5 cool contemporary Asian restaurants

01 Feb 2018

With a diverse mix of cultures and people Joburg's dining scene offers both authentic tastes and contemporary menus that take their inspiration from a broad range of cultures. If you crave sweet, spicy and umami flavours from the Far East, Joburg has some fun Asian-inspired restaurants that mix and match from various cuisines including Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese. Here's our pick of five of the best. Click on each name for the full review.


This weekly bookings-only (we recommend booking several weeks in advance) pop-up restaurant on the covered patio of a Upper Houghton mansion is overseen by the vivacious Su-Yen Thornhill of Scottish- Chinese extraction. Expect a fun night out with a multi-course (between eight and 10) Asian-influenced tasting menu that changes weekly. Everything you will eat is home-made including the excellent hoisin sauce that you will want to pour over every morsel. Thornhill's menu changes every week and each beautifully plated dish is to be relished. Ask about bookings for her Sunday Yum Cha. Houghton

Located in the driveway of a soon-to-be opened boutique hotel, eating at Glory is an experience. The waitstaff will dismiss the value of looking at the menu, and there's not much in the way of cutlery but once you taste the contents of a 'box', crispy Thai-inspired chicken for four accompanied by a superb blend of sweet, salty and spicy pickles and sides and steamed buns, you will be forgiven for singing Hallelujah. It's worth calling ahead if you plan to visit on weekend evenings as Glory also hosts regular live music events for which a cover charge usually applies. Melville

Trout ceviche tacos, vegetable or kimchi gyoza dumplings and crispy scallion pancakes are just a few of the dishes on offer. The setting is a boxy wood interior laid out across a Melville rooftop. Red meat is not on the menu; instead, there’s spicy chicken wings or Korean fried chicken, lemongrass and coconut noodles, and a refreshing green papaya salad. Portions are small but pop with flavour and there are plenty of interesting drinks. Booking essential. Melville

The luxurious karaoke rooms alone are reason to visit Saigon Suzy, a hip Asian-inspired joint that attracts an energetic crowd. The food is Asian fusion with plenty of tasty choices ranging from small plates to baos, build your own 'Wok n' Roll' plates, ramen bowls, salads and a superb Thai red curry of beef short rib. Parkwood

This upmarket restaurant has long established an excellent reputation for its Asian fusion dishes, polished service and sophisticated setting. The recently revamped interiors and menu are inspired by the four elements, while four cooking styles – Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese – dominate the menu. Melrose Arch


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Great list. Would have liked to have seen the Momo restaurants on it but my last meal at Momo Bauhaus and at Momo & O was really poor. The food wasn't too tasty and the service really needs attention. Hoping they up their game back to how it was when they first opened.

You have missed the best of all ...momo boahaus, momo soko, and their recent restaurant in Norwood.
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