The Red Chamber has almost legendary status as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in Johannesburg. From its early days, when it first opened in Rosebank in 1989, until it moved to Hyde Park Shopping Centre in 1997, and then moved to its current premises (remaining within the centre), Head Chef, Emma Chan has maintained her exceptional standard of quality, which keeps her patrons returning time and time again.
The service is impeccable, the menu vast, ensuring there’s something for every palate. The crispy Peking Duck is sublime! It’s served as a feast, fit for an army: the plate of duck, with separate plates of plum sauce, pancakes and finely cut cucumber and spring onion.
We also had the crispy beef because it had been recommended to us by friends – an excellent recommendation, as it turned out! A tiny glitch in that we ordered a portion of steamed rice and a portion of noodles. A portion of fried rice arrived, which we happily started tucking into, but then the steamed rice also arrived. We reminded our waitress that we had ordered noodles and she returned the rice and brought the noodles. But then both bowls of rice AND the noodles appeared on our bill. However, when we pointed this out, it was rectified immediately with no problem at all.
4 glittery stars for The Red Chamber, if you’re looking for elegant, fine dining, Chinese style! You will be extremely well looked after.
A tiny little gem of a place tucked away in plain sight in the hectic main street of Grant Avenue, Norwood. Their menu is limited – they do fried chicken in a variety of ways, and boy, do they do it well! The aioli is something out of this world (yes, I asked for more) – they definitely worked some sort of magic on it!
And the chicken is of course, fresh, crunchy and just moreish. The aim here is to provide good quality, wholesome food and to focus on what they do best rather than to provide a wide variety on the menu and focus on quantity, which is when quality often suffers. It’s obvious that the two guys who started this (with food trucks at festivals and markets) realised that they’d found something they did well and decided to stick with it! Good for them!
And don’t forget to try an amazing Jam Jar – the watermelon one was absolutely delicious!
The staff are friendly and obliging and the service is efficient. You have to go and visit. It’s fun, and probably not what you usually have in mind when you think of ‘eating out’, but you definitely have to try it. And once you do, you’ll be hooked!
After hearing rave reviews about this place and promising ourselves we’d pay it a visit we finally got there recently. I have to say that for me, the jury’s still out on all the praise being heaped on it though!
Firstly it was a lot trendier than I was led to believe! I know, I probably shouldn’t hold that against it, but I thought it would be a lot less ‘hip’, with a lot less decor and that it would be a lot more understated. Anyway – that has no effect on the food itself!! It was busy – as we expected, but we did get a table. The acoustics are terrible and it’s very noisy inside – again, this has no effect on the food, but just another point to be aware of if you’re looking for a quiet night out.
The service was efficient, dare I say, ‘too’ efficient. Throughout our meal, numerous people kept coming up to us and asking if all was ok. I found it to be a bit much. We ordered Gyoza Pot Stickers to start, my companion ordered the Deep Sea Bao, and I asked for the Classic Bowl with egg fried rice and chicken. Almost immediately, our mains arrived, but not the pot stickers. We asked where they were and the waitress went to find out. She came back and told us that those took a while longer to make and did we mind if we had the mains first. We thought it a bit strange that she hadn’t known to tell us that in the first place. My companion loved the Deep Sea Bao. I thought my Classic Bowl was ok, although I didn’t think there was an abundance of chicken in it. It was tasty though.
The pot stickers eventually arrived. I don’t think they looked like what we expected. They were falling apart and were quite messy, but we ate them.
When it was time to pay, our waitress seemed to have trouble with the card machine. It became apparent that she might be a trainee and needed some help with this. I have no trouble being served by a trainee, but let us know. The payment process took quite some time.
I’m not sure I’d return in a hurry.
Don’t let the spacious, modern look of this Italian eatery fool you! They’re into the business of serving up serious, fabulous food! Have been here a couple of times now, and although we said we needed to come back to try out the many different appealing dishes on the menu, we had loved what we had the previous time so much that we landed up ordering the same thing again! We did, however order different starters! So far we’ve tried the Bocconcini Fritti (deep-fried baby mozzarella balls) the grilled Halloumi, and the garlic Foccacia for starters. For mains my companions have had Ravioli Di Spinaci (Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta in a Pomodoro Sauce) – tasty, although I have to say the ravioli don’t have a lot of filling in them, and I didn’t find the portion size to be very large; Linguine Al Gamberi (Prawns sauteed in olive oil, chilli and garlic, tossed in linguine and rocket) – I don’t eat shellfish so haven’t tasted it, but both times it’s looked great and my friend has been very happy with it. On both visits I’ve had the Risotto Con Funghi Porcini (Arborio rice, Porcini mushrooms, Italian tomatoes, white wine, cream and Parmesan shavings) and it’s been out of this world! For dessert we’ve tried the sorbet which was incredible, and also the good old ice cream and chocolate sauce, both of which are served in a wafer basket. On our last visit, three of us shared 2 portions, and our waitress very kindly still brought us 3 portions of the chocolate sauce! Service, as you can tell is thoughtful and efficient. The only gripe I have is that there is no input from management – who don’t seem to be hands on and no manager comes past to see if all is ok. Although it’s clear that this establishment runs extremely smoothly, it would be a nice touch. Still, I highly recommend it and we’ll definitely be back. Oh … and the huge displays of apples on their counters are absolutely gorgeous!!