Taiwanese Fried Chicken and Street Snacks @ Monga, Damansara Uptown

Before the boba tea craze, there was the Taiwanese fried chicken craze.

I remember a time when Taiwanese fried chicken shops were popping up everywhere around Malaysia – Hot Star, Shihlin, Fried Chicken Master, J & G… but like many ‘trendy’ foods, of these, only a handful remain. Among them is Monga, a late entrant into the market which seems to be holding its own. There’s an outlet in Damansara Uptown which is pretty close to my workplace, so I’ve been dropping by for snacks every now and then during lunch break.

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The name Monga is apparently based on a place name in Taiwan. They also have another branch in SS15, Subang Jaya.

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One thing I like about the shop is that it’s impeccably clean. They are open for dine-in, but since these are snack foods, it isn’t much of a hassle to get your food to go.

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What does Monga offer? 

Well, their signature is the Taiwanese-style fried chicken fillet, featuring a boneless chicken thigh (Rm14.90). The price is on the steeper side, but the fillet seems huge. Aside from the Original, you also have the Seaweed and Chilli, and juicy Popcorn Chicken.

I actually have yet to try their signature because on both of my previous visits, I wasn’t looking for something heavy – but perhaps I’ll drop by for lunch proper one day!

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The first time around I got Fried King Oyster Mushrooms (RM9.90). The portion was generous, and the mushrooms were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, with a crispy batter enveloping thick yet soft mushrooms on the inside. I liked the texture as it had a meatiness and bite to it, and it still retained a lot of moisture even after deep frying. Highly recommended if you like mushrooms!

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On my second visit, I got Fried Chicken skin (RM7.90) – an order I regretted lol. It’s not that it wasn’t good – I just felt really greasy and icky afterwards. If you’ve read my previous post about losing weight, I’ve been on a streak lately – I guess old habits die hard, and I’ve been stressed with work. I will try not to fall into these unhealthy eating traps again… or at least try not to do it so often.

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With every purchase of a snack, you get to top up the meal with a drink for RM3.90. And ofc when you have Taiwanese snacks, you gotta have that Taiwanese boba !  The tea itself was quite tasteless and there was too much ice, so the sweetness only came from the pearls, which tasted decent.

MONGA (DAMANSARA UPTOWN) 

66, Jalan SS 21/39, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Open daily : 11AM – 9PM

Available on GrabFood. 

 

2D Cafe @ Sunway Geo, Bandar Sunway

Hey guys!

I was reading an article recently about how ‘selfie culture’ has changed the landscape of travel and lifestyle offerings. Now, it’s no longer about travel for the sake of experiencing things, but documenting and snapping photos of ourselves all along the way; a journey of narcissism and self-validation through likes and follows. Perhaps that sounds cynical, but its the nature of how things are today.

One of these purpose-built places is 2D Cafe @ Sunway Ge. Modeled after the 2D-cafe trend in South Korea and Japan, the cafe’s entire interior has been designed to look like the pages of a black and white comic book, with bold black lines creating an illusion of ‘flatness’ against the all-white furnishings. The result is eye-catching and certainly unique, as subjects pop against the backdrop.

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The cafe itself is a bit hard to find, as it is located on the 3rd floor, away from all the other restos and cafes clustered on the ground floor. Once you get there, the entrance is a little confusing as well. The seating area is shielded from sight, and patrons enter through a narrow corridor. The theme for the cafe is European x Japanese, and you see the European portion of it at this section which features famous works of art such as the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, Edward Munch’s Scream and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, cheekily holding up bubble teas (the shop’s specialty).

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Once inside, the Japanese elements are apparent, with geishas, darumas, maneki nekos and vending machine murals aplenty – and even a drawing of the Great Wave of Kanagawa adorning one side of the wall. All of the furniture and deco is handpainted and took the artist (who is also a share holder) two months to complete.

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Me taking photo of a dood taking a photo of me #photoception

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A section of the cafe made to look like a classroom.

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Another section with a bath ‘tub’ / ball pit (not pictured), made to look like a traditional Japanese public bath.

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Counter where they take your orders. You will find about five different types of bubble tea here, although prices are above average (RM14.90). To match the cafe’s aesthetics, the bottles are also packaged in the same ‘comic’ art vein.

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Picture courtesy of 2D Cafe. 

I did not try their drinks because I thought they were too pricey, but there have been reviews on Google which are less than stellar. Let me know what you think if you’ve tried it!

Only time will tell if these Instagram ‘concept’ cafes will last, because personally, no matter how attractive you spruce a place up, if the food/drinks aren’t great and the price point is expensive, most people will probably only go once. That being said, from an arts perspective, I think it’s pretty creative, even if it’s not original.

2D CAFE 

F-03, 10, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, SUNWAY GEO AVENUE, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 9PM (Closed on Wednesday).

 

Chemistry Themed Bubble Milk Tea @ QR-Tea Lab, Sunway Geo Avenue, Bandar Sunway

Update 1/2/2021: This outlet is now permanently closed. 

With bubble tea craze in Malaysia reaching critical mass (there are now close to 30 brands), smaller outlets have had to compete in creative ways – by upping their Instagram game. Which is why you get new ‘concept’ bubble tea shops, such as QR-Tea Lab at Sunway Geo Avenue, Bandar Sunway. Themed after a science lab, the cafe features decor such as a periodic table of the elements on one side of the wall, and servers dressed in lab coats.

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Aside from your standard bubble milk tea, QR Lab also allows patrons to customise their own drinks by mixing different concoctions together. You can select your own mix from a test tube display counter at the front, with tea options such as oolong and black tea, fruit flavours such as peach and pineapple, and flavoured syrup the likes of jasmine, rose and more. If you like the foamy cheese tea, they have that as well.

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Colourful beakers adorn one side of the cafe.

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A small area at the back for photos, complete with microscope, test tubes/beakers and a model skeleton.

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Photoshopped pictures of famous scientists with the brand’s bubble tea.

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Ever since I tried the Brown Sugar Fresh Milk series (they have it at almost every single bubble tea outlet these days), I’ve found it hard to drink anything else when I go to a bubble tea shop. The QR-Tea version was pretty good, with small, chewy bubbles that went well with the cold fresh milk. They only come in one size and cost RM12.90 per cup.

That being said, I don’t condone having bubble milk tea too often – high sugar content and all that. Treat yourself after a month of hard work, or have it for a celebration or something. 😀

QR-TEA LAB 

B01.05, Sunway Geo Avenue, Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

Opening hours: 12PM – 11PM (daily)