On a fateful Monday lunch I found myself strolling through the Renaissance Arcade on the hunt for a tasty bite. I’d heard some whispers about an epic Asian café called NanYang Café, known for its wok-tossed noodles and Chinese roast meats. So when I spotted the hectic huddle of peeps forming ’round the café’s entrance like the front of a festival stage, I just knew I had to have what they were all having.
Like many inexpensive Asian joints, the décor is about as cheap as the food. I’m talking #basicbitch furniture, minimal decorative flair and lime green paint on the walls. An interior faux pas I know, but this only assured me I had come to the right place.
After a short five minute wait, we were seated and given menus. This was when the excitement levels grew exponentially. It all looked bloody delectable and a quick scope of the happy chewing faces around me corroborated the menu’s likely ‘this is going to be great’ story.
As a shy first-timer I decided to roll with the recommendation from my more seasoned city lunch boyfriend. He assured me that the Char Kuay Teow, stir-fried rice noodles with Chinese sausage, prawns, fish cake, egg, chives and bean sprouts was the must have menu item. I ordered it with ‘medium’ chilli because I was starting to get a little cocky about my abilities to handle the heat. How wrong I was.
From the first scorching mouthful I realised that I had grossly overestimated my chilli ability. I was gasping for air and gulping down water like a person found in the desert. But it wasn’t just the fiery chilli I could taste. There was something else… and it was a little like heaven.
For those of you who see the above picture and believe it to be like any other standard noodle dish, you couldn’t be more wrong dot com. Sure, it doesn’t look like anything special but my god it is. From the fluffy egg, to the sweet Chinese sausage and the gloriously fresh noodles themselves, every element compliments each other superbly, like the instruments of a symphony orchestra. Don’t even get me started on the pork fat nibs which literally ooze when crunched into, taking me back to my childhood when the pork crackling was the highlight of all family gatherings.
I could gush about my love for this dish all damn day but I’ll simply finish off by saying that this dish took me to a place one does not often experience with their pants on…and that will be enough said.
The BF went with the Hainan Chicken Rice, which he really enjoyed. The chicken was tender, the broth was tasty and it was significantly less guilt inducing than my divine plate, but not as good…. ain’t that life.
So where should I have lunch next? Comment below!
Until next time… That’s what she said.