Eating out in Joburg: Indian, Chinese and a touch of Thai

Fordsburg is the place to go for really good Indian food.  Fordsburg is close to the city centre and is a great place to eat if you are going to a show at the Market Theatre. While it is predominantly an Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani area, there has been a recent increase on Eastern, Middle Eastern and North African immigrants.  Don’t expect restaurants with ambience but the excellent home cooking, subtle spicing and amazing value for money, makes Fordsburg a great palce to eat. Plus there is a great buzzy vibe in the evening, especially on a Friday evening and during Ramadan. Flourescent light and plastic cloths take way second place when served with excellent curries, various different dahls and of course the Naan bread is to die for. Of course they are all alcohol free and they do not allow BYO 

Al-Makka Fantastic food and full of local families. Open daily for lunch and dinner 011 838-2548 52 Central Rd  

Bismillah’s  North Indian and Pakistani ; Where the Indian cricket team eat when they are in Joburg; Wonderful chicken korma;  011 838 8051 76 Mint Rd Cnr Bree

Shayona  Run by followers of the 7th Century Hindu guru Swarmi Narayan so all vegetarian. The paneer cheese is excellent. Expect to pay about R50 for 2 course.   74 Church St 011 837 2407 Closed Mondays

Shunarga  Tandoori chicken wonderful bryani and as with other eateries in Fordsburg – great prices 79 Mint Road 011 838-5533

Somali restaurant  Amal Shopping Centre  Cr Somerset and Central Rd Mayfair No Phone If you thought Shayona was cheap here 2 course will set you back about R30. Lots of side dishes brought; the TV blares with Al Jazeera news; helpful quick service

Chinese cuisine

The Chinese community traditionally lived in the south west of Joburg’s CBD area in Ferreirastown and more recently moved to Cyrildene with restaurants clustered around  Derrick Ave near Bruma Lake.

Chinatown  Szechwan Chinese ; Lots of hot and spicy with an abundance of garlic and chillies  Open daily 10 to 10; BYO no corkage  16 Derrick Ave  Cyrildene 072 989 3788

Fisherman’s Plate  Taiwanese – crab curry; whole steamed fish with ginger Open Tues-Sun lunch and dinner; Box wine by the glass, Chinese beers, BYO at R20 corkage 18 Derrick Ave 011- 622 0480

Fong Mei Cantonese cuisine ; Open Tues- Sun lunch and dinner Licensed and wine ‘by the cup’  no BYO ; 18c Derrick Ave 011 615-1384

Long Mon Beijing cuisine; Peking Duck needs to be ordered the day before; open daily lunch and dinner  open Tues-Sun lunch and dinner Licensed, No BYO  41 Derrick Ave 011 622-6861

Sai Thai  Sai Thai means connected to Thailand and it lives up to its name as this restaurant serves some of the most authentic Thai food to be found around. Casual Thai lots of lemon grass; home made chili relish Try the thod mun pla fishcakes or the nam tok mhu pork ; lots of vegetarian offerings; Tues-Sun lunch and dinner Licensed no BYO  Shop 1, Cyrildene Centre cr Marcia & Derrick Ave 011 615-1339  

 The remnants of Johannesburg’s original Chinatown in Ferreirastown in Jhb South west CBD still has a few remaining restaurants. There are moves afoot to revitalize this Chinatown area of town … watch this space  The  Swallow Inn Serves great chow mein and is still at 6 Commissioner St 011 838 2946

 Closer to ‘home’  in the Hyde Park Mall is the Red Chamber specializing in a Mandarin style cooking with lots of ginger and chili. Vegetarians are well catered for. 011 325 6048


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  1. Posted December 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

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  2. Fifi
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    i been to cyrildene fongmei chinese restaurant .the food is very nice .and they also have one in sandton

  3. Posted January 9, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks Fifi for the feedback about Fongmei. Good to know.

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