5 Asian restaurants in Cape Town to add to your “must-try” list

It’s become clear that eating food is considered much more than simply a survival technique here in the Cape. Oftentimes, it’s become the very activity we centre our social lives around.

When was the last time a TikTok restaurant review appeared on your ‘for you page’? Probably just yesterday – if not seven minutes ago – given the hype of food culture.

Also read: 20 popular restaurants at the V&A Waterfront

We may even go as far as saying, food as a whole has become an entire way of life (not that we’re complaining at all).

So if you’re looking to replenish your restaurant-to-do list or simply craving to discover new flavours, here are five Asian restaurants that will do just that:

1. How Bao Now

This culinary gem serves flavour-packed buns stuffed with crayfish, kimchi, brisket and Szechuan fried chicken – to name just a few. Truth be told though, we were already hooked by the name. Who doesn’t love a good play on words? We’re ready to eat, how bao you?

  • Location: 375 Albert Rd, The Old Biscuit Mill
  • Operating Times: Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm
Picture: @howbaonow_za / Instagram

2. Awara

Think of it as Bukhara’s young and trendy offspring, combining Indian, Korean, Thai, Japanese and Chinese flavours to bring you the best in Asian contemporary tastes. With a desire to modernise its already-renowned gourmet Indian dining experience, the team behind Awara curated a menu that includes a variety of Asian grilled tapas alongside the finely prepared classic curries the Mother City adores.

  • Location: 33 Church Street, City centre
  • Operating Times: Sunday to Thursday,  11am to 10pm | Friday and Saturday 11am to 11pm
Picture: @awara_restaurant / Instagram

3. Three Wise Monkeys

If ever you are in need of a soul-warming meal, look no further than this. They offer a range of dishes, from baos and sushi to yakimos. The wholesome ramen bowls will put your soul at ease, while the Dragon Ball Z mural will take you right back to childhood memories of waiting patiently in front of the TV for the show to come on SABC 2.

  • Location: La Rhone Building, 77 Regent Rd, Sea Point
  • Operating Times: Monday to Sunday 12pm to 10pm
Picture: @threewisemonkeys_za / Instagram

Also read: Soul-warming ramen and sundowners in Sea Point

4. Yu Restaurant

Tucked away inside the Onyx Hotel in Foreshore, this hidden gem provides Asian dining with a contemporary twist so good that they were nominated for a World Luxury Restaurant Award in 2020. Whether you’re peckish or famished, Yu offers both gourmet tapas and main dishes.

  • Location: The Onyx Apartment Hotel, Cape Town, 59 Heerengracht St
  • Operating Times: Monday to Sunday 12pm to 10pm
Picture: Screenshot / yucapetown.co.za

5. Café Chiffon

In true foodie style, it’s mandatory to end a culinary experience with something sweet. So this one’s for all the fellow sweet tooths out there. This aesthetically pleasing minimalist and contemporary-styled café serves equally pleasing Asian-inspired desserts, ranging from fluffy Japanese cheesecakes to Korean macarons and more.

  • Location: SHOGF007, Old Cape Quarter, 72 Waterkant St, Green Point
  • Operating Times: Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5.30pm | Saturday 8am to 4pm
Picture: @cafechiffon.cpt / Instagram

Also read:

4 Middle Eastern-inspired eateries in Cape Town

Picture: Unsplash

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