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Jozi’s coolest noodle bar PRON – reviewed

When you walk into The People’s Republic of Noodles, you’re instantly hit by the smell of steaming noodles and slow-cooking meat. It’s followed by a visually stimulating feast of colour consisting of flashy gold trinkets and captivating murals. Here nothing is deep-fried, nor is any sweet-and-sour sauce or spring rolls anywhere in sight, making PRON a healthy choice for Chinese cuisine. You can also be assured that all the bread and noodles are homemade.

Expect fresh vegetables and slow-roasted meats. Photo supplied.

Fast facts

Cost: Average price main course is R95
Food Type: Chinese noodle bar
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 5

Food

Hearty soupy and saucy noodles are the main offering of this Chinese-style eatery, with everything made traditionally. One could easily order a host of the starters and be sated. Each dish is packed with flavour and different in its texture, like the dry-fried green beans or the slices of Dorado fish with five flavours (including ginger, garlic and coriander) served on a bed of bean sprouts. Add some crunch with the pig-ear salad, the exact flavours of which remain elusive. Add the table chilli sauce made with Szechuan pepper for a more fiery experience.

Ramen at PRON. Photo supplied.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to order the bread on the side, which is flavoured with spring onion and unravels delicately in your hands. If you’ve opted for spicy starters, go for the saucy thick Dandan noodles with minced pork and carrot bits. Or there’s the brothy beef flank noodles, which is soupy with distinct but subtle flavours. The front-of-house explains that it’s all the juices from beef, which has been slow-cooked for hours, that gets absorbed by the noodles. The crunchy Chinese spinach and the bok choi toppings make for a fresh palate cleanser in between slurps. The rainy day spicy noodles are a good option for temporarily clearing your sinuses or a blocked nose.

Variety and flavours are the name of the game here. Photo supplied.

There’s no dessert section on the menu, but you might want to end off your meal with a few Chinese sweets, a cup of fragrant tea or sake.

Drinks

You’ll find sake, aloe juice, all your favourite fizzy drinks, a good selection of white and red wines, Chinese beers, classic cocktails and spirits on offer. Try the roasted coconut juice, which makes for a good palate cleanser.

Service

The manager does her best to attend to all the tables, but it would be helpful if the waiters knew more about the food and ingredients to help with clarification. Nevertheless, you are not left waiting – food and drinks come flying out of the kitchen quite soon after you’ve placed your order.

The People’s Republic of Noodles. Photo supplied.

Ambience

It’s a kitsch, cool space where you could happily spend hours eating, drinking and treating your tastebuds to new flavours.

Another traditional dish on the menu. Photo supplied.

And…

There are plenty of items on sale, such as a packet of White Rabbit sweets, sushi vinegar, chopsticks and more.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meal in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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