Andrew Chen is completing plans for the next expansion of his Monkey King Empire. Chen announced a new location of his noodle restaurant in Carrollton earlier this year, and has been openly working on relocating his original location since an inspection debacle bungled his rooftop patio dining there. He hopes his new Deep Ellum location will be open in April of next year.
He’s also working on a new concept for the old space which he hopes will open at the same time. If everything works out as planned, Monkey King Banana Stand will open in the small standalone building where the noodle takeout got started. There, Chen will focus on the sweeter side of things, with an assortment of ice creams, creative sundaes, mochi and a small collection of Chinese pastries. The dessert shop will remain a walk-up restaurant for patrons to grab something sweet on the run.
Just a block away on the corner of Main and North Walton streets, the new Monkey King Noodle Co. will simultaneously take shape. Chen says massive garage doors and an outdoor patio will help him maintain the “street eats” feel he wants for his restaurant, but that his customers will soon have a lot more seating available when they drop by for his noodles and dumplings.
They’ll also have more food to choose from. The new space will have a much larger kitchen, allowing Chen to offer scallion pancakes and potstickers. A dedicated wok will also allow him to turn out a number of stir-fries inspired by the stalls that line the streets in Taipei.
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It’s hard not to see a Monkey King themed evening taking shape for hungry people in Deep Ellum. Imagine enjoying a bowl of hand-pulled noodles on a breezy patio and washing them down with a few cold beers. Then, when the inevitable sweet cravings arise, egg tarts and banana splits will only be a few steps away.