I have admittedly not tried many Taiwanese fried chicken places but I’ve heard of the growing number of them in Toronto and now there is one more to add to that list: Monga Fried Chicken.
I had been following the restaurant on social media since it opened about 3 weeks back and had noticed that it had been quite busy but was relieved when I easily got a seat at around 3:30-4 in the afternoon.
As you step into the restaurant, you immediately notice an open kitchen – one of my favourite features in any restaurant. The wooden flooring with neon lighting (some hanging) and contemporary pictures on the wall gives off a nice, modern industrial vibe.
The seating is limited but many people who ordered before or after me were ordering to go instead of sitting. The seating is a mix of high tables with stools and regular chairs with booth like sitting.
On the wall behind the kitchen is the menu. The main items are of course the fried chicken and “baoger” which seems to combine the words “bao” and “burger”. In addition, there are 4 types of beverages and a variety of side items: wings, salad, Asian coleslaw, nuggets and fries.
After you order your food, you are given a number with your reciept and the service was quite quick even when it was reasonably busy. Funnily, I found the number to be redundant since they brought the food to the table but it seemed like it was used more for people who were doing take out. The food was brought to my friend and me within 10 minutes. The restaurant had a casual and fast serve feel to it and it seemed to satisfy that quite well especially considering that it was getting busier after we had ordered.
I first tried their fried chicken ($10 or $14 for combo) called “The King” which consisted of black pepper & salt seasoning.
The outside breading was crispy for the most part but unfortunately, the chicken as a whole was average or even slightly disappointing. The cutlet is decently thick so after the initial first 2-3 bites, the chicken becomes quite dry by the time you get to the middle. Surprisingly, the seasoning on the chicken was actually pretty light. I found the black pepper and salt part to be quite lacking.
Therefore, the dryness of the chicken with the light seasoning makes it out to be rather bland.
The 2nd type of chicken I tried was called: Taker which consisted of okinawa seaweed seasoning. After the disappointing first chicken, I was looking forward to this chicken mainly because of the seasoning.
I found this piece of chicken to be better than the previous one but not by much. It unfortunately suffers from the same flaw of the chicken being dry. However, the seaweed flavouring does provide a nice, sweet flavouring on the outside albeit being slightly overpowering.
For the baoger ($5.25), I decided to try the “classic” which consisted of braised pork belly, pickled cabbage and fresh cucumber.
The bun was soft and “pillow-y” and the braised pork also was soft and okay. The taste of the pickled cabbage and fresh cucumber was slightly homogenous and the pickled taste might have overpowered the entire baoger including the pork. The one thing I didn’t like was that if you don’t finish the baoger quickly enough, it starts to become soggy from the bottom. The crushed peanuts didn’t provide as much crunchiness as I would’ve liked but in the end, I think I did prefer this to the fried chicken. It really wasn’t too bad.
My friend tried the bao with fried chicken in it instead of the pork and liked it. She had never tasted a bao before so it was a first time for her.
Lastly, I thought the best part of the restaurant was the fresh watermelon juice I had. I really like watermelon juice and thought it tasted quite decent.
At the end, this restaurant is decent enough to try once however, I feel like if you’ve had other Taiwanese fried chicken places you like, this could be skippable. The high points are definitely the service and the decor. I do however want to try the spicy fried chicken they have so maybe I’ll revisit in a while.