Friday, March 23, 2012

The Monogamous Chinese

The Monogamous Chinese, a new up-market Chinese restaurant located in Hong Kong's Soho district, specializes in authentic Sichuan and Beijing cuisine. By hand-making all of their noodles and dumplings, as well as preparing all sauces in-house with imported ingredients from the famed provinces, The Monogamous Chinese stays faithful to the tradition and preparation of each dish, hence the name.

The Monogamous Chinese's walls decorated with commissioned modern Chinese artwork

Several weeks ago, I was invited to dinner by The Monogamous Chinese. Fearing for the well-being of my stomach ulcers (they often flare up when I eat spicy foods), I was apprehensive about eating an entire meal of Sichuan's famed spicy dishes. Eventually, my inner foodie decided that I couldn't miss an opportunity for a sampling of The Monogamous Chinese.

Vegetable spring rolls

The dinner started off with lightly-fried vegetable spring rolls served in Communist memorabilia. The spring rolls were quite standard, but the serving dish was a nice decorative touch. The sweet and sour dipping sauce was a good amount of sweet to balance out the sour, something increasingly rare as I find most restaurants tend to over-do the sweet to sour proportion.

Wok-fried tofu

Next was the wok-fried tofu with homemade scallion sauce. The exterior had a light crispness and the inside tofu held its soft consistency. I avoided the scallions and chili peppers, but found the bite-sized cubes well salted for my liking, even without the extra seasoning.

Sichuan style noodles, or dan dan mein

The Sichuan style noodles in spicy peanut sauce, also known as dan dan mein, had quite a kick in its thick and creamy sauce. It was the first dish that I had to eat in small portions to allow my taste buds respite, but I enjoyed the entire dish before the next course came out.

Deep-fried black-bone chicken with Sichuan chili peppers

The Monogamous Chinese's signature dish is the deep-fried black-bone chicken with Sichuan chili peppers. The peppers packed quite a punch! I could only handle a few bites of the chicken as the peppers really set my mouth on fire! Darn my ulcers!

Ice cream souffle balls

By the end of the meal, my dinner companions and I all needed some help in cooling our taste buds. Thankfully, The Monogamous Chinese offers ice cream souffle balls as the perfect remedy. As most of you may know from my desserts addiction, this was my favorite course of the night. The ice cream hadn't turned into an oozing mess in the frying process and the sugar coating added that extra bit of sweetness. A great way to end the meal!

Happily well-fed dinner companions

Overall, The Monogamous Chinese keeps its promise of providing diners with authentic Sichuan cuisine. The atmosphere is casual and the decor vibrant and fun, the perfect combination for impressing out-of-town guests.

Most dishes were rather tame, which was good for me and my ulcers, but those looking to blow smoke out of their ears may be slightly disappointed. Of course, there will be plenty of Sichuan chili peppers left over from the black-bone chicken if you need more heat.

The Monogamous Chinese, 59 Caine Road, Central, Hong Kong
(852) 2523 2872

© Connie Hum 2012

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