Nanyang is tucked away on the fringe of the city centre – just off the Middle Meadow Walk, between the Meadows and Lauriston Place. The official address is Lister Square but the street you enter from is Simpson Loan.
I had never heard of Nanyang until invited there for dinner by the family. The website said Asian Fusion. The taxi driver said Chinese. When we got to the restaurant it was quiet and seemed to have a Malaysian theme.
In truth the food is a bit of all these things. I was tempted to mix some Malaysian street food with chips. Such a combination would have been entirely possible. In the end I went for some shredded beef and a side of rice. The shredded beef arrived in what I jokingly referred to as a brain – but was actually a bowl made out of noodles.
Did I take photos of other dishes? Yes and the fact that they’re all blurred is a testament to how quickly people snatched them away to tuck in.
I had been told by regulars that Nanyang was pretty good most of the time. That’s all I ask for in restaurants. We all have good days and bad. In my Nanyang experience to date I can confirm that assessment; despite the wide range of dishes Nanyang is reliable.
Nanyang does have busy days. As it happens it’s always been fairly quiet when I’ve been in. This doesn’t bother me at all. I admit there’s some logic in picking restaurants that locals go to but I’ve never been one to be put off my food simply through the presence of empty seats. Sure, the lack of people can affect the atmosphere but given how attentive the waiters are, well decorated the restaurant is and the welcome distraction of good food I’ve never felt out of place at Nanyang.
One of the things to watch for, to reassure yourself, while you’re at Nanyang and it feels a little empty is the number of food deliveries and pickups. On my very first trip I saw a local trader, with a café of his own, pop in to pick up some dinner. That’s a very good sign.
I think Nanyang deserves a place on the recommended list. It’s a restaurant that’s central but a little out of the way. If you have visiting friends, it’s a little busy in town and you need somewhere good, but nearby and not too expensive then impress people by ducking into Simpsons Loan and taking them to Nanyang.