“Why,” do you ask, “what could possibly be in Cyrildene? Where is Cyrildene?” I’m still not sure myself but am glad I managed to find it.
Anyone remember China Town on Commissioner street? Barely, right?
As the popularity of that area waned, a great trek occurred and a majority of the restaurants and supermarkets moved all the way down (or is it up?) to the now famous Derrick Avenue in Cyrildene. This area has been dubbed the New China Town.
Derrick Avenue has a worn feel to it but take a second to admire the towering red pergola or ‘paifang’ which is quite breath-taking and you will hear the siren song beckon you in. Venture down past the shop fronts and stop for a meal at Shun De which is adored by both locals and visitors. Shun De is famous for its Zhao Cha which roughly translates into ‘morning tea’ but is more commonly known as Dim Sum. There is also the unique Fisherman’s Plate which offers traditional Chinese food but levels up by allowing you to bring your own wine to enjoy with your meal. You had me at Ni hao. A handy tip before grabbing some food would be to either bring along a Mandarin speaking friend or arrive with a recommendation as not all the menus are in English and many staff can’t speak the language either.
Moving on to entertainment, I must highlight the most notable form that Cyrildene offers. KTV the karaoke bar is a hidden gem worth discovering. Once again the exterior does need to be overlooked just a little but once you are inside all is forgotten. It’s a different world entirely. In the past, it was compulsory to reserve a room before arriving, but now you can just show up- ideally with an Asian friend in tow. Not only for the comradery but also to help decipher the karaoke machines. If you don’t have one of those then try to remain cognisant long enough to get inside and to figure out how to select your jams and push play. From there your waiter will start the machines and you can begin ordering drinks.
Finally, onward to The Oriental City in Bruma – the shopping mecca close to the highway onramp. Look out for the ‘Much Better” store which you will enter needing nothing but leave having purchased everything. In fact, the same thread runs throughout the entire shopping complex. Crazy cheap prices on crazy items. From pellet guns to party décor – I generally shop at these malls when attending costume parties or buying obscure gifts for friends.
All in all, Cyrildene has much to offer to anyone willing to explore. I love South Africa and the multicultural communities dotted throughout our city. We truly are a rainbow nation, so go ahead – taste the rainbow!
By Samantha Snedorf
Have you been to Cyrildene before? Let us know what you think of it in the comments section below. Maybe plan a Chinatown mission and share this article with your crew.