A small space delivering big flavours, Lucky Bao Restaurant in Cape Town offers a wrap-around eight-seater counter with a kitchen at its centre. Serving up Asian street food, the majority of the cooking happens right in front of diners. Chef Cheyne Morrisby was inspired to create this energetic eatery from his travels through Asia. Edison bulbs light the way around the counter’s curve, while the underside glows bright purple. Complimentary bowls of kimchi are dished out to whet appetites. The bao, a steamed bun, is the star of the show: deep-fried soft shell crab wrapped in the bun’s billowy centre; pork belly, soy, maple and Sriracha sauce or the San Choy Bao – we use cos lettuce leaves to scoop up spicy minced pork topped with a luscious fried egg. The yakitori is a revelation. We try the chicken in tom yum, peanut butter and coconut cream – and ask for a spoon to scrape up the leftover sauce. There are a couple of interesting sides too. Think nori-dusted fries and an Asian-style slaw. You can also order sake, of course… 1 Pam Arlene Place, Main Road, Hout Bay; 079 067 4919.
By Malu Lambert