The noodle spread at Monkey King Noodle Co. (photo by Desiree Espada)

Should Monkey King Noodle Co. Switch From Hand-Pulled Noodles to a Machine?

Monkey King Noodle Co., the tiny food stand in Deep Ellum that boasts hand-pulled noodles, is experiencing a slight demand and supply problem these days. Demand has increased, but supply can’t keep up. Owners Michelle Midyette, Andrew Chen, and Michael Chen Wang have toyed with the thought of buying a machine that will increase noodle production, but they’re not sure if this is the best way for the restaurant to grow. After all, it’s their first business together.

Read Midyette’s proposal, and don’t forget to leave a comment down below. MKNC is counting on your input.

“Since we’ve opened our Chinese street food spot in Deep Ellum, we’ve found that the best way to make our customers happy is to include their feedback to help us make our way in the food world. That’s why our recipes evolved quickly from your average ‘noodle soup’ into the flavor-packed righteousness that is now our Spicy Beef Noodle soup – because we listened to you, and we are unendingly grateful.

Now, we’re up against some hurdles and we need your input again.

To be frank, our tiny little kitchen is struggling to keep up with demand and the people are hungry! We’re listening when you say that you want shorter wait times, more open hours and variety – although you can be sure that we will always keep the classics. If the Monkey King is running out of the whole menu consistently on Friday and Saturday nights, we have to change our preparation methods… but not at the cost of flavor or quality.

While you’re sleeping, the Monkey King is experimenting in the wee hours. You’ve all seen owner Andrew Chen clearly working at back-breaking speed in the front window, so the one glaring element that would have to change is the noodle preparation. While fun to watch, the show takes up a third of our kitchen and creates clouds of flour that would damage some other menu ideas immediately and slows all of our other prep down considerably. To keep everything in-house, we’re playing with ideas like incorporating knife edge noodles on certain nights. It could also be possible build a customize noodle machine that specifically creates the Monkey King’s exact recipe. Besides being heaps faster and more efficient than Andrew pulling noodles, this would also free up time for him to work with Chef Michael Chen on bringing some of their new dishes to the window, and in the future, could make delivery a possibility. Furthermore, are there any street-wise Chinese dishes out there that you’ve been craving that you think would do well at MKNC? It’s time to grow and we need you to help us!”