Beijing Opera started as a pop up restaurant in Joburg which traveled all over the place. I imagine a traveling restaurant can be pretty tiring. So Beijing Opera found some roots and settled down in sunny Cape Town. #Awkward for Joburg! But great for Cape Town!
I’m obsessed with dim sum – I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Whilst in Singapore I actually ate dim sum for most breakfasts. My very favourite dim sum spot is South China Dim Sum Bar found at the very top of Long Street. So Beijing Opera was high up on my Cape Town Foodie Bucket list for 2014. The only flaw in my plan is that Beijing Opera is only open for lunch from Monday to Saturday. I work Monday to Friday and Saturdays are generally booked out long in advance.
Luckily for me Beijing Opera brought a little of their original concept back! Originally they did pre-booked set 5 course dinners. Now they offer a 5 course pre-booked set dinner on a Thursday night for R180 per person.
Apart from the food Beijing Opera just happens to be the most gorgeous venue – with the most instagramable lights ever! We arrived early because I’ve developed a complex about being late and because I wanted to snap some photos of the interior without capturing the awkward diners mid dim sum. I love the red, black and white theme which is wonderfully modern and striking. Another charming feature is little coat hooks all around the little restaurant to hang your umbrella and hook your coat. It reminded me of book bag hooks when I was in very little school.
Yes, I am indeed obsessed with the red accents! I must have taken 100 photos of red things!!
Something to note – you will be dining with strangers. The restaurant is made up of two large tables and a table in the window which seats for. Arrive early if you have a seating preference or if you’re a large group to avoid inconveniencing other people.
By the time the first dim sums arrived we were starving. It takes a little while to serve everyone and sadly we were unluckily last in the queue. First was the pork and chive potstickers with spinach. Some of the potstickers were crispier than others this is probably due to rushing through their cooking due to the large group of hungry diners. Crispier is better! I loved the flavour combination of the savoury spinach with the sweet pork. But they didn’t really blow my mind.
The chicken sui mai was next in the first course. These were delicious! Fresh and squishy and delicious! I could have eaten about twenty more of these!!
Then we had the lovely pork and chive Har Gow. These were also a great option and packed with lots of flavour. The Har Gow and sui mai were probably the favourite of the five courses.
And then the BUNS began! By now we were pretty famished so it was great the pretty substantial buns arrived! The first bun was the pork buns. They were the traditional pinched buns filled with barbeque style pork. Beijing Opera outshone South China with their buns. The buns were incredibly light and fluffy and the pork buns are stuffed with lots and lots of sweet barbeque pork! The chive buns were a first for me. The buns are like one long wrapped up skinny sausage of dough all wrapped up in a bun. The texture is super light and fluffy but not a huge amount of flavour. The buns should have also been served with hoisan sauce in my opinion.
The dessert course was chocolate wontons. The chocolate was made by SOMA confection especially for Beijing Opera. The chocolate itself was delicious but the wonton wrappings were very oily and a little burnt. This could probably be improved on with more practice – we were the first group to try the SOMA chocolate wontons.
So there you have it! A dim sum feast served up at the Beijing Opera. Dim sum is sadly expensive everywhere which makes the 5 course dinner expensive. It is a fun experience and great to do with friends but is pretty pricy and the wait in between courses can be very long.
Beijing Opera has some delicious dim sum options and I would probably recommend returning for lunch where you can order off the menu and hopefully will not have to wait as long.
- Opening times: Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm; Saturday: 10am – 3pm and now Thursday evenings from 6:30 til 9:30pm.
- Location: 6 Rose Street, De Waterkant
- Contact details: 072 530 9654
TIP: They don’t have a liquor license so make sure to bring along some wine at a corkage of R30 a bottle. I do think this is a little cheeky – if you’re not providing alcohol you shouldn’t charge corkage.