Asian cuisine is so popular, you can find a place that serves it on virtually every corner. It’s even got to the point where non-Asian fish restaurants have to have sushi on the menu because it’s in such high demand. The result is a high influx of Asian food that’s mediocre as people don’t necessarily pay attention to the craft. That’s why when you find a place that serves great Asian food, it’s something truly special. Ben Wei is one of those places.
Located in Wembley Square in Gardens, Ben Wei is an elegant eatery with a modern easy atmosphere accented by Asian style. The menu directly tells you what they offer: ‘Sushi. Asian. Fusion’. The fusion refers to the mix of Asian food on offer – everything from Thai and Chinese to Japanese and Korean delicacies – rather than a mish-mash of the various styles. Beautifully crafted by chef and part owner Jin Ming, everything is done as authentically as possible with a few tweaks to satisfy the Capetonian palette.
The food itself is an absolute treat! Start with the chicken and shiitake mushroom wontons, seared tuna with a reduced teriyaki sauce, miso soup or tom kha gai soup – all extremely flavourful and just the right quantity. For mains, you can’t go wrong with the cashew chicken, spicy beef chow mein and wok fried douchi. Or, if you prefer fare of the oceanic variety, the Thai green curry with prawns accompanied by a creamy sauce and veggies is the way to go. But the star of the show is definitely the sushi. Choose from Western-style sushi, or chef specials and platters – including a banting platter. Ben Wei doesn’t stop there, though. Their range of desserts includes deep-fried ice cream, deep-fried bananas, or a mix of the two.
And to get it all down, beer lovers can try one of the unique craft beers from the Beer Brewery in Wembley Square or crack open an imported beer from Thailand, China or Japan. That’s right, you can get real Asian beer to compliment your meal. For the sake lovers out there, Ben Wei serves the sake warm (as is traditional) in a gorgeous ceramic carafe with tiny cups to match. These little touches really enhance your experience.
All in all, Ben Wei is a pleasant eatery that stands out amongst the crowd.The dishes at Ben Wei make you pleasantly full rather than overly stuffed. We can safely say that no what section of the menu you order from at Ben Wei you will enjoy it. Jin Ming his partner Ian McMahon have created a great Asian eatery that stands above the crowd.
Photography Courtesy images