Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review | Monga Dessert Lounge

Monga Dessert Lounge prides itself on creating an atmosphere reminiscent of Hong Kong in the 1970s, and serving up delicious sweet soups to remind its customers of Hong Kong, or to teach newbies how things are done in HK. Being a dessert lounge, you would expect their range of desserts to be tasty and delicious -which is exactly what I have found on a few different visits to Monga.

On our most recent visit, E and I had scored a scoopon which allowed us to have a drink,  savoury dish, and one of Monga's famous desserts each. Having never tried any savoury dishes at Monga, I was a bit apprehensive of what we would get. I have never been to HK, so I can't really comment on how traditional or authentic this place was in that respect, so I will keep my comments related to what I noticed whilst dining at Monga :)

Looking over the drinks menu, I recalled my excitement on a previous visit at seeing Ribena on it. How cool is that? I love Ribena! Surprisingly, I didn't order it. I instead ordered one of the Jelly drinks - E too. Mine was Mango with Coconut Jelly, and E ordered Watermelon & Mango with Coconut Jelly. Being a regular 'Bubble Cup' drinker, I was not expecting to be surprised by my drink.. but the jelly was in long thick strands - and it reminded me of a real jelly fish! You know the ones you find on the sand at the beach? I was a teeny bit put off by that fact, but my drink was still very nice. E's drink looked quite pretty, and he seemed to enjoy it too, and wasn't put off by the jelly at all.

Mango with Coconut Jelly and Watermelon & Mango with Coconut Jelly drinks

After some deliberation on the savoury menu, I had decided to brave a dish from the 'Baked Fried Rice' section - with Pork Chop and Tomato sauce, and E decided to get Egg and Sausage with Rice. When we ordered with the waitress, it turned out that we also had the choice of a complimentary soup - 'Borsch' or Creamy Corn soup - and we chose one of each. When I asked what was the Borsch, she explained that it was similar to a Minestrone. It turns out that this soup is a staple in many Eastern and Central European countries, but is usually beetroot based. Mine tasted almost identical to a minestrone, but it did have a sweetness that I couldn't put my finger on - so who knows - maybe it was beetroot! The creamy corn soup was pretty tasty. It was very creamy and had real pieces of corn in it, which I have to admit, surprised me. As I am typing this, I am wondering if there is any connection with Borsch soup and HK - so if you have the answer.. let me know in the comments section!
Borsch Soup and Creamy Corn soup

E's main meal came out pretty quickly - and it looked pretty simple, yet tasty. It was basically two fried eggs, a sausage and some steamed rice. This dish was also served with some soy sauce on the side. He gobbled it up quite quickly and seemed to enjoy it all. He was very happy to see that the eggs were (coincidentally) cooked just how he likes his eggs cooked!
It was at this point that we realised that the kitchen at Monga was mostly pumping out simple dishes. Everything had little to no preparation time - and that was their deal.

Egg with Sausage and Rice

My dish was next. Keeping the simple food/no preparation in mind - my dish was definitely in line with that theory. Appearance-wise.. it didn't really look appealing at all. It was nothing gourmet - the tomato sauce tasted like the concentrated sauce you would find in a can of baked beans or spaghetti. The rice was not fried at all - it was just steamed rice - which was still tasty, but on the menu it said fried rice :(. This meal tasted like what I would have made myself to eat as a teenager when my parents were not at home.. Fry off some meat, and serve with rice and a can of sauce. Top with cheese. However, I am not actually complaining - we have to keep in mind that Monga is a dessert lounge - and so I wouldn't really ever go there for savoury foods, especially since there are so many delicious options in Box Hill.
'Baked Fried Rice' with Pork Chop and Tomato Sauce

Moving on to the sweet dishes - they were the main reason for us ever dining at Monga. These sweet soups are unbelievably refreshing and light. E chose the Sago with Icecream, Pomelo and Coconut milk and I chose the Sago with Strawberry and Coconut milk. Although I don't think it is related, the texture of sago reminds me of Israeli couscous. It looks like little bubbles and although the flavour is quite subtle, it is delicious - especially when served with the fresh tasting, refreshing coconut milk like they do at Monga.

Sago with Strawberry and Coconut Milk

For those who are new to sweet soups - I would definitely recommend the Strawberry dessert (or a Mango one). Pomelo is a type of citrus from south east Asia. The taste is quite sour and sweet - kind of in between a grapefruit and an orange. The texture was quite strange - it is got quite a bite to it - maybe like a pear?

Sago with Pomelo and Coconut Milk

Both of these desserts were delicious, and if you are a fan of icecream you can ask to add a scoop to a sweet soup which doesn't usually come with it too.

All in all, I don't think we will go back to Monga for its savoury menu, but I can say quite surely that we will be returning to try some other dessert options.

Monga Dessert Lounge on Urbanspoon


Iron Chef Shellie said...

I've only had dessert there, and their waffle with peanut butter or kaya is the bomb!

spohie said...

yum! I have also tasted the black sesame waffle - so intense but so tasty!!