The menu is brief, amounting to just one page and is split between tapas plates (literally 'small dishes' in Chinese) and noodle bowls. For starters we tried the cucumber and tofu salad, cold sweet potato noodles with beef mince and the 'handbreak bread'. The cucumber is crunchy and tangy with just the right hints of garlic, chilli and fresh coriander, the sweet potato noodles a revelation with the subtle sweetness of the thin noodles perfectly paired with the delicately crumbed mince meat and the thin and flaky 'handbreak bread' layered with greens could easily start a Joburg street food trend of its own.
'Small dishes' aside, the main event in this republic is noodles, made on-site in the traditional northern Chinese fashion using wheat rather than rice to achieve a thick, chunky noodle with a bite and served in a hearty, subtly flavoured broth that touches the taste buds in all sorts of places. Noodle options include spicy beef, tofu and vegetable, chashao pork, dandan with the aforementioned beef mince or Sichuan chilli chicken, and all come served with a side of homemade chilli oil so you can spice things up as much as you need.
PRON is a down-to-earth, fun kind of place - the walls are lined with shelves stacked with garish tongue-in-cheek Made In China toys, exotic Chinese condiments and old communist posters, whilst outside a terrace looks over Linden's slow-paced suburban streetlife - and so we felt perfectly comfortable in messily slurping up our noodles and gulping down the very last dregs of delicious broth straight from the bowl. Even if you've been raised on braais and pies, Chen's comfort food will make you feel right at home.
Open 12:00–15:00 and 18:00–21:30. Closed Sun.
Price/Additional Info€ € € € €
Hyde Park Corner, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and 6th Rd, Hyde Park
The Fat Zebra
71 7th St (cnr 3rd Ave), Linden