All-day dim sum? Um, yes please. Picture sitting back against silk cushions and indulging in Cantonese classics like pork and prawn dumplings, crispy pork belly, and roast Peking duck done two ways and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s going down at Golden Monkey. Brought to us by Anthony Syrowatka of the Viceroy, Golden Monkey is Ubud’s first upscale Chinese restaurant where the service and decor is right up there with the food.
There’s a real ‘Forbidden City’ vibe at Golden Monkey, as the huge floor-to-ceiling windows in the front are partly opaque from the outside but transparent from the inside and the interiors feature Far East accents like bright red walls and dividing screens, intricately patterned vases, red Chinese lanterns and carved wooden ceilings. Even the servers are attired in traditional red cheongsams, which adds to the Asian ambiance.
The menu is pretty substantial, but broken up into easy-to-read sections including dim sum, appetisers, BBQ, seafood, meat, vegetables, rice and noodles and rice congee. In typical Chinese fashion most of the dishes are made to be shared, so expect either small dim sum plates that are great for nibbling or substantial platters that can be divvied up between families and groups.
Our party of three decided to go for a mix of dim sum and mains, starting with a variety of dumplings. Our steamed selection included the Crystal Dumplings (IDR 35K) with minced chives and prawns in a translucent wrapping, Har Gow (IDR 40K) with whole prawns, and Siu Mai (IDR 35K) with a mix of minced pork and prawns topped with orange roe, each in a bamboo basket.
The Xiao Long Bao (IDR 40K) were also steamed dumplings, but unlike your supermarket frozen-food section variety, these ones were filled with a flavourful pork soup. Props to the kitchen for pulling off these hard to make, but oh-so easy to eat bundles of goodness.
And being in somewhat of a gluttonous mood, we also had to try the Fried Wantons (IDR 40K) with minced pork and prawns in a crispy outer casing served with a side of wasabi mayo, and the Spring Rolls (IDR 40K) deep fried with a savoury duck filling. These babies definitely beat your run-of-the-mill lumpia from the street vendor.
True to its name, the Crispy Pork Belly (IDR 110K) did have a layer of crispy skin on the outside, although it was missing that silky layer of fat you usually find between the meat and the skin. However, the meat was still tender and the hoisin and mustard sauce nicely complemented the subtle spices of the dish. We also shared the Seafood Noodles (IDR 110K) and were stoked to find generous portions of calamari and prawns mixed in with the cabbage, carrot and thin egg noodles.
Golden Monkey is definitely not cheap, but you get what you pay for in terms of service, ambiance and stellar dishes that could hold their own in any Hong Kong eatery. We suggest going with a group and ordering a number of dishes to share, as they’ve got a great selection of light bites, seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes.
If you really want to splurge, try the Peking Duck (IDR 230K for half, IDR 450K for a whole duck), as you get two dishes in one: authentic crispy skin duck served with pancakes, hoisin and greens, plus a second course of your choice including San Choy Bow, Duck King Pao or Black Pepper Duck. And if you want to make your dim sum brunch or dinner boozy, they’ve got a great selection of martinis, bubbles and vino.
Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud
T: +62 0812 360 6367
H: Daily: 11:30am – 10pm
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