The best Asian restaurants in South Africa

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘chopstick’ may come from the Chinese Pidgin English term ‘chop chop’, meaning quickly. For the pruposes of this list we hope that eating with these utensils is one of your fortes. If not, it’s best you learn chop chop.

Chosen by our team of 50 panellists for the 2014 Eat Out magazine, these Asian restaurants represent our definitive list of the best Asian cuisine South Africa has to offer. Duck pancakes, dim sum, sushi, various soups and noodles pull in the crowds, while authentic Asian dishes like sui mai, chicken feet and pissles (don’t ask) will keep you curious. And remember, if you haven’t quite mastered the chopstick technique, you could always use your hands.


Chinese Northern Foods Restaurant
Must-have dishes: sea cucumber salad and the pissles, if you dare.

Gwefey Asian Cuisine
Must-have dishes: crispy beef strips, Beijing pork dumplings and spicy brinjal.

Koi (Rosebank)
Must have dishes: dim sum baskets and prawn puffs.

Koi (Sandton)
Must-have dishes: dim sum, rock shrimp tempura roll and soft-shell crab California roll.


Kong Roast
Must-have dishes: duck spring rolls, duck red curry and sticky honey chicken.

Lai Lai
Must-have dishes: Peking duck with pancakes, siu mai and won ton soup.

Li Kou Fu
Must-have dish: duck with pancakes.

Must-have dishes: the Peking duck with pancakes and red duck curry with rambutan, pineapple and litchis.

Must-have dish: ramen noodles.

Red Chamber
Must-have dish: Peking duck.

Sai Thai
Must-have dishes: Tom yum goong, spicy pork and aubergine stir-fry

Shun De Chinese Restaurant
Must-have dishes: steamed char siu, lapcheong bao, shao mai, black beans ribs and the steamed chicken feet.

Must-have dishes: homemade egg noodles served with miso pork broth and topped with pork belly.

Yamato in Johannesburg


Koi (Lynwood)
Must-have dishes: dim sum and sushi with cocktails.

Padbok Thai
Must-have dishes: duck curry and banana fritters with homemade coconut ice cream.

Shilla Korean Cuisine
Must-have dishes: kimchi and deep-fried seaweed rolls.

Wing Hin
Must-have dishes: pork belly with plum sauce and salt and pepper calamari and prawns.


Full House Sushi Bar
Must-have dishes: spring rolls and calamari fried rice.

Must-have dishes: wonton soup and sweet-and-sour prawns.

Eastern Cape

Must-have dishes: brinjal fritters and sushi.

Fushin Sushi and Eastern Cuisine
Must-have dishes:  soft-shell crab, scallops and freshwater eel.


China Plate
Must-have dishes: barbecue pork on garlic bok choy, spicy brinjal casserole, crispy garlic langoustines and deep-fried broccoli.

Must-have dishes: salmon roses, tempura prawns and tsukimi-udon.

Greedy Buddha
Must-have dishes: pot stickers, the duck wrapped in a pancake with spring onion, cucumber and plum sauce.

Greedy Buddha in Durban

Greater KZN

Long Fen Chinese Restaurant
Must-have dishes: sizzling beef, sushi and tempura prawns.

Must-have dishes: sushi from the new bar and a Thai green curry.


Firefly Eating House
Must-have dishes: fish cookies, prawn curry and bobotie springrolls.


Must-have dishes: tofu croquettes, seared yellowtail, mussel and clam laksa, hoisin quail and red Thai duck.

Cape Town

1890 Sushi House
Must-have dishes: prawn tempura California rolls, sweet sticky tuna, edamame beans, seared tuna and dragon rolls.

Chai Yo
Must-have dishes: vegetable or prawn phad Thai, duck in red curry and the ­angry beef with fresh basil, served extra hot.

Chef Pon’s Kitchen
Must-have dishes: Mongolian lamb and Imperial duck.


Chuck Yang
Must-have dish: the ‘general chicken’.

Must-have dishes: dancing seaweed crystal noodle salad, homemade tempura tofu treasure box, pork head-to-tail offal dishes and spicy Szechuan prawns.

Must-have dishes: dim sum, tom yum soup, beef basil noodles or sweet-and-sour crispy fish.

Erawan in Cape Town

Haiku (City Bowl and V&A Waterfront)
Must-have dishes: steamed duck buns, spicy prawn har gau, Peking duck (though much depends on the hoisin sauce that day) and the sizzling lamb and coconut rice.

Must-have dishes: dim sum and crispy duck pancakes.

Kyoto Sushi Garden
Must-have dish: vegetable tempura and sushi.

Must-have dishes: the spinach and crayfish salad with spicy lemon dressing, prawn tempura, black cod miso, aubergine with miso and yellowtail sashimi.

Nobu in Cape Town

Must-have dishes: calamari, avocado and mint salad with a wasabi dressing.

South China Dim Sum Bar |
Must-have dishes: any (all) dim sum, braised beef short rib and crispy turnip cakes.

Must-have dishes: soft-shell crab roll, wasabi bomb, fresh tempura, bento box and Takumi tuna roll.

Wang Thai (Lagoon Beach)
Must-have dishes: try the regular specials.

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