At the age of 21, while working at an Asian restaurant in Durban, Doudou (Dilshaad) got to know a Chinese chef K. K fell in love with her and began to study English hard in order to better communicate and win her heart. Eventually he did. After they married, Doudou made a decision to relocate to China. She was confronted with many difficulties, including language and food. Now seven and half years later, the couple are happy living in Shanghai. Doudou's favorite is Malaxiangguo, a numbing hot dish. Chinese vinegar, which she couldn’t cope with when she first arrived, is a daily must!
Renchin and his husband, who is a diplomat in Beijing, have lived in the city for two years now. Originally she made dried boerewors and shared with her close friends. Her products got better known and she began to sell to her Chinese customers through WeChat. Because of her language obstacle, there were misunderstandings between her and a local Halal shop where she bought beef. But now they have built up trust and been able to communicate in their own way.
Nanhua Temple was built 50 kilometres from Pretoria in 1992. Together with religious beliefs, Buddhist meals were also introduced to South Africa. Nanhua's canteen with 200 seats have since attracted South Africans who have an interest in vegetarian food. The food here includes both traditional Chinese noodles and soups, and some others generated by South African snacks like PAP. The temple has recruited many local students from poor regions, who learn the Chinese language, computer skills or, most obviously, Kung Fu.
More than 10 years ago, Andi came to PE as a student. After graduation, he tried different professions before opening a restaurant. There were not many Chinese in PE, Andi and his wife decided to focus on Western food and cater to local residents. They offered discounts to senior citizens who became patrons of Joneses the restaurant. Gradually it has been able to develop a big group of regular customers covering different age groups. Now Joneses is a major venue for local residents to socialize.
Beijing is known for roast duck. But some people say the roast duck offered at Red Chamber in Johannesburg can compete with its Beijing peer. This is a star-rated restaurant run by a Taiwanese immigrant, serving South Africans mainly. The woman owner Emma Chen believes the flavours of Chinese dishes need to be localized to better appeal to South African customers. For 28 years, Red Chamber has developed a large following, now many of the old diners bring their children over here.
Zen Fusion offers an assortment of Asian foods. Chinese dishes are said to be the most authentic, hence have attracted a lot of Chinese visitors, including President Xi, as well as local diners who look forward to original Chinese food. The owner of the restaurant, Jacky Xue, came to South Africa in 1999. South Africa is his home now. He says everything is good about the country except that security and exchange rate are less admirable. He employs more than 30 black residents who work as chefs, bartenders, and waiters/waitresses.