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An over-the-counter Taiwanese fried chicken joint in the centre of Chinatown.
The first European branch of Taiwan’s most popular fried chicken restaurant, Monga, is a no-fuss joint for chook fans that aren’t afraid to get their fingers dirty. Like with the signature thick-cut fillet, the ‘Chee-Z’, for example. Dipped in honey and then battered before hitting the fryer (like all the individual fillets here), it comes doused in a ‘special chilli sauce’ and melted mozzarella. An enticing Far East take on chicken parmigiana on paper, the reality was a slippery handful of chicken breast drowned in elastic cheese and a sickly-sweet ketchup that had absolutely no smack of heat. Though the meat was tender and full-flavoured it, oddly, despite being touted as a fillet, came still on the bone.
There were excellent morsels of popcorn chicken rolled in crushed sesame seeds and a moreish umami seasoning – I could have gone into triple figures with those – but on their own they weren’t worth the pilgrimage.
Because other dishes, like the powdered seaweed cutlet, didn’t quite deliver either. On first bite, it had an enjoyable balance of sweet and salty, but about halfway through this morphed into a cloying syrupy aftertaste. And don’t bother with the McCain-like chips or the oil-drenched vegetable tempura either – they weren’t worth the calories, or the vitamins, for that matter.
Prices are at the top end for fast food here, and with so many superb chicken specialists around Soho, it might be a little longer until TFC takes off.
12 Macclesfield St
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks, no service: around £30.|
|Do you own this business?|