If you know me, you’ll most definitely know that PRON is one of my top 3 favourite Joburg restaurants. When I think of Chinese food, I think of spring rolls, dumplings, sweet & sour chicken or chop suey. I thought I knew it all and that this place would be more of the same, but with better decor than your average Chinese take-away. To my surprise, I learned that this is not the case at PRON. They introduced me to a whole new dimension of Chinese food. PRON aims to introduce people to another kind of authentic and healthy Chinese cuisine. There is nothing deep fried in batter. There are no spring rolls or sweet & sour sauce!
PRON or People’s Republic Of Noodles is located on 7th Avenue just up the road from Linden’s better known 7th Street (just across from Louw Geldenhuys Primary). The restaurant, its staff and its decor take me right back to the time I lived in Asia.
The restaurant is owned by the same lady who owns one of Joburg’s most famous Chinese restaurants, Red Chamber in Hyde Park. After more than 26 years in the food industry, Emma Chen opened up PRON with the idea of only serving foods she grew up with in North China. Rice grows in the south of China, not in the north, so Emma was raised on noodles and bread. Yup, that means all kinds of noodle dishes and lots of delicious hand-made Chinese bread (a MUST have!)
This place is not only a treat for the tummy, but also for the eyes. A visual feast of colours, captivating murals, interesting decorations and weird and wonderful trinkets make this a kitch and cool place where you could spend hours happily dining, drinking and laughing away while legitly feeling like you are in old-school China.
This handmade-on-site Chinese bread (R25) with spring onion baked into it is amazing as a side with any of their mains. Baked in a spiral shape, it playfully unravels with each piece you break off. Don’t leave here without trying it. I couldn’t get enough. And yes, dipping it into the flavourful sauces of all the main dishes is strongly encouraged. So, please leave the no-carb diets behind for the night when you visit PRON. I promise it’ll be worth every calorie! Also, the bread is vegan (if that’s yerr thang).
Each table gets served bottomless, complimentary jasmine tea. Other beverages include sake, aloe juice, roasted coconut juice, a selection of wines, Chinese beers, cocktails and spirits as well as the usual fizzy drinks.
All the waiters recommended we try the chili oil on the table. IT.WAS.SO.GOOD.
The abundant use of coriander, spring onion, chili and Sichuan pepper corns means the dishes are strong and satisfying in flavour. Inspired by tapas, some dishes are served refreshingly cold and others warm. On my first visit we ordered two starters to share. The Chaoshao Pork Slices (R60- see above) and the Chicken with Red Chili Oil (R60 – see below).
How cool are these chairs? Love the attention to detail.
On my first visit I tried the Spicy Beef Noodles (R95) and my friend had the Black Pepper Chicken Noodles (R90). The manager explained to me that all the meats are slow-cooked for hours making them super tender and the juices left over in the pots are then absorbed by the noodles which gives each dish an extra satisfying flavour. The bok chop, diced carrot and Chinese spinach toppings add some crunch in between soupy slurps. In total for two people with drinks, a starter and 2 courses it will cost about R300, but chances are you might be going home with a doggy bag as the portions aren’t skimpy at all!
Once you’ve finished treating your tastebuds to all the new flavours, I suggest taking a walk around the store as they sell a range of Chinese imported products from milk to rice, cooking sauces, oils and even toys.
Maybe the only real reason I go to Chinese restaurants – White Rabbit sweets!
PRON sells these in bulk packs.
Yes, White Rabbits come with the bill!
I cannot wait for my next visit to PRON. Will be trying out the Tofu & Cucumber salad (R50) and the Sweet Potato Noodles with beef mince (R50) for a starter. And hopefully it will be a cold day so I can finally have the Rainy Day Spicy Noodles (R85) for main course.
PRON is usually fully booked in the evenings so be sure to make a reservation by calling them on 011 782 1736.
Adress : 69 7th St. Linden, Randburg, 2104, South Afria
Hours: From 12–3PM and then 6–10PM
Phone: (011) 782 – 1736
谢谢! THANK YOU FOR READING!
*All photos taken by me.