New Tung Nan is a Chinese restaurant hailing from the era of the early 1980s when Chinese cuisine first made its ways into the streets of Karachi. Previously located near Liberty Market, the eatery has recently relocated in the bustling area of Tariq Road near Zahid Nihari.
Décor & Ambiance
Decorated with all the trappings of a traditional Chinese restaurant, Tung Nan’s dimly lit interior follows a red colored theme with a small aquarium near the entrance, oriental hangings and statues adorning the walls and soft Chinese music playing in the background. Square shaped red Chinese lanterns hang from the roof to add a dash of spice.
The menu presents a comprehensive choice of soups, chicken, prawn, beef, fish, omelets and chow mein. There are however no desserts or fresh juices on offer; just soft drinks and mineral water.
To get things rolling, we ordered the Chicken Corn Soup (full) priced at Rs. 350 (inclusive of tax) with the serving being ideal for a party of 4-5 people. The restaurant however does not serve single servings of soup. We ordered Fish Crackers (priced at Rs. 150) to accompany the soup, which was hot and full of juicy chicken pieces. Taste-wise, it had the marking of an authentic Chinese soup with less salt for individuals who prefer a low sodium diet. If one prefers, one can adjust the taste to one’s liking with the myriad of sauces provided. The mildness of the soup though makes it ideal for children and for adults who are not inclined towards spicy food.
If you are for something fiery, I would recommend that you order the Special Hot and Sour Soup with Vegetables priced at Rs. 430 (inclusive of tax). This soup is a Tung Nan specialty and one of the best things it has to offer. A red colored, rich broth packed with goodies such as succulent prawns, chicken, green onion, cabbage, capsicum and thin strips of carrot, the soup is spicy enough to be eaten by the average person and downright delicious.
For entrée, we ordered the Mongolian Beef priced at Rs. 550, Chicken and Prawn Fried Rice for Rs. 430, Ginger Chicken with Lemon (sizzling) for Rs. 560, Chicken Drum Sticks for Rs. 540 and Chinese Chop Suey with Crispy Noodles priced at Rs. 480.
The Mongolian Beef was a winner hands down. Tossed with sautéed crunchy cubes of green capsicum, the fried strips of beef steak were coated in a sweet and mildly spicy sauce of black pepper, soya sauce and minced ginger and garlic. The dish had just the right mix of flavors with the optimum amount of gravy to go with the rice. The helping was enough for 2-3 people.
The Chicken and Prawn Fried Rice was rich with a liberal helping of prawns, chicken and small pieces of carrot, spring onion and fried egg. The portion was ideal for 2-3 people.
The Ginger Chicken with Lemon was brought sizzling hot and made for a tempting combination of tangy fresh lemon juice, grated ginger, chicken stock and black pepper. Seasoned with soya sauce and sliced lemon, it tasted fresh with the right balance of tang and spice. The serving size was suitable for 2-3 people.
The Chicken Drumsticks with a helping of around 8 pieces was fried perfectly – crispy from outside and soft from inside. Tasting of black pepper and soya sauce, the drumsticks were gobble-worthy!
The Chinese Chop Suey paired with shredded pieces of chicken and an array of crunchy fried vegetables such as cabbage, green bell pepper, carrot and onion was freshly made and easily one of the best I have eaten. Served with whole fried egg on top, the dish had the right amount of gravy to balance the crispiness of the noodles but could have done with a little more salt.
The service is quick and hospitable with a homely and comfortable environment to welcome patrons. Credit cards are accepted but do keep cash with you as the machine is sometimes out of order. Also, confirm the availability of items before placing your order as some dishes have been discontinued but the menu has not been updated accordingly.
Hit or miss? A hit!
With a per head cost of Rs. 400-600, Tung Nan is the go-to place for authentic Chinese food at a reasonable price. It offers a simple yet relaxing environment to talk and spend time with family and friends. Try it and your wallet and taste buds will thank you.
My rating for New Tung Nan is 3/5.