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NOVU Pan Asian is an intimate, small Pan Asian eatery located in a Y-Block commercial market in Phase 3 Defence, Lahore. Prior to launch, there was much chatter about NOVU on social media hence we couldn’t wait to check it out and quickly planned a visit.
Situated next to many eateries like Grab Your Meal, Delish Pizza Bar, and Thanda Garam, this market is slowly becoming home to a number of small restaurants and takeaways and we’re very excited about that.
We went to check it out on opening day
A breezy, sunny Saturday afternoon and Pan Asian cuisine are a match made in heaven. Paired with a modern, edgy balcony sitting space – we knew we were in for a great experience.
We didn’t wait much longer and ordered a variety of options from the menu. Check ’em out below.
Hoko Noodle Soup
(Joey style) HMMM NOODLE SOUP! For starters, we ordered this Hoko Noodle Soup. Unlike desi, excessive cornflour-laden soups, this soup was brothy and abundant with flavors from the chicken, onions, and peppers. A little hard to eat/drink but worth the mess!
Batter-fried to perfection, NOVU’s Tempura Prawns were humongous. I’ve never seen a prawn this big in size being served at such an affordable price, so I was pleasantly surprised. The sweet, tangy sauce drizzled over it canceled out the otherwise bland flavor of a batter-fried prawn and gave it a nice kick.
Tender, juicy chicken thighs with rich, sweet sauce (suspecting honey) chargrilled and served on skewers. Golden in color, they melt ever so effortlessly in your mouth and that’s why this was our favorite appetizer of the day.
Crunchy Honey Beef and Garlic Rice
Coming to the main course, the Crunchy Honey Beef was, without a doubt, our favorite among the others. It was crunchy, sweet beef with sesame seeds that just makes you want to keep eating more and more and more of it. On the other hand, the Garlic Rice was yummers with chopped spring onions and a faint garlic taste, nothing too overpowering.
Crispy Chicken in Sweet & Sour Sauce and Sticky Rice
The Crispy Chicken in Sweet & Sour Sauce wasn’t too crispy and got a little too sweet for us that sour element of it canceled out. Nevertheless, it tasted good. We’re hoping they took our advice into consideration when we pointed it out to them. As for NOVU’s Sticky Rice – they weren’t the best ones we’ve had but still work if you absolutely want them.
Novu Special Chicken and Vegetable Chowmein
The NOVU Pan Asian’s Special Chicken, however, was delicious. Spice lovers would love this particular dish because it’s SPICYYYY. Tastewise, it wasn’t bland – every ingredient that compliments spice and the chicken was in there. And it tasted even better with their Vegetable Chowmein, which was one of the best chowmein we’ve tasted. Not completely dry and very much like how chowmein should really be.
Overall, we loved their generous portions. From a desi, Pakistani point of view, if you’re looking for food that’s not entirely authentic Pan Asian and matches a tad bit with Pakistani tastes, you need to go to NOVU Pan Asian Cuisine. Value for money is another reason why you should go – it’s pretty affordable and you get delicious food. If you also like eating your food with chopsticks and don’t find them in other outlets, you’ll have them here so yay!
Balcony sitting area
Coming to the restaurant itself, this balcony is beautiful and can easily accommodate up to 7 people. We chose to sit here rather than inside as spring with its sunshine and moderate heat brings a nice breeze. Why let that go to waste and sit inside? The seating is quite comfortable and even if the place is full, you have space to move around.
The tables on the balcony are stable and don’t rattle. They have enough area for at least three main courses along with cutlery and plates. So don’t think you won’t have space to put your food and eat it. It all fits!
Sitting space inside
The sitting space inside is also very modern and casual. There are similar tables on the right so it’s not like the restaurant can’t entertain a lot of people. But a word of advice: while planning a party keep in mind it is still a small eatery and can only accommodate up to 25-30 people max, at a time.
The kitchen exists on the ground floor. As we were entering and then leaving, we noticed how it’s partially open and not completely cut off from the restaurant, which puts more pressure on the staff to keep things clean and hygienic. Let’s hope it stays that way!
NOVU Pan Asian Cuisine itself is very casual, nothing too fancy, hence perfect to hang out with your friends and family if craving some good Chinese and Thai food.