Although I love dim sum, I’ve found that many restaurants serve a variety of hit and miss dishes and I still haven’t managed to find a place where every dish is outstanding.
Upon looking for restaurants to dine out at in Shoreditch, I came across The Drunken Monkey; a bar serving Chinese Dim Sum. The pessimist in me wasn’t entirely convinced but it was what we were craving and we decided to bite the bullet, hopeful that the restaurant would exceed expectations.
Truthfully, I wasn’t entirely impressed when we first walked in, with a run-down bar decorated with dark interior and tacky Chinese decorations. I certainly wasn’t expecting a quaint Chinese restaurant, but thought the place might have been better put-together.
After being seated, we took a glance at the extensive menu, taking us around 20 minutes to choose the many dim sum on offer.
Each of the dim sum we ordered started arriving, some taking longer than others.
The spring rolls were the first to arrive, with my selection being duck. The pastry was crunchy, but on first glance could have done with being a little more golden but the duck was still succulent and these were finished in no time.
I was intrigued by the name ‘potstickers’ and decided to order the peking variety. I was surprised to find that the potstickers were just ordinary steamed dumplings and nothing quite as fancy as what I was expecting. On doing further research, potstickers are traditionally fried on one side and then steamed in broth or water. These unfortunately had just been steamed and not pan-fried.
Regardless, I delved right in and found that the dough, was tough and rubbery. The filling was average and could have been steamed for longer.
My favourite of the dim sum served, was the prawn and chive dumplings. The lightly fried dumplings were crispy and the prawns were juicy, moist and had a good balance of flavours.
You can’t order dim sum without ordering some buns. My usually favourite custard buns (Nai Huang Bao) were not on the menu so instead I ordered the BBQ roast pork buns instead. The bun itself, was on the dry side however, the BBQ pork filling was moist, sweet and smoky and appetizing. The buns had the right balance of flavours, any more filling and they would have been sickly sweet.
The Drunken Monkey managed to satisfy our quick-lunch craving, unfortunately, the food served was average at best and for me, didn’t taste fresh. As a restaurant, The Drunken Monkey isn’t somewhere I’d recommend if you’re looking for decent, traditional Chinese dim sum.
– The Drunken Monkey, Shoreditch