The Best Dim Sum Places in Cape Town

Words: Crush

If you’re looking for where to get your dumpling fix you’ve come to the right place, we’ve listed our best dim sum places in Cape Town. But first, what is dim sum exactly? Let’s take a look…

Dim sum refers to a style of Chinese food that is served in small portions, usually dumpling, bun or roll in nature. Some say the name is derived from the phrase “touch the heart” and others say it means “to eat a little something”. Whichever one it is though, that’s pretty much exactly what you’re doing – eating bites of heavenly deliciousness that have either been steamed or deep fried.

The exact origins of dim sum are unclear (aren’t they always?). There is a theory that this bite sized, dumpling style of food was popular food for travellers and workers on the move along the famous Silk Road trade routes. Patrons would stop in for a refreshment of tea and small sweet and savoury dishes were offered as an accompaniment.

Dumpling fillings and shapes vary and can become quite complex but there are a few more common ones that you’ll see over and over – Char Siu Bao (steamed pork buns), potstickers, prawn Har Gau, wontons, Ham Sui Gok (fried crescent shaped dumplings) and more. Savoury fillings include options like duck, chicken, pork and vegetables. Whatever your preference though, these are a few places around Cape Town that serve up mean dim sum.

South China Dim Sum Bar

Situated in Long Street is South China Dim Sum Bar, one of the most popular places to dine on dim sum. The restaurant provides an intimate setting and is known for its quality food. The team really care about the quality of what they make and you’ll be hard pressed to choose from all the tasty traditional options on offer. If you ask a dim sum enthusiast where to go, this is probably where they’ll send you.

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Lunch date ❤️

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289 Long St, Cape Town |  078 846 3656 | Facebook


Hallelujah

Hallelujah’s neon pink sign will beckon you in and the food and bubbly on offer will keep you there. The menu is small, much like the place itself but the food is radically good. The roast pork on steamed buns will change your life.

11D Kloof Nek Rd, Gardens, Cape Town | 079 839 2505 | hallelujahhallelujah.co.za


Beijing Opera

Originally in De Waterkant and now at home in Woodstock, Beijing Opera offers up authentic dim sum across the spectrum. Visit their new spot in Woodstock for the same deliciousness that’s made them so popular in town.

 48 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town | 021 418 1127 | Facebook


Haiku

If you’re looking to broaden your culinary horizons or impress someone, Haiku is an amazing place to share a meal. Their dim sum offering is pretty broad, encompassing a lot of expected favourites and a few unique specialities too. We love their Lo Mai Gai – sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf with chicken.

58 Burg St, Cape Town | 021 424 7000 | bukhara.com


Hesheng

Possibly one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants you’ll find in the city. This family owned and run restaurant is based in Sea Point and they care about creating a dining experience in a space that feels like you’re entering the home of a friend. The spring onion pancakes are nomnom. Great value for money so go with friends and tuck in.

269 Main Rd, Sea Point | 021 433 0739 | hesheng.co.za


Chef Pons

Chef Pons on Mill Street is something of an institution in the city and they cater to a variety of palates with their pan-Asian offering. Make sure that you make a booking to avoid the awkward looks, blank stares and disappointment from your friends after hyping them up all week. You’ll want to get your dim sum and then some.  

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#Chef #Pons empty and #quiet, lovely and peaceful, just how I like it.

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12 Mill St, Oranjezicht | 021 465 5846 | chefponsasiankitchen.co.za


Sevruga & Beluga

Sevruga, located in the V&A Waterfront, and Beluga, located in Greenpoint, are both well known for their dim sum and sushi special – both offered at half price from 12h00 until 18h00. Their bao, dumplings and wontons are served the traditional way – piping hot and packed full of flavour.

Sevruga: Shop 4, Quay 5, Victoria Wharf, V & A Waterfront | 021 421 5134 | sevrugarestaurant.co.za
Beluga: The Foundry, Prestwich St, Green Point | 021 418 2948 | beluga.co.za


Taste of Mongolia (Asia Bay)

A hole in the wall located in Newlands that offers up a great menu of dim sum. The place is small but the menu offers up a range of tasty dishes that are favourites with locals.

Main Rd, Newlands | 021 685 0240


Lucky Bao (Hout Bay)

Lucky Bao is another tiny dim sum bar, located next to Cheyne’s in Hout Bay. It’s the brainchild of Cheyne Morrisby and serves up a small but incredibly delicious menu of Asian cuisine. As the name suggests, bao (steamed buns) are a feature and there are other tasty bites such as San Choy Bau (lettuce cups) and Yakatori (skewers).

Main Road, Hout Bay | 079 067 4919 | Facebook


Saigon

Although Saigon is a Vietnamese restaurant, they do offer a selection ‘Indochine dim sum’. They have a number of different filling options that range from a vegetarian offering such as steamed spinach and cream cheese, to a more traditional filling of pork and chestnuts.

Kloof St, Gardens |  021 424 7670 | Facebook

Want to make your own dim sum? Check out our article on navigating your way through an Asian supermarket and then get cooking.

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