Johannesburg

PRON - People's Republic of Noodles

  69 7th St, Linden      +27 11 782 1736     15 May 2020
One of Joburg's leading chefs, Emma Chen has been serving expertly executed Mandarin-style cuisine at her acclaimed Red Chamber restaurant in Hyde Park Corner for several years. In mid-2015 Chen decided to go back to her roots and open a new restaurant that would pay homage to the tastes of her childhood, specifically the northern Chinese food that her parents brought her up with. This means no deep-fried dishes, no rice and definitely no sweet and sour sauces. Chen's northern Chinese cuisine centres on the noodle, given a magnificent lift with an abundance of spring onion, coriander, garlic, chilli and Chinese peppercorns.

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 the cucumber and tofu salad, cold sweet potato noodles with beef mince and the 'handbreak bread'. The cucumber was 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.
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Open 12:00–15:00 and 18:00–21:30. Closed Sun.

Price/Additional Info

RR. € € € € €

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