless. Noodles - inedible. Spur is better than this restaurant. Can't fault my waitress though, she was pleasant and attentive. Sadly, the cook was not.
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  • OMG NOOOO. Never go here. This was hands down the WORST dining experience I've ever had in Cape Town. I still regret spending a rare date night here... totally awful. The food was terrible from the start, greasy and over sweetened! Tom Yum soup - too sweet! Duck spring rolls - tasteless. Noodles - inedible. Spur is better than this restaurant. Can't fault my waitress though, she was pleasant and attentive. Sadly, the cook was not.
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  • heard so much about the food here but really was nothing special, outdated decor , basic food
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  • Helloo, people, this place closed down last year already!
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  • If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Unless we’re talking about Chef Pon’s Asian Kitchen, in which case I suggest you come right in!

    The pan-Asian menu includes a range of dishes from China, Mongolia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan. This makes the mixed Asian platter (for two) a good starter if you’d like to sample a wide range of tastes. After chicken and beef satay, fried calamari, spring rolls, chicken in seaweed, and prawn toast, I was excited to try more!

    The menu has a number of options for main meals, including seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, and vegetarian. Alas, it doesn’t indicate what dishes are from which country (unlike the online version, which does). But, thanks to the help of the Eat Out magazine, I’d already decided what I wanted: the Imperial Duck (stir-fried with Chinese mushrooms, cashew nuts, and lychee). This, much like the Mongolian lamb my friend had, was absolutely delicious and perfectly portioned to hit the spot.

    Part of the why Chef Pon’s has become such a popular spot over the last decade (and is one of Eat Out magazine’s best Asian restaurants in Cape Town) must be due to the great value. While the online prices are a little out of date, the cost for the starter platter, two main meals, a bottle of wine, and two fortune cookies (“your ability to juggle many things will take you far in life”), was around R400.

    Of course, with such great value, the place can get quite busy. We arrived at 19:00 and enjoyed really quick service because we were the only people there. About 45 minutes later, our waiter was handling three other tables and had to be assisted by other staff members every now and then.

    Although we were in an out in 90 minutes, it’s a good idea to come early if you’re in a rush (or just order takeaways to enjoy at home). Then again, with food this good, it’s probably a good idea to take your time because!
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  • Food all tastes the same. Do not consider take aways - the food is dreadful. The certainly do not know the difference between Vietnamese spring rolls and Chinese crispy spring rolls. It is only for people who have never set a foot in Asia.
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  • Hygene is not on top of the list; certainly not recomended.

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  • Shocking! And not in a good way!

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  • Really great food - the curries are amazing! The spicy Szechuan dishes are also a must. If you like your Asian food hot and full of flavour you will not be disappointed.

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  • Chef Pon's Asian Kitchen has since undergone a facelift, but the food is as good as ever. There is a wide range of dishes to choose from and all incredibly good. I had the Duck Jungle curry which is very spicy, but full of flavour and simply delicious.

    I will be back soon!

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  • LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. What a happy place to go and eat. The waiters are friendly, the food is amazing (esp. Musuman curry) and the wine is so well priced.
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  • I decided to go have a meal with my friend and his family who was celebrating his 18th birthday. He really loves the food there and me, who has eaten there before on a regular basis, went with suggestion of eating at Chef Pons. To my ordeal this was not a good idea. I ordered a sweet and sour chicken with noodles. The noodles were cold, my chicken was hard and cold and had no sour flavour to it at all. Some of the starter and main plates were chipped on the sides which is really deplorable. Our waiter disspeared for atleast 30 minutes buying products at a near by store preventing us to pay our bill as it was getting late. I am not the only one who complained about my meal. Objective of this is that the standards needs to be raised acutely. We dine at restaurants because these are restaurants we like to recommend to people.
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  • I moved into an apartment in Hopeville Road (just across from Chef Pons) a little over 3 years ago and this was the establishment I wandered over to for take aways that first night. Ive been wandering back ever since. The non-smoking section is a bit noisy, but the rest is fabulous. I took my Australian boyfriend with me recently and even he had heard about Chef Pons. His comment was that he had heard that they are renowned for consistently good food. And that they are. It was by far the best meal Ive had in about a year. The Aromatic Duck is so good, Im actually drooling right now. The Asian Mix Platter for starters always goes down well and for some reason, the waiter suggested a bottle of wine that actually went with the meal (unlike a host of other snobby restaurants wholl sell you the latest craze without actually matching it to the food). The waiter got a bit frazzled when it got busy, but he kept his calm and if he couldnt help immediately, he at least popped his head in and apologised which meant he actually made more friends than enemies that night. There was also a chicken muchroom soup of some sort that I randomly picked off the menu, and the infusion of coconut milk was so delicious, I could drink the stuff for breakfast. Ill see you guys again soon. Keep it up!
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  • Chef Pons has been one of my absolute favourite restuarants, but after our last meal there, I am not so sure anymore. My friend sent his prawns back twice, they were so salty. The waitress, who was very good, suggested a different prawn dish, thai prawns in cocoanut sauce. It was even worse than the first two dishes, bland and unauthentic. The sauce tasted like knorr cuppa soup! I am pretty sure my dish was not the one I oredered, but I was too hungry to quible about it, also very salty. Very disappointing.
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  • Chef Pons has been one of my absolute favourite restuarants, but after our last meal there, I am not so sure anymore. My friend sent his prawns back twice, they were so salty. The waitress, who was very good, suggested a different prawn dish, thai prawns in cocoanut sauce. It was even worse than the first two dishes, bland and unauthentic. The sauce tasted like knorr cuppa soup! I am pretty sure my dish was not the one I oredered, but I was too hungry to quible about it, also very salty. Very disappointing.
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  • Outstanding value. really excelent food. The Tom Yum Soup was amazing
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Menu

Set menu - Available on website

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dancing
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian

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