A few months ago, Monkey King Noodle Company packed its pots and moved to bigger digs in Deep Ellum. But with a few years remaining on the lease for the tiny stand where the popular noodle spot got its start, owner Andrew Chen decided to hang on to the property and transform it into an incubator for his ideas.
The first concept, Monkey King Banana Stand, will quietly open its doors — er, window — starting today. Chen tested his wares at a pop-up event on Sunday, where a few ice creams and desserts were on offer. Now, he’s ready to face the crowds.
Monkey King Banana Stand takes its name from the infamous Bluth’s Banana Stand from FOX’s Arrested Development, but you won’t find the chocolate-covered bananas on the menu here. Instead, the namesake fruit is whipped into a rich spiced banana ice cream.
The ice cream the Banana Stand’s main focus. Matcha, vanilla, Vietnamese iced coffee will be mainstays in the case, along with an occasionally rotating selection of experimental flavors like young coconut and candied pineapple.
Also on offer are Taiwanese pastries inspired by Chen’s childhood favorites. A rich, eggy custard is tucked into flaky pastry shell for classic Taiwanese egg tarts. Souffle cheesecake, described by Chen as what would happen if angel food cake and cheesecake had a baby, are as light and fluffy as its name would imply.
In addition to this week’s arrival of the Banana Stand, construction is wrapping up on the Carrollton outpost of Monkey King Noodle Company. It’s expected to land later this fall.