Asian food seems to be enjoying a renaissance here in Bristol with a glut of pho, ramen and noodle joints opening across the city to feed hungry office workers and weekend visitors.
Pan Asia joins a competitive throng. Housed in what used to be Fabric Land by the busy stretch of dual carriageway between the Bearpit and the end of the M32, it stands out from the crowd or out on a limb, however you want to look at it.
It is elegantly and freshly decked out with dark wood grain, textured black and beige stones, black ceiling, copper pendant lights and burgundy feature walls
The restaurant was hushed on a recent Monday lunchtime when I stopped in to take advantage of the £7.95 lunch deal, comprising a starter and main course.
Feeling a bit snivelly after the endless rains, my chicken and sweetcorn soup was the perfect remedy and perfectly balanced in seasoning and slightly glutinous texture, although I suspect the chicken wasn’t organic. It stood among other simple (but hopefully as well executed) choices such as miso soup, salt and pepper tofu and spring rolls.
I opted for wormy udon noodles with fried vegetables, which came piled generously with fried carrot, pepper, spring onions and shiitake mushrooms, seasoned with pepper and sesame seeds. Simple but tasty and a portion so gargantuan after a big bowl of soup that I took as much away with me in a doggy bag.
Asian classics such as pad thai and Malaysian curry were among the other choices on the modest but satisfying lunch menu.
Throughout my lunch, I was heavily outnumbered by staff, with chefs peering shyly out of the serving hatch as they waited for me to finish my starter and a pleasantly attentive waiter looking for something to do.
It has already won some Facebook fans, but without attracting the attention of the local lunch crowd, it’s difficult to see how they can play this location to their advantage. A cheap, tasty and filling lunch deal is a good place to start though.
Pan Asia, York House, Bond Street, Bristol, BS1 3LQ.
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