Review: Knockout ribs at Chinese Northern Foods Restaurant in Cyrildene

Cyrildene’s Derrick Avenue features many Chinese restaurants, but Chinese Northern Foods is definitely the place to visit, says Eat Out critic Anna Montali.

Fast facts

Best for: Sociable lunch and dinner with adventurous friends
Cost: Average main course is R130
Serves: Chinese cuisine
Star rating out of 5: Food 4, service 4, ambience 2


This spot is regularly packed with local Chinese patrons – always a good sign. The menu is unusually long, so ordering takes time. Eventually, after deciding we are not brave enough to try the crispy pig’s ears in funghi sauce, we settle on sizzling beef ribs with black pepper, and braised streaky pork. The ribs really blow us away: tender, melt-in-the-mouth and full of aromatic Chinese spices. The braised pork served with preserved vegetables is one of the chef’s specialties – rightfully so.

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The braised eggplant is also recommended – a great hit, with its distinct flavours.

Also on offer: a generous dim sum platter. Take some home to savour the following day.

We don’t have space for dessert, but options at Chinese Northern Foods are similar to those on most Chinese menus, with items such as deep fried ice cream and bow ties.


Green tea and iced tea is readily available, but if you are looking to complement your meal with a glass of wine you need to bring your own.

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The staff in this small restaurant are more than happy to give you advice on the items on the menu, even though communication can be a problem.

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Chinese Northern Foods has a simple, family orientated, laid-back and relaxed atmosphere.


Always ask how many dim sum pieces in a portion. We asked for two portions and were shocked to find our takeaway dish contained 40 pieces.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

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