Tag Archives: Monkey King

Monkey King Bargains

IMG_20170226_180308

Half of my ethnic heritage comes from Italy, so it’s very easy for me to  say, “Monkey King is one of my favorite restaurants in Changzhou.” Of course, it’s not as good as my late mother’s home cooking, but it’s still pretty darned awesome. It consistently has the best pizza in town — which I would very readily compare to the sort that you can find in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York City. By that, I mean thin crust.  They’re not exactly alike, but it’s the closest you will find in Changzhou.

IMG_20170226_180409

If there is one thing I would complain about, it would be the prices. But then again, a person should be willing to pay for a high end dining experience. And Monkey King is high end dining in Changzhou. That leads to another point. From time to time, the restaurant does an all-you-can- eat buffet. Recently, the location in Xinbei hosted one of these on the 25th of February from 6pm to 10pm. Incidentally, the 25th was also the one year anniversary of this blog (a very happy, but totally unrelated coincidence!). For 198 RMB, diners were treated to veal, eggplant, salads, seafood dishes, and more. There was also all-you-can-drink bottled beer and Italian red wine. If you take all of that together, it’s quite a good deal. I ate like a pig; I will not lie about that. Next time Monkey King offers one of these — in either Wujin or Xinbei locations — seriously consider going. It’s more than worth the money.

IMG_20170226_180347

Where to find in Changzhou, even on regular menu days.

Screenshot_2017-02-26-18-39-05-65
Wujin Location near Yancheng.

 

Screenshot_2017-02-26-18-38-27-52
Xinbei location near Candle’s Steakhouse.

Saucy Onion Sirloin at Monkey King

IMG_20160620_231114[1]

So, I haven’t written anything for this blog in two days. The reason is simple: my university is at the end of its term, and I had to get grades calculated over the weekend. And one should always prioritize their visa-holding day job over what is an unpaid writing job done for fun. Once that task was complete, I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch at Monkey King Italian Restaurant in Xinbei. It was officially the end of the semester now, and I could celebrate.

Once I sat down and started looking at their new menu, I realized that coming to this place may not have been a good idea. Why order pizza when I will be in New Jersey in two days? Same for pasta and most other things on the menu like lasagna. So, I thought maybe I would opt for something NOT similar to average Italian American fare back in The States.

The end result was a sirloin topped with a rich, brown onion sauce. It complemented the steak rather well. Honestly, I do not eat steaks all that often; they are expensive, and I can be a cheapskate. So, this is one of the rare times I gave into the temptation. I had the sirloin medium, and the sauce blended nicely with the juices. Grilled vegetables and a few potato wedges circled the meat. At first, I thought the portioning of the sides were rather small, but I was rather full afterwards. It made me realize the the veggies were there likely to mop up the delicious sauce afterwards, and that is exactly what I did.

Note: While this post is categorized “Xinbei,” Monkey King has another location in Wujin. They have the same owner and the same menu. 

Two Monkey Kings

mkpizzaMonkey King simply makes pizza closest to what I was used to in New Jersey. It comes with a crispy, thin crust. It also comes with a decent amount cheese  and tomato sauce. Don’t get me wrong, as there are other places in Changzhou that also make very good or decent pizza; however, Monkey King is still the best, personally. This is just my opinion, and as I have noted elsewhere and to many people, I have very, very exacting requirements when it comes to pizza. I do when it comes to all Italian food; I am half Italian American, after all.  Let me go even farther: I’m half Jersey-Italian.

After I moved to Xinbei, however, I quickly learned something. Some seem to not know that there are actually two different Monkey King Pizza restaurants in Changzhou. Some would hear the name and automatically assume that I am talking about the location near Candles. No, I’m not. Actually, I have never eaten at that one, yet. My experience comes solely from their Wujin presence — the one next to Chocolate’s German restaurant.

It’s an important distinction. Wujin Monkey King is a godsend and a must-go-to place when you live in southern Changzhou. This is especially true if you live in the College Town area of either Mingxin or Gehu Roads. When it comes to western cuisine, there really isn’t much of anything else to go to.  Sure, there is also Kaffe Indian Cafe, and Jagerwirt, but that is all there is. And saying “Just take a cab to Xinbei” is just not an acceptable answer for routine, everyday eating. The cab fare is about 60 RMB, and when you are on a college English teacher’s salary, you only save such extravagant luxuries for special occasions, or when you can get a number of people to go with you and split fare.

So, no matter what, I will always stand by this distinction: Wujin Monkey King makes the best pizza in Changzhou. Others come very close. Some used to say that title belonged to Aria, and I used to welcome that debate. Sadly, Aria is gone.