Mongo Bongo Mongolian Grill
Mongo Bongo is a popular Mongolian Grill style restaurant located near 6th and 6th in New Westminster. The interesting thing about “Mongolian Grill” style restaurants that serve stir-fried meats on large open grills is that it really has nothing to do with Mongolia or their food. Instead, it’s based on a concept started in Taiwan (similar to Japanese teppanyaki) and attributed with the term “Mongolian” with a colourful backstory to enhance the marketing.
Back to the restaurant… Mongo Bongo is a popular eatery if you’re looking for a good deal for your money. The Lunch Special is only $8.95 and includes rice and hot and sour soup with your meal. Unlike some other u-grill style restaurants, you don’t pay by the weight of the ingredients. You get a large bowl that you can fill up with as much, or as little, as you want.
The list of ingredients aren’t enormous but they do cover all of the major areas. You have 3 different thinly cut, frozen meats as well as tofu. In another section are a few different noodles that you can use. Then the selection of veggies and lastly the selection of sauces.
One good thing about eating here is that you get to choose what you want (very fitting for a restaurant concept that began in the “have it your way” decade) and you don’t have to worry about it breaking the bank. At some u-grill places, your bill can wind up being very high if you pile on a lot of heavy ingredients.
The really important thing here is the choice of sauces. I wound up using 4 scoops of the Thai coconut and one of the Mongo Bam. I found that if you like your meal saucy, you’ll need at least 5 scoops of sauce.
When you’re ready, write your name on a sticky note, attach it to the bowl and pass it off to the cook. Once the food’s ready, they’ll deliver it to your table.
The hot and sour soup had a nice bold (and almost beefy) flavour to it but it could have used a bit more tanginess.
The only drawback to having all of the various ingredients cooked in this manner is that everything is cooked all at once. Because some ingredients require more or less cooking time, it can mean that some items wind up being either overcooked or undercooked. For example, some of the meat in my dish were a bit chewy while others were fine.
All-in-all, however, the food was pretty good. You just have to know which sauce to use with your meal.
512 6th Avenue
New Westminster, BC