Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
14 Dec 2021
3:46 pm

32 years and counting: No wonder Red Chamber is Joburg’s top Chinese-food spot

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Regulars at Red Chamber often gush about their tiger salad, crispy Peking duck and much more.

Red Chamber, Chinese restaurant in Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Red Chamber restaurant has built a reputation for consistently producing the best North Chinese food, with a touch of Taiwanese in honour of its owner.

Voted best Chinese spot in Johannesburg, it has become a popular spot to satisfy your Chinese food cravings and has created a loyal following over the years.

Red Chamber has been operating for the past 32 years and moved to Hyde Park Corner in 1997.

We can see why they have been operational for more than three decades. The service and attention to detail we received from the moment we walked in was maintained throughout our visit.

The decor is true to Chinese culture, with paper lanterns, dragons and Chinese door gods giving the restaurant an authentic vibe.

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Red Chamber menu

The menu covers the best of China and our selection was assisted by our fabulous waiter, Sandy.

For starters, we had their famous cucumber tiger salad and sesame prawn toast. This toast reminded me of upgraded fish fingers.

The tiger salad, described as a must-try by regulars, comprises of thinly sliced cucumber with pieces of chilli, garlic and sliced onions. The salad is dressed with rice vinegar, sugar and salt.

The salad was fresh, spicy and tangy. We understand why the regulars keep on coming back for more.

Sesame prawn toast. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

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For our mains, we had a Taiwanese dish – the three-flavour chicken

The rich aromas of the spices filled up the room. We were warned about the chilli but it was not hot as it balanced out the meal. The chicken thighs were cut into small pieces and had this dark rich colour from the marinade. The sauce becomes sticky over time and will have you licking your fingers.

The dish is served with egg noodles and egg fried rice, with a chilli soy sauce. 

I have been lucky enough to have visited a few new Asian restaurants this year, and half a crispy Peking duck is a dish that has all the bells and whistles.

Great for sharing, it is served with eight pancakes and a sauce. There are steps to eat this the “correct” way. The pancakes serve as a wrap, you then spread the pancake with the plum sauce, top it with the duck, then sliced cucumber, crispy skin and finally, you fold it up.

Take a huge bite and enjoy. 

If you still have an appetite after that, try one of their delicious desserts, ranging from sesame ice cream and a traditional Chinese bow tie – a deep-fried egg roll wrapper that is tied in a shape of a bow tie, deep-fried in syrup.

Red Chamber is worth the visit.