A international Taiwanese fried chicken brand, Monga Fried Chicken, will open in London’s Chinatown on Tuesday 27 January, just before Chinese New Year. The brand will open its first site, a 30-cover restaurant, at 12 Macclesfield Street, marking a European debut for the chain which is widely followed in Taiwan and which opened a first American outpost in Houston, Texas last autumn. International expansion appears to a priority for the company, which also opened in Toronto, Canada in September 2017.
Monga is named after Taipei’s oldest district, Wanhua, thought to be “the birthplace of Taiwanese culture.” Ahead of the London opening, a statement shared with Eater said: “Encompassing East Asian culture and traditions, their logo features famous actor and celebrity, Nono, who created the brand alongside the declared ‘King of Taiwanese Fried Chicken’, Mingdao Liu.”
Monga’s iteration of the popular Taiwanese street snack is known for its extra crispy exterior. A texture achieved through marinating chicken breast in honey, before being dipped in batter instead of dry flour, then fried. The fry is served with five flavour options, including plain, sprinkled with a spicy dry rub, and seaweed.
A gold, black, and white colour palette will feature the Taiwanese opera mask of Guan Jiang Shou, a mythical figure alleged to have been the guardian of the King of Inferno in Taiwanese Buddhist tradition.
Monga arrives in a Chinatown that is changing. Other 2019 openings that have been announced include JinLi Chinatown, Modern Shanghai, and Yiu Fat Noodle, which will open in Central Cross at Newport Place; Bun House, will open a second central London site on Lisle Street in April, following its successful debut on Old Compton Street in Soho.
On Macclesfield Street, Monga will join Korean BBQ restaurant Olle, Malaysian Rasa Sayang, and Vietnamese Le Hanoi.
In America, plans are said to be underway to open in California, New York, Georgia, and further sites in Texas. There are almost 40 sites currently operating in Taiwan.