Thursday was an overcast, muggy day in Dallas, probably not the ideal day to order a bowl of warm, soupy noodles. But the promise of a good, hand-pulled noodle and a dumpling or two lured me and a few friends into Monkey King Noodle Co.
, Deep Ellum's new late-night Chinese food haunt.
It's a walk-up counter on Main Street, just east of the neighborhood's central strip. The Monkey King owners transformed what was previously Santiago's Taco Loco Express into a trendy noodle shack, covered in wood and a retractable, steel garage door. Currently it's "sorta open," as the menu states, refining the recipes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday.
Just past noon they were already sold out of soup dumplings, so we ordered the chicken noodles, the beef noodles and an order of the wontons with chili sauce. When the restaurant fully opens, it will stay open late and there will be furniture on the rooftop patio. In its current state, Monkey King offers an authentic street food experience. Like, you have eat it on the side of the road.
Through the windows, I spotted Chef Andrew Chen rolling and pulling piles of dough. The chicken noodles were warm and savory (if a little bland). My friend ordered the beef noodles and came away disappointed But the chili wontons had a spicy, tangy flavor that I can only imagine would be twice as delicious after a long night at Anvil Pub.