2012 Birthday Celebrations: Part 3 – Monga Izakaya
Link Love: http://foodmadewithlove.wordpress.com
My dear readers, please take some time to visit my good friend, Lianne’s blog. Lianne is an AMAZING cook, and I must say I get so envious over her cooking skills. I have since found the inspiration and motivation to try cooking and baking thanks to her!
Yes, I know what you’re all thinking – Why is Peach still blogging about her birthday when it’s well and truly over? Well, it’s because I’ve been spoiled to death this year, with so many friends organising dinner with me! This is the second last blog post! There will be another blog post that will be published soon!
As Lianne was unable to attend my birthday celebration at Trocadero, she organised to have dinner with me. We ended up visiting the new izakaya place in Glen Waverley operated by Monga.
As some of you may know, Monga is the Asian dessert place that operates in Box Hill, Russel St CBD etc. Initially, I was a bit skeptical at first, but in actual fact it wasn’t too shabby! :)
Firstly before I start with my food reviews, I want to say thank you to Lianne for having dinner with me and also making me the most decadent strawberry cheesecake! Yes, for those who have tried my strawberry cheesecake, or seen my instagram photos, it was Lianne who taught me how to make it! If you want the recipe, check out her blog! :D Thanks my twinnie dearie! <3
Address: 91 Kingsway Glen Waverley, VIC 3150
Phone:03 9560 6774
Foodie Partners: Lianne
I used to be a fan of Monga, as it was the first place I found that serves Asian desserts, until dessert story came into the scene and opened up like wildfire. I found myself frequenting the place so often that they probably recognised me haha. But then, this one time when I visited, they served me taro pieces that were off, and since then I’ve pretty much avoided Monga. Until now.
Monga recently opened up a new store in Glen Waverley, which is an Izakaya, sweet and sake bar. When I stepped into the izakaya bar I was pleasantly surprised by the effort they put into their interior design. It has a very Japanese feel to it, and also the cutlery and crockery is very Japanese like too. Even the paper place mats were stunning with printed gold fish on it.
Although we visited a place that serves sake, we both opted for non-alcoholic drinks. I went for the cranberry juice (yes, my current obsession), whilst Lianne opted for the Calpico soda grape flavour. Calpico is a fermented yoghurt drink. A very refreshing type of drink that I used to drink a lot of.
At Monga Izakaya they serve an array of dishes such as the typical skewers (vegetables and meat), edamame, agedashi and they also serve main dishes for those who are feeling hungry.
Both Lianne and I decided to order from the main dishes because they appealed to us more. Lianne ordered the Katsu Curry, whilst I ordered the White Wine & Cream Mussels. To supplement our dishes we also ordered a bowl of fried rice. Now I generally don’t order fried rice, but the fried rice offered by Monga Izakaya were very interesting. We ended up ordering the spinach and green tea (matcha) fried rice.
Katsu Curry: The katsu curry was surprisingly good, as it wasn’t dry at all! the pork was crumbed and deep fried until it was very crispy and crunchy on the outside,whilst still leaving the pork moist and juicy. The curry itself was interesting, given that a lot of the cheap Japanese eateries curry taste very much like packet mixes, however here at Monga Izakaya the curry is a rich and darker in colour, yet keeping the sauce thick. The only fault was that it was slightly on the salty side, however that was solved by the small dish of grated radish flavoured by plum, which was a great refreshing palate cleanser.
White Wine & Cream Mussels: Sadly I found this dish quite underwhelming. It wasn’t a bad dish, but it didn’t wow me. Both Lianne and I ate through the mussels with our spinach and green tea fried rice, and later dipping the bread rolls into the sauce. The bread rolls were slightly charred, and I have to say the bread rolls were pretty much coles/woolworths quality!
Spinach & Green Tea Fried Rice: The spinach and green tea fried rice was very interesting. I was really worried that the matcha would be over powering, but in actual fact it was very subtle. As for the spinach, I could barely taste it. If I remember correctly I think Lianne commented that there was some bits of seaweed in the fried rice too. This is a definite dish to order!
The dessert here at Monga Izakaya is a hit or a miss.
We ordered two desserts to share, Matcha Creme Brûlée with cheesecake and the Mochi Dango.
The Matcha Creme Brûlée arrived first, and this was the best dessert out of the two. As you may know, I LOVE creme brûlée! It’s my favourite dessert to order! I was very intrigued by the matcha creme brûlée.
I always love to tap on the hardened caramel at the beginning before digging into the custard base. The custard here was very smooth and creamy. The matcha wasn’t over powering and it wasn’t too sweet either :) very balanced!
As for the cheesecake it was very decadent. The cheesecake was served chilled. I loved how creamy the cheesecake was. The only thing I found was the base was quite hard. Other than that it was a good cheesecake! :)
The next dish, the mochi dango took forever to arrive. We weren’t sure why it took so long, and because it took so long I was expecting something amazing… but it wasn’t :(
Mochi dango is a traditional Japanese dumpling made from rice flour. The mochi dango was served in a beautiful bowl, with a base of red beans which was sadly very much bland. It was infact very terrible :( I remembered the first time I had mochi dango it was filled with red bean paste in the middle, but sadly this one was just mochi on its own. It would have faired better had the red bean been sweetened.
I found myself eating the fresh fruit and leaving the rest of the mochi dango untouched :(
Overall it’s an interesting concept created by the Monga group. The service was attentive and friendly.
As for the food itself, I was quite satisfied with the savoury dishes along with the matcha creme brûlée. However the mochi dango was a real let down :(