Lunch/Dinner, Anytime: AnyThai (Nancheng)

Man, I firmly believe the food that remains among the best in the world is most certainly Thai, defined really by its light touch, spicy edge and strong aromas. When you travel up the escalator outside Nancheng’s One Mall and you see AnyThai restaurant appear in front of you, you simply cannot help but get excited. You walk inside, expecting the usual mix of Thai food and drinks, but then—surprise, surprise—you end up getting something much better.

Welcome to AnyThai. They take Thai food to a whole new level, by offering what looks to be a simple menu, yet sporting exclusively made dishes throughout. The first meal we enjoyed was their Chicken Basil Rice. The chicken comes in little nuggets mixed with some nuts and bell peppers and the sauce is best described as light, plus a-little-something-extra, and we weren’t told exactly what it was because quaintly, it is their trade secret. Suffice to say that we loved it, and will definitely rank it at the top of our list. Their Savage Drumstick with Rice was equally as delectable and served with fresh vegetables. A magical sweet ‘n’ sour sauce is served on the side that defies the norm as it is more of a dressing than your usual run-of-the-mill types and contains a soft yet lingering aftertaste. Their Thai Fish Steak was cooked well, dressed with tasty greens and nuts and accompanied by a tangy sauce. The eggs on the side were also a welcoming touch. To boot, prices are reasonable for sure, with dishes priced at 18 RMB, 28 RMB and 38 RMB.

But I am casting my vote for their Pineapple Fried Rice for being the best dish on the menu. Picture it: a whole pineapple sliced open and stuffed with fried rice, shrimp and calamari and decked with a light curry sauce. It was absolutely superb and offered an incredible flavor bomb of freshness, sweetness and the fruits of the ocean all in one.

Let’s not forget the drinks! You can certainly keep it simple and ask for water as some tend to do, but I’d strongly advise you to try their watermelon smoothie as well as their Thai Gongfu Coconut drink. Not only do these complement the dishes nicely, but they also add to the refreshing experience that AnyThai is all about. The service is top notch, the waiters are very friendly and knowledgeable and the restaurant’s layout is accommodating, clean and relaxing.

Address: CF2-003, Dongguan Commercial Center (One Mall’s outdoors area), Yuan Mei East Rd., Nancheng 南城元美东路东莞商业中心CF2-003号