Finally! Chinese cuisine has come to Ubud. Owner Anthony of the Viceroy fame decided he wanted to eat good Chinese without the bother of going south! SO right there in the midst of Jl Dewi Sita the Golden Monkey stands proudly!
Décor is pretty much what you would expect in a chinese restaurant. A little Chinoiserie and girls trotting about in well fitting, bright red Cheong Sam add a touch of the exotic. The well equipped kitchen can be viewed through the large glass window, where genuine Chinese chefs go through their paces. The number one Chef is from Ipoh in Malaysia, a city known for its excellent food. He has also cooked in Singapore and he knows his stuff. It all looks good and while the air conditioning is less than you expect in a Chinese eatery, the food quality more than compensates.
The menu is eclectic and even contains such specialty items as chicken feet, which surprisingly, Anthony told us, sells well. The restaurant has been discovered by upmarket Chinese tourists who patronize it well – a sure sign that the food is up to scratch. Other tempting items include Peking Duck, complete with pancakes and the much beloved Hoisin Sauce and a choice of ways to cook the remaining meat after the crispy skin has been devoured. All the fat juicy ducks are imported from outside Bali.
Look out for the roasted duck or pork or chicken, Crispy pork belly, and the BBQ Combination. Duck spring rolls are also on the menu. The chewy pork Spareribs come Chinese style, cooked with the tangy salted black beans that do so well with the succulent meat.
Then there is the Dim Sum which comes with al the favourite choices – Jiaozi ( pan seared pork and prawn mince dumplings, pork buns, Sui Mai (pork and prawn dumplings), fried wantans, and Har Gow (delicious steamed prawn dumplings)!
Soups include double boiled chicken soup and the perennial favourite, Hot and Sour seafood soup as well as Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup. Various prawn and grouper dishes complete the seafood selection.
The menu is now in its fourth incarnation, even though the restaurant is still new. With plenty of feedback from local customers, it changes to please the clients and it is looking good. Vegetable dishes are available for vegetarians and a variety of congee or rice porridge combinations.
We tried the Sweet and Sour Pork which disappeared in an instant, as well as the Eggplant Claypot redolent with rich spicy Szechuan sauce and ultra tender tofu. The Beef Hotplate with Sliced beef and Eggplant drenched in a spicy hot bean sauce is also good.
For dessert we had the very unusual steamed custard buns which in all my years, of eating Chinese, I have never seen before. Fortune Cookies are expected to appear soon.
A small but satisfying selection of wines are available, as well as Prosecco and Champagne and some spirits. But our dessert was an excellent Espresso Martini, an enticing concoction which totally hit the spot. I would recommend one at the start of the meal, to lift the spirits and improve the appetite.
Golden Monkey Chinese Restaurant
A : Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud
T : +62 812 360 6367
W : www.goldenmonkeyubud.com