Chinese cuisine craze hits Soweto

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Tau Chinese Restaurant, formerly Club 707 in White City Jabavu, is the only Chinese eatery in Soweto.

It was opened last year in Orlando West Extension, but then moved to its current location. It attracts curious diners, lured by its unusual and exotic dishes.

"They still cannot believe their food is prepared by a black woman and the business is black-owned," the restaurant's owner, Motshidisi Tau, pictured, said.

Tau's innovation has earned her a R7000 cash prize as the second runner-up in the Mageu Number One Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

"This is a milestone and will boost my business," said Tau.

After teaching for more than 10 years, Tau went to China to teach English. Her 11-month stay in China developed her taste for the exotic local cuisine.

"Food variety in China is limited because Western food there is expensive. I enjoyed Chinese food so much that I was keen to learn to cook it," said Tau.

With the help of friends, Tau learnt to cook in the "quick method" the cuisine requires.

"I was attracted to Chinese food because of its high nutritional value, it is cooked for a short period and mostly uses fresh ingredients," said Tau.

When she returned to South Africa she was determined to bring a unique eating experience to Soweto. She also stocks a variety of Chinese beverages such as green and red ice tea, which are popular with her patrons.