With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award
Our List of the Best Places to Get your Fill of Dim Sum in and around Cape Town
These little beauties are just waiting to get eaten…
Dim Sum is an edible gift; it’s flavourful, exotic, creative, delicious all wrapped up into one bite-sized parcel. Cape Town is filled with authentic Asian restaurants, but not all will make this list. We are on the hunt for the best dim sum in the city (and surrounds) so if you have any suggestions, tag us on Instagram with #CapeTownMag.
The art of dim sum making originated in China amongst the meals served at Yum Cha. If we translate Yum Cha into English, it reads as ‘drink tea’. The Chinese would sit down to Yum Cha and enjoy hot tea with fresh dim sum served in bamboo steamers. Dim sum often utilises the less desirable cuts of meat, not only because they are cheaper but mostly because they are more flavoursome. For those that are watching their weight, you may want to turn away now, because dim sum also has a fair amount of fat. Like in biltong, the fat is used to flavour the dumpling. Luckily the occasional indulgence won’t do any harm!
And so, here it is, our list of the best places to find the tastiest dim sum in Cape Town and surrounds. Enjoy!
South China Dim Sum - Long Street
This little hide-out is known all over the city for making delectable dim sum. Their flavour combinations are unique and exciting, their interior is warm and welcoming, and their service is fast and efficient – what more could you want from a restaurant?
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm - 2:30pm; 6.30pm - 9:30pm, +27 (0)78 846 3656.
Haiku - Berg Street
Haiku is a traditional, up-market place to grab some delicious dim sum in the city. Not only do they have dim sum that is out of this world, but they also do sushi and stir-fries made with fresh ingredients and plenty of complex flavours.
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Sunday 12pm - 3pm; 6pm -11pm, +27 (0)21 424 7000.
Wang Thai - Milnerton
For those of you that visited the Wang Thai in Constantia or the branch at the Waterfront, rest assured that the Milnerton branch has the same delicious food. Their dim sum menu is incredibly extensive, and even features a ‘Medley of Dim Sum’ so you can sample them all!
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Sunday 12pm - 10pm, +27 (0)21 551 9254.
Ben Wei - Wembley Square
Ben Wei, meaning ‘original taste’, is one of the hottest new Asian restaurants in town! Located at Wembley Square in Gardens, this modern yet authentic hangout boasts a menu filled with fresh and scrumptious dishes. Their dim sum is to die for, and they’ve even taken it to another level by developing a Wonton Soup… yuuuum!
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 9pm, +27 (0)21 461 2966.
Erawan - Chelsea Village
Not many people know about Erawan, but we heard via the grapevine that they are opening a branch on Kloof Street so that will soon change! This upmarket restaurant is perfect for a special occasion, or just a take-away on the weekends. Their dim sum is all made according to authentic recipes and their menu features classics like Ka Num Jeeb Gai, Sa La Pao Gai and Sa La Pao Nue. Check out their menu online for a list of all of their dim sum offerings!
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Sunday 12pm - 10pm, +27 (0)21 797 5000.
Tjing Tjing Torii - Longmarket Street
Everyone is familiar the Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar but few might be aware of the gorgeous restaurant below it. Once you taste Tjing Tjing Torii’s Bao, you’ll never forget them. This little discovery is famous for their flavour, and they pack as much as possible into their dim sum (or bao more specifically). They offer sticky pork, oyster and duck bao; sample them all and leave happy!
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Tuesday - Friday 4pm - 2am; Saturday 6:30pm - 2am,+27 (0)21 422 4920.
Taste of Mongolia - Newlands
This is the place to get the biggest variety of dim sum in Cape Town. They have every type with every meat filling you can imagine, and it is all really well priced! Some of their dim sum comes in beautiful colours; they’ve called them Colourful Dumplings. You can choose between prawn, lamb, beef and chicken dumplings which you can then have steamed or fried. Give them all a go at this hidden gem in Newlands.
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Saturday 11am - 9pm, +27 (0)21 658 0240.
I Love My Laundry - Buitenkant Street
Everyone needs their laundry done, so what if you could have your laundry done while tucking into some delectable dim sum? Well, we have good news for you. I Love My Laundry on Buitenkant Street is offering guests an opportunity to enjoy 8 meat dim sum for R50, and a half portion of 5 pieces for R35. The meat options are chicken and mushrooms, pork and cabbage, pork and celery, pork and chives, pork and coriander and pork and carrot. Their vegetarian options include vermicelli, kimchi, tofu, leek and wild mushroom with ginger. I Love My Laundry also offer BBQ Pork Buns for R35 for two.
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm, Saturday 8am - 5pm, +27 (0)78 105 6280.
Kitima - Hout Bay
Kitima, located in an old Cape Dutch house in Hout Bay, is a stunning place to indulge in some scrumptious dim sum. They have seven different types of dim sum, flavoured with chicken, beef, thai style prawns, pork, mushrooms and even spinach. Every Sunday, Kitima offers a buffet lunch that features some of their dim sum. You’ll also be treated to a selection of spring rolls, fresh Asian salads, main courses, sushi and dessert.
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Tuesday - Thursday 5pm - 1am, Friday and Saturday 5pm - 2am, Sundays 12pm - 4pm, +27 (0)21 790 8004.
Lizettes Kitchen - Hermanus
Hermanus is a really great place to visit at any time of the year, but especially during whale season (so check that out). Lizettes Kitchen offers an eight-piece dim sum platter for R110. What could be more delightful than indulging in delicious dim sum with the salty scent of the sea in the air?
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Monday - Saturday 9am - 10:30pm, Sunday 9am to 10pm, +27 (0)28 314 0308.
Tao’s Yum Dim Sum at the Bay Harbour Market
If you’ve ever been to the Bay Harbour Market, you’ll know how many choices there are for food, and there is a reason that people go back again and again for amazing dim sum. Tao’s Yum Dim Sum has a range of flavours from spinach and feta, beef, vegetable, chicken and pork. Yum yum!
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Friday 5pm - 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:30am - 4pm, +27 (0)82 722 5085.
Silk Road is one of the best loved dim sum stalls in all of Cape Town’s markets. They frequent the Neighbourhood Goods Market and the Earthfair Market in St Georges Square. The have one of the biggest selection of freshly made dim sum, prepared according to old recipes; it doesn’t get more authentic than this!
Opening Hours and Contact Details: Earthfair Market (Thursday 11am - 3pm), Neighbourhood Goods Market (Saturday 9am - 2pm), email@example.com.
This is an ever-expanding list, so if you have any suggestions, tweet us and let us know where you like to enjoy dim sum! Our twitter handle is @CapeTownMag and we’d love to hear from you.
Words by Charlotte Rogers
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