Quirky Asian at PRON (Linden, Joburg)

Ambience:  Funky-cool (4/5) 

Food:  Asian (5/5)

Service:  Fast and Friendly (5/5)

Overall:  If you love Chinese, it’s a must-visit!

Red Chamber is an Asian-food institution in Joburg.  Every time I crave some good, traditional, wholesome Chinese, I wheel on over to Hyde Park Corner.  Owner of Red Chamber, Emma Chen, has now opened a second restaurant in the trendy suburb, Linden.  PRON (People’s republic of noodles) is an artwork. The décor is bright, slightly oddball and fun.  It makes you smile as soon as you walk in.

The menu is divided into two parts:  Tapas and Noodles, with a good number of low carb and vegetarian dishes amongst the noodle dishes. We decided to order mostly from the tapas menu and added some plain noodles to go with the meat tapas.

The best dishes of the night:

The hand-break bread.  This is a flaky, warm flatbread that’s somewhere between naan and a croissant.

Tofu and cucumber salad. It was fresh and crunchy with an amazing secret dressing. I often find tofu chewy but the tofu in this dish was tender and tasty.

Wood ear salad with garlic and chilli.  Wood ear is a special Chinese mushroom that tastes a little like a mushroom-seaweed hybrid.  Apparently very healthy and delicious.  I’d rush back just to have this dish again.

Chicken with red chilli oil.   The stir-fried chicken is tender with fresh spring onion and other veggies.

Fish slices with five flavours. The first bite of this is a bit unusual but it just gets better and better as the flavours unfold.

The homemade noodles were divine.  I’d go back for a full noodle meal in a broth some time.  Often Chinese noodles have a slightly slimy texture but these were perfectly al-dente.

For the more adventurous Emma recommends the pig’s ear salad which is literally pigs ear (not a metaphor!).  She also said the dry fried green beans is a signature dish which is very popular.

The wine list is small but of adequate standard and the service was quick, helpful and friendly.  It’s a lovely space to visit and you leave wholly satisfied and without too much guilt after getting lots of fresh, beautiful ingredients.

Tel:  011 782 1736

69 7th Street Linden Johannesburg

Monday – Saturday 12:00 – 21:30

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