Pan Asian recently opened its doors to the lunch crowd on Chapel St and seeing as I had a lunch time appointment in the area, I was quite keen to try it out.
If you have never been to Pan Asian then it’s about time you changed that. The exterior of the place looks somewhat daunting, with its tinted glass and if you peep in, the fancy looking interior makes one feel that this is an amazingly fancy place with prices way higher than the wallet could handle. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
My dining companions were kind and generous enough to allow me to photograph their lunches so I’ll try to show the varied range of lunch items up for offer in this short review.
The Chinese Crispy Pork Belly Baguette with apple and cucumber, and light hoisin dressing ($12) was Violet‘s order. It does make you think immediately of Earl Canteen’s version of the Pork Belly, since Earl seems to have redefine Pork Belly Baguettes, but this was somewhat different. I wasn’t too fond of the baguette, but I do generally dislike baguettes as I find them a tad too hard and too chewy.
The Pork Belly did have a nice crisp skin but the flavours in the meat was the stand out of the dish. The burst of flavours, so refreshing and yet so interestingly asian played on the tongue. Unfortunately, it is then washed away by that baguette. Did I mention, I don’t like baguettes? Violet on the other hand, found it lovely. She loved the baguette and loved every bit of it, but it was rather huge for just one of her. But at 12 dollars? A bargain.
Sarah ordered Thai street style beef salad with cherry tomatoes and spanish onion ($12) and while I didn’t get to taste this, I was quite taken by the vibrant colours that just brought the dish to life.
Jimmy’s choice of the Chicken curry with rice had me wondering why it was only a mere $10. That’s bargain like you wouldn’t believe, especially on Chapel st.
Here’s my own lunch of Hainan poached chicken with ginger shallot salsa and fragrant lemongrass chilli sauce and rice ($11). Beautifully poached chicken, every bit as greasy as you’d want your Hainan chicken to be, with the only disappointment being the rice not being the same Hainan rice I was hoping it’d be. But the absolutely amazing lemongrass chilli sauce had me craving for more, and every day that I am there, I pester, nay, beg the kitchen for the recipe. At $11, I’d be there every single day if I could.
Pan Asian also serves the beautiful cupcakes from Sugadeaux and let me tell you, they are divine. I was quite lucky recently to have received cupcakes from the beautiful Sugadeux for winning her twitter competition and I was in cupcake heaven. You haven’t tasted an amazing cupcake, till you have tasted a Sugadeux cupcake, let me tell you that.
The dessert platter shown above was given to us as a complimentary gift from the owners of Pan Asian.
All in all, an amazing experience. Don’t like the stern exterior and fancy interior turn you away. Take a step in and embrace the vibrant colours that dance on the walls of Pan Asian, and ask the owner, Li, to tell you the stories of the beautiful girls who adorn those drawings. Take a look at the chandelier and marvel at the fact that it’s mostly made out of mixing bowls of various sizes and salt and pepper shakers. One thing to note however, that you shouldn’t be heading over to Pan Asian looking for authentic Malaysian/Singapore/ Thai food. The food is asian inspired and resonates strongly with the asian flavours and textures, but it isn’t authentic in the strictest sense of the word, but I often think that the ‘authentic’ debate is a slippery slope to nowhere anyways. But this is hardly important.
What is most important, is to enjoy your lunch. This is Chapel St, after all.
(03) 9533 7022
267 Chapel Street
Web: Pan Asian