If you’re in the mood for commemorating Chinese New Year next week and you love all things monkey related like bananas and er…bananas, then this may be the perfect dinner for you.
This February, Pan Asian restaurant Cha Cha Moon is set to mark the start of the Chinese Year of the Monkey with a specially designed set menu as well as promising other “cheeky surprises” with – yep you’ve guessed it – bananas!
The menu, though not heavily authentic on the Chinese front, does promise to incorporate traditional plates and thankfully (for me at least), the banana extravaganza doesn’t start till the end of meal.
The first and main course here is labelled as a “spicy” noodle dish of Singapore Char Kway Teow (considered a national favourite in Malaysia) served with prawns and veggie options also available. The ho-fun noodles are tossed with red chilli, garlic, lemon juice and stir fried with beansprouts, but for me it could have done with more of a kick, though I guess there is no stopping you adding some hot sauce if you’re that way inclined.
What did tap into my piquancy preferences was the side dish of green beans in XO seafood sauce. Crunchy and tasty, this was by far my favourite dish of the evening, and it’s a shame that this was demoted to a mere accompaniment to the noodles. The XO sauce, which originates from Hong Kong but is commonly used in southern Chinese regions like Guangdong province, really had a zesty punch, so much so that I dripped some leftover sauce onto my noodles.
Once the main course is over, it’s finally time to give a nod to the animal in question and cater for those who are said to be witty, clever, but ultimately mischievous if born in the primates’ year. And what better way to do that than to ‘ave banana. Now admittedly I am not a fan of the fruit, but the set menu’s dessert of baked banana was quite the treat. Wrapped in a crispy roll and served with crème de leche ice cream, which was really delicious. What I really couldn’t get on board with was polishing off the meal with a banana daiquiri; you know… that famous Asian tipple…
Although I would by now start to feel slightly type cast if I were a monkey, you can’t blame them for sticking with a theme, so just be thankful it’s not the year of the rat.
Set menu- Feb 5th-12th
Main, side, dessert and cocktail £19.99
15-21 Ganton St
Tel: 020 7297 9800