However, it’s the latest addition to the food network that got me the most excited. As someone who could happily eat beef noodle soup ‘til I was up to my eyeballs and maintains that bubble tea is the best hangover cure out there, the opening of a Taiwanese-style fried chicken joint made me jump for joy inside. Monga started out in London, and this new Vic Centre location is the first foray outside the capital.
First marinated in honey, fresh chicken fillets are dipped in batter rather than dry flour before frying, giving you a portion that’s thick, juicy and tender at the same time. They’re not here to play when it comes to portion sizes either – I walked past a handful of signs boasting their 2cm thickness, and was still surprised when I was presented with a piece of chicken the size of my head.
We went for the combo option – chicken, fries, salad and a drink for just under a tenner. I wish I knew exactly what spices go into coating the thing – a quick google suggests garlic, chilli and Chinese five spice – but all I know is it’s one of the most distinct yet moreish combos I’ve ever experienced. Never afraid to push the boat out, I got mine topped with seaweed flakes, which was a welcomed addition. The best part is we left feeling stunned, content and, most surprisingly, not feeling like we’d bathed in a bucket of grease. I’m going back there ASAP.