Sometimes my soul craves for something different, foreign, new or strange. I then tend to react impulsively and go off in search for some unique experience to satisfy my wandering whims. When I don’t have the chance (or leave) to travel to some exotic location, I tend to search for local places I haven’t discovered yet. More often than not, I get satisfaction through enticing views or in this case…food.
I love Asian food. I’m definitely not an expert in it though, but I know what I like. I’ve had dim-sum before, but nothing remarkable enough for me to remember. Steamed Asian food, instead of fried is a concept I have only come to terms with the last year. So on a chilly winter afternoon in the Mother City of Cape Town, I went to search for something interesting and flavorful to brighten up my day (and my off weekend).
Beijing Opera is a dim sum institution with street cred. I came across it via word-of-mouth and, boy was I glad I found it! The owner Yang Zhao, is known for her pop-up dim sum restaurants over the country and she is now also operating from a small permanent space in Cape Town. It’s a small comfortable space laid out with simple tasteful decor. You can order from the menu written on a chalk board. Once you’ve done that small saucers with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce arrives. The dipping sauce is simple, bit let me tell you, amazing!! The balance between salty, sweet and sour is perfect and accompanies the arriving dim sum dishes with perfect balance.
Soft and fluffy or silky and smooth, you can have your pick off the menu and be sure of satisfaction that will cost you, at most, R120 (roughly $12). We had vegetable pot stickers for a start, followed by prawn and chives har gau dumplings (perfectly non-gummy), pork sui mai, a barbecue pork bun and a chicken bun. The buns were like big white fluffy clouds and if you chose to dunk them in the dipping sauce they would suck up a lot of flavor. The meal left us craving for more but too full for one more bite! This is slow food, something I’m a huge fan off.