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Monday, September 23, 2013

Monkey King Noodle Company

On Saturday I went to check out the new noodle place in Deep Ellum, Monkey King Noodle Company. I only found out about this place like 2 weeks ago and then realized that they had opened last week! I was excited. I love hand-pulled noodles.

It is still a soft opening. I believe they are only open for lunch at the moment (11am-2pm).

Monkey King Noodle Company
3014 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75226
(469) 206-3658
www.monkeykingnoodlecompany.com/
Price: $

I was attending a wedding downtown that night so I was gonna be in the area. I called up my sister too, who was also really excited to try this place. I was afraid that there was going to be a line but to my surprise, there was no wait at 1pm when we arrived. Woooot!

We pretty much ordered everything on the menu, which is pretty small, but that makes it easier for us to make a choice! :P

What's most exciting for us about this place is not only that we have another Chinese food place in Dallas, but that the noodles are hand pulled, and the dumplings are handmade. I grew up in Taiwan eating this stuff so we definitely want more places in Dallas that has this!! You order at the counter and everything is given to you in to-go containers. They didn't have a seating area (so we ate on the counter right outside the window). From the window you can see the owner pulling the dough for the noodles!

Beef Noodles (with chili oil) $6~ 
 
My sister really wanted to try this. Beef noodle soup is like her all time favorite. We opened the lid and there was about an inch and half of chili oil on top. She loves that stuff so she was excited. But we were quickly disappointed. Although we liked the chili oil, it was too much, made it very greasy. And there wasn't enough broth or flavor. All we could get was the oil. The beef was very tender and the noodles had good texture though. So it has promise. I think they need to tweak their broth, and have less chili oil (but make it spicier, since the chili wasn't spicy at all...) We actually got 2 of these not knowing how big their portions are. For $6 it was a good size. So my sister took the 2nd one to go. Also, another suggestion for their packaging. We hate overcooked/mushy noodles. And it's very easy for the noodles to get too soft since they put it in the broth in one container. My sister says they should package the noodles and soup in separate containers for people not eating it instantly. They do this in Asia whenever you buy noodles to go. Monkey King should look into this! *hint*hint* :P

Chicken Noodles (with clear broth) $6~ 
 
This was a very light chicken noodle soup. The chicken had a mix of white and dark meat and were cooked well. The flavor is very light. I suggested to them to have white pepper as a condiment in the future. It'll give it just the right kick. The noodles in this was slightly overcooked... See our suggestion above for packaging to prevent this!

Wontons (with chili sauce) $5~ An order comes with 10 pieces. 
These came out first. Looked pretty good. The filling was not bad, but they were undercooked. Parts of the wrapper was still raw. And from the picture, you can actually see the wonton at the top still had flour on it. I mentioned it to them right then and there, so they can adjust their cooking times. The wontons needed more sauce. But the sauce that was on it was too sour.. Should reduce the vinegar and add more soy sauce. And needs more chili oil since it wasn't spicy at all. But overall, this was my favorite "dumpling" out of all the others we tried.

Soup Dumplings (pork filling) $8~ An order comes with 8 pieces. 
I love me some Xiao Long Bao. These started out ok... The dough was still slighty undercooked but was alright. I liked the pork inside, could be more soupy though. The dipping sauce was too sour just like the ones on the wontons. However, the 2nd half of dumplings we ate ended up being raw. We probably all ate at least 1 or 2 raw ones before I realized this. The pork on the inside was raw and that's not good. I mentioned it to them as well and they were really apologetic. I kinda felt bad that I kept going back to them with negative comments. We sooooo wanted them to be good!

Pork Dumplings $5~ An order comes with 10 pieces. 
 
It's boiled dumplings "jiao zi". Again, the dough was slightly undercooked but at least the filling was fully cooked through. And the dipping sauce is the same as the others... needs tweaking.

We were disappointed. I didn't go in with high hopes but I soooo wanted them to exceed my expectations. I know it's still a soft opening, but the cook times on the dumplings should've been figured out by now. They were really nice though and really wanted feedback. They even offered to refund us all our money back. But we just told them to refund us for the soup dumplings. I felt bad being so negative but I hope they'll work on it and get better. I mean, it has promise. The noodle texture is pretty good and that's the basis of it all, everything else is an easy fix. Figure out the cook time on the different dumplings. Work on the flavors for the broth and dipping sauces. I will wait a few more months and give them another chance!

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