Our grandfather Z.C. Tamkei, originally born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, grew up along the bustling streets of GuangZhou, China. After returning back to Africa and finally settling in Salisbury (now Harare) only to open our family's first food business "Spring Roll Center", founded in 1972 on Fife Avenue, Harare, was a staple among the locals. The country's civil unrest forced our family to migrate to South Africa and has since called home in the nations capital of Pretoria.
The early 1990's saw our family's first up-market Chinese restaurant, nestled in the corner of an affluent shopping mall in Brooklyn, Pretoria, named Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant and was proud to host famous individuals from Rowan Atkinson to the 1993 Tri-Nations New Zealand All Blacks rugby team.
In the early 2000's was our family's last return back to the restaurant industry, when the famous Orchid in Sun City rose to high expectations of being the best Asian food in South Africa claiming many accolades and a loyal following of foodies seeking the best and most unique Asian offering in the country.
Obento TodayIn Asia, household mum's would pack lunch-tins, known as "Obento's", for their husbands and children, with an assortment of delicious and yummy goodness to keep the day going until dinner time. We want to share our love for food and more particular, our home favourites.
"The best Chinese food in Joburg, is from home and #madebymum..."
During the global pandemic and hospitality businesses were rocked by the wake of closures and lock-down, we continued to wok the meals and share our creations on Instagram. With much of our friends and family asking for us to make Obento's for them to collect, soon turned into a thriving home business and our commercial kitchen re-creates all the treasure coves of flavourful delights with all the insights and secrets behind our famous dishes,coupled with our long history in the food industry.
Our meals are made ready to heat and serve, taking the fuss and mess out of our customer's kitchens and moving the convenience into their freezers. At Obento we are passionate about our quality, taste and presentation, thus every meal is assured at the highest standards. We believe in traditional flavours balanced with traditional heating methods, focusing on re-heating within bamboo steamers for optimum flavour, however, alternative heating methods are also introduced.
Our goal and drive as foodies alike, is to give back a memory to our customers who have traveled Asia and tasted the street food delights it has to offer, as well as to demystify Asian cuisine in South Africa to those seeking something different from the norms.
Obento's mastered creations will continue to build a loyal following, with ongoing developments into new offerings. We appreciate all the feedback and suggestions our customers give us and will forever provide mum's love in every Obento purchased and bringing back a long history of yummy Asian food.