There are 6 Tong Loks in Cape Town. The one in Kloof Street (just up from Depascos and Opposite the Friendly) recently underwent renovations and that is the one that I visited last night. I don’t remember having been to a Tong Lok before, and I haven’t heard much about them from other people. Since the renovations, however, I’ve been hearing whisperings about value and quality sushi as well as quality cantonese food. So, I decided to investigate.
The renovations have left it looking very modern with tiled floor and lots of white (walls, tables, chairs). The Chinese writing mural is quite cool. Because the place is a bit stark, when it’s empty, it lacks ambiance. I’m sure if it was full, it would be fine. The problem is, it’s seldom full. Our waitress was very friendly but spoke very little English. Having Asian people working in an Asian restaurant to lend it an air of credibility. At least she was better than the waiter at Kubo’s who couldn’t understand more than the numbers on the menu.
They are currently running some specials, depending on the day you go it will vary. That day they had 30% off dim sum, so we thought we’d have a dim sum starter. We ordered one bau (R25 before discount ) and one lotus leaf (R18). The bau is like a small sweet bun with a filling, a kind of interprested, small, Asian bunny chow. It was interesting, but I prefer normal deep fried dim sum. The lotus leaf (which you open and eat only the filling) was tasty, some rice, meat and sauce. Again, I’d stick to more traditional dim sum.
For mains, The Artist ordered the chicken stir fry with veggies and steamed rice (R42) and I had the beef egg foo yong on noodles (R48). The portions are massive. I didn’t think I would be able to finish mine but it was so delicious I ate every last bit. The Artist managed most of her stir fry too and was pleased with the fresh chunky veggies. I have to say that the main courses are much better value than Simply Asia, bigger and nicer for the same price.
We washed our food down with a bottle of Pierre Jordaan Tranquille. It cost R55 and I know it’s about R35 in the shops. Their wine list is so cheap, it might be the cheapest I have seen. Unfortunately we didn’t get to try the sushi but I hear it’s good and also value for money. We had two starters, two mains and a bottle of wine and the total including a generous tip was R200. That is value dining. You don’t need a starter so dinner for two with wine at R150 is good value. Interesting the tip is included in the bill, regardless of how many diners at the table. That’s unusual in Cape Town.
I hear that the eat in meals are better than the take out option, but while we were there (only two other tables), there was a steady flow of customers for the take out.
Kloof Street, Cape Town
021 423 5552