Zaan Pan Asian: New Kid on the Block
It’s no secret that there is a dearth of good Chinese restaurants in Lahore. It is rare finding an eatery that can serve quality, authentic food and do so consistently. Which is perhaps why despite our incessant complaints, we have developed a soft corner for desi Chinese. We recently happened upon Zaan Pan Asian which treads the fine line between authentic and desi, and that’s a compliment.
Office lunches need to be quick, convenient, and painless, which is why Chinese isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when deciding on the order of the day. However, last Friday we were feeling a little fancy. We’d been hearing about Zaan Pan Asian for a hot minute and ordered up a few items to get a real taste of them; Fish in Garlic Sauce, Basil Chicken, Chowmein, and Garlic Rice.
Our order was delivered within 30 minutes and arrived piping hot. It was time to bring out the big boy plates and cutlery and get down to some serious eating. It took us a while to break through the insulated packaging, not that I’m complaining. 10/10 for quality of packaging and delivery care. Once the lids were removed we knew we were in for a treat.
Fish in Garlic Sauce
The first thing I sunk my fork into was the Fish in Garlic Sauce. This was surprising because I’m not a fan of fish in any way, shape or form, but the aroma wafting from the container had me invested. Although the batter on the fish was a bit thicker than I’d anticipated, the flavors were absolutely amazing. Subtle, yet impactful. I spent my sweet time on this one before moving onto the Basil Chicken.
Basil Chicken is deceptively simple, which is why it is easy to get tragically wrong. Previously I’ve been on the receiving end of Basil Chicken that is either too sweet or strangely bitter, which is why I was a bit apprehensive. My inhibitions melted away the minute I had a forkful of this. The basil chicken was perhaps the best rendition I’ve had in town and Zaan Pan Asian is definitely going to be my go-to for it.
The Chowmein tasted pretty much identical to the one available at YUM but was half the price. If that’s not enough to convince you to order it then I don’t know what is. Also, I get excited every time I see more than two types of mushrooms in a dish, so I was plenty excited about this one. It was spicy without being overbearing and I ended up having it straight out of the fridge a few hours later. Tasted as amazing when it was cold as it did warm.
This turned out to be the only disappointment we faced with Zaan Pan Asian, the garlic rice wasn’t garlic rice at all. It was a tasteless stirfry that went largely untouched and had no redeeming qualities. It looked drab and there wasn’t a hint of garlic there. But everything else was so good that we pretty much forgot about it instantly.
Overall Zaan Pan Asia serves up great food with quality ingredients and a keen focus on staying as true to authentic Chinese flavors as possible. It’s definitely our new go-to when we’re in the mood for a quick takeaway/ delivery dinner. I’d recommend it over pretty much any Chinese in town right now. Check it out for yourself.