I’m so happy that the culinary scene in the Philippines continues to improve. There are local chefs and restaurants upping their game and offering polished takes on Filipino classics, and those that are completely reinventing the cuisine with fusions and innovations. At the same time, I’m glad that more restaurants from abroad are opening in Manila, introducing new flavors right here so we don’t have to fly out.
One of the recent imports is Monga, dubbed Taiwan’s most popular fried chicken cutlet chain. I got to try it out and I honestly, genuinely liked it.
Monga’s star product is its chicken fillet and boy, was it surprising. Its pieces are two inches thick and marinated with honey and dipped in batter instead of dry flour. It’s prepared daily and fried upon order, which results in a juicy and tender dish at every bite. To date, there are three flavors: The King, the Hot Chick, and the Taiker (all P189 for solo).
I got to try The King, the classic served with salt and pepper. It’s flavorful without being too salty. And my gosh, I was so happy with how juicy it was. I came during the afternoon and I wasn’t too hungry so I wasn’t able to finish one order. Yes, it’s that big. In fact, it can be lunch or dinner if you pair it with rice (P199). I like how it’s served in a paper bag so you can eat it on the go. Personally, I don’t advise this because of the oil and it can get messy to eat because it’s hot.
I wasn’t able to try the Hot Chick, which is seasoned with home-made chilli powder. I heard good reviews of the Taiker, which is loaded with Japanese sauce and seaweed powder. I will definitely try that next time.
Monga also offers side dishes and there are quite a lot. There’s the Chee-z (P209 for solo and P229 with rice), a chicken dish draped with cheese and tomato sauce or special chilli. It’s delicious, too, kind of like having pizza served on chicken.
The Fried Broccoli (P90) and Fried Chicken Skin (P89) are good, too. You’ll enjoy it if you already like those two dishes. The broccoli is quite a steal when you consider how expensive it is in groceries. My personal favorite would have to be the Fried King Oyster Mushroom (P90). It’s tasty, juicy, and addictive. Now, this is a snack I can eat on the go.
I never thought of pairing fried chicken with milk tea, and I didn’t expect it to taste good. Their Milk Tea is creamy and pairs well. Will try the Black Dragon Oolong Latte and the Green Dragon Matcha Latte next.
One intriguing fact about Monga is that it is owned by Nono, a famous Taiwanese comedian. I was impressed that he personally took the time to visit Manila to attend the launch. He may be known for his hilarious antics but Monga is no funny business. It’s big, delicious, and offers value for money.