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Fisherman’s Plate, Johannesburg: “The Best Chinese Restaurant in South Africa”

An SA Blog feature post in honor of the Chinese New Year.

Cyrlidene is an unlikely setting for gastronomic ecstasy – though perhaps not for just plain ecstacy – being a slightly dingy part of Johannesburg north-east of the city centre. The area counts as Jo’burg’s Chinatown, if unspectacularly so – it doesn’t rank among the great Chinatowns of the world. Most significant, it’s home to what in-the-know South Africans regard as the country’s best Chinese restaurant, Fisherman’s Plate.

Common gripes about Fisherman’s Plate include poor English among the servers, long waits for the food, and an approach to decor – naked fluourescent lights, wobbly tables and chairs, cheap booze in the prominently-displayed reach-in refrigerator – that relies rather heavily on diners for atmosphere. Fortunately, the latter are like a swarm, so there’s never any lack of excitement. And the griping turns to gasps of awe when the platters start landing, mini-spaceships from Planet Seafood.

A husband-and-wife team runs the operation: he’s Chinese, she’s Indian. Together they extend the fare into territory beyond the bounds of a normal Chinese menu, though most of the familiar items feature, too.

Clearly, however, it would be folly to order anything but seafood, and SA Blog’s impeccable sources have given ample assurance that it’s almost impossible to put a foot wrong in this regard. Fisherman’s Plate is Chinese seafood at its best. In fact,

  • SA Blog can avow with unhesitating confidence that the best dish at Fisherman’s Plate is the crab curry, which sends diners into deep raptures.

Fisherman’s plate is open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Booking information:
Fisherman’s Plate
The Courtyard, Derrick Avenue
(011) 622-0480