N1 City Chinese supermarket - very comprehensive

I stumbled upon this Asian supermarket recently and find it to be one of the best in Cape Town.  Now, whenever I have to head ‘North’ I take a little detour to pick up a few snacks and ingredients.

It has a very big range of sauces, spices, pastes, oils, and all manner of chinese ingredients.  There is a fresh section which includes Asian greens and duck eggs.

The prices are fantastic!

It’s a retailer and wholesaler and you can buy bulk packs of noodles and dried mushrooms.

aisle upon aisle of exotic foods

There are about 12 freezers packed with frozen duck, pork, dim sum and all the typical pastry things. 

You can also buy crockery and Chinese bamboo steamers in all sizes as well as a few electronic kitchen gadgets.

My latest food addiction is wasabi peas, and this is where I buy mine. Light and crunchy with an intense wasabi zing that induces sneezing and sends a shiver through my nostrils. I love it.

i just love wasabi peas

Located near the McDonald’s and behind the KFC at N1 City shopping complex


  1. I love Asian supermarkets – so many awesome things to find!
    will def try this one out.

  2. I absolutely LOVE wasabi peas – brought two huge packs back from Australia a couple of years ago – nobody here was as blown away as I was!

  3. I love going there….. another great thing……a Foodlover’s Market is opening/has opened there soon!!!

  4. Fiona Macpherson

    Ooooh I ate my way through 3/4 of a tin of wasabi peas last night! Nom nom! And low calories, right??!!

    Happy to hear of another Asian spot – I usually go to Mainland China’s shop in Grove ave, Claremont.

  5. Hi Fiona, regret not thaaaat low in calories (as one would expect). N1 city is about 5 x the size of Mainland China and more comprehensive

  6. lynn chambers

    i am looking for little pockets sweet taste that u fill with rice dont know what they are called. can anyone help me thks

  7. Sam

    Sorry Lynn I don’t know what you mean. But try the Asian supermarkets.

  8. yay! i just returned from a few years in taiwan and china and it looks like this spot will help me come over some of my cravings. are there any good chinese restaurants in town; as in dim sum or sichuanese. if a place is run/staffed by a bunch of locals and have things like “chinese food, pad thai and sushi” on their window, they’re probably not what i’m after 😉

  9. Sam

    Hi Werner, yes this is a great Asian supermarket, but you will find many other smaller ones all over Cape Town.
    If you are looking for good Dim Sum I can recommend the following restaurants: Haiku, Kitima and Wafu (all quite upmarket)
    You must try Chuck Yangs (Chinese) in Palmyra Road Rondebosch – widely regarded as the best Chinese in Cape Town
    Good luck and let me know if you find something exceptional (especially Dim Sum which I particularly love)

  10. sam, thanks so much for that! i also went ahead and contacted the taiwanese consulate (well, TECO office, but let’s not get into the politics of all that) and asked them where I can find proper taiwanese food, and they actually replied 🙂 they suggested ‘chuck yang’s specialty dish’ and ‘taiwan city restaurant’ in canal walk shopping center. can’t wait to get me some ??? (san bei ji – three cup chicken)!

  11. Sam

    Thanks for letting me know. I’m not familiar with Taiwanese cuisine but a friend of mine lived there for a while and has also recommended Taiwan City, so I will definitely be checking that out for myself. Let me know if you uncover any more gems as it seems you are definitely the expert.
    PS. Apparently Jade Court at the Tygervalley waterfront is also good

  12. OK, I finally made it to Chuck Yang’s, and I’m happy to report that the food was ridiculously good. Honestly, they got it spot on (and my group of first-time-Taiwanese-diners loved it as much). I ordered the “three cup chicken”, one of the most traditional Taiwanese dishes and it was flawless (except that Yang Shifu changed the dish by removing the chicken bones, probably because of fussy diners…), stir fried veggies (bak chuoy flash fried with garlic), spicy squid (Taiwanese-Sichuanese fusion) and the brilliant coriander beef. Four dishes, big bowl of white rice, eight beers (Qingdao and SAB beers, but unfortunately no Taiwan beer) split between 4 people came to about R110 each, which included a bit of gratuity. I spoke to the chef (who gives this fantastic grin when you call him “Master Yang”) and it sounds like he will even make traditional Beef Noodles (niu rou mian – ???) with a little advance notice.
    As with most Taiwanese restaurants, you go there for the food and friendliness, not for the service or ambiance. This is going to be a weekly visit for me, one for the amazing food and two: to practice my Mandarin with Mrs Yang! 🙂

  13. Sam

    Werner, you have totally made my day writing in to tell me about Chuck Yangs. I cant wait to go back again and I’ll take my friend who lived in Taiwan. So glad you enjoyed!

  14. I’m there like a bear!!
    San bei ji, niu rou mian yes please!

  15. My Chinese wife has tried them all but we are regulars at N1 City because the quality and the variety is the best in Cape Town. The Chinese grocer in Chinatown off Ottery road does not compare but it does have regular deliveries of fresh Asian greens and tofu and is much closer for us to buy the weekly consumables.

  16. Han-Ri Lambrechts

    I need help urgently please…. I need to find a supplier of those chinese takeaway boxes in the Western Cape area. Can anybody point me in the right direction? Or would I be able to find them at this supermarket?

  17. Charlotte

    For the Chinese take away boxes, go to Merry Pak in Ndabeni. They have just about any type of paper goods u r looking for. I did see those take away boxes there.

  18. can anybody give me their phonenumber please ? i tried telkom i tried the internet , i phoned sycom, i phoned the value market etc . please

  19. Sam

    Hi Gerber, I am sorry that I don’t have the number. I am surprised that the center management couldn’t give it to you.

  20. Charlotte Snyman

    Merry Pak contact details:

  21. Deborah Johnson

    Does anybody know where to source Chinese pancakes (normally frozen) for Peking duck pancakes?
    Thks as not from CT .

  22. Patience

    Good morning

    I am looking for a place where I can buy frozen coconut meat, coconut flakes, coconut fruit e.t.c.
    Is there any chance that I can get this at this specific Asian Supermarket, and if not may you please help with suggestions of where I can possibly get this .

    Kind Regards

  23. Sam

    Hi Patience – Im afraid I cant help you. I have seen dessicated coconut and flakes at various supermarkets. You may need to buy fresh coconuts and make your own

  24. Patience

    Hi Sam, thanks for the response. Do you know where I can get fresh coconuts?

  25. Hi, I just moved from Singapore to Cape Town. I’m looking for Asian Supermarket where I can buy Asian groceries and food stuff. Not familiar with the road here yet. Do you have the full address for the supermarket where I can key into my GPS. Thank you.

  26. Sam

    Hi Clara – the shop has since moved but is in the same complex. Its in the N1 City complex off the N1 and is basically in a strip mall behind the Mc Donalds. However there are so many Asian supermarkets around CT now days. Where do you live? I shop and find all my stuff at a small Asina supermarket call Asian spice supermarket opposite ABSA on Sea POint Main Road (corner Arthur Street)

  27. Hi Sam, I’m leaving in the area of Lakeside in Muizenberg. I make my own sashimi and sushi, I’m running out my wasabi and otherJapanese ingredients. Indian curry, Chinese and Malay dishes too. And I’m looking for grated tapioca for my tapioca cake. Do you have any idea where I can get it here.
    Thanks xx

  28. Is there a Chinese Supermarket where one may purchase items online, pay via EFT and have e.g. The Courier Guy collect the parcels once the payment has been confirmed? Living in the rural areas make it very difficult to obtain specific Oriental ingredients such as Chinese Dates, PuBao, etc.

  29. Sam

    HI Jacques I have no idea and don’t think there is a specific online shop.

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