Given that I am not one to be shy with my opinion, I have been very vocal in my praise regarding the rebuild of the national stadium and the new “hotspot” of cafes and bars that has been created along with it. One of the most welcome new additions, in my book, is Monk Tirana, serving up a broad range of cuisines to suit all tastes.
The menu includes pastas, burgers, steaks etc., but, if you ask me, the Filipino chef serves up some of the tastiest Asian fare in all Tirana-land! For this reason, I tend to stick with the more oriental-inspired flavours from their menu.
In my opinion, Monk has THEE BEST dumplings that can be found in town and the garlic egg fried rice is KILLER! They offer really great tasting baskets to share with different themes, which are great to have something to nibble on during a night out with a group of friends. Their sushi is also divine and I especially like the chicken teriyaki roll. A young Albanian friend of mine swore he hated sushi until he tried this – it converted him into a sushi lover then and there! OMG! I nearly forgot to mention the spicy dumpling noodle soup (soup aziatike) and let me tell you, spice lovers, this is the real deal!
When it comes to beverages, I LOVE their cocktails! A lot of love, thought and passion has been put into developing this rather selective offering and the result is that each one is a true specialty of the bar. My favourite is the Rossalia, especially in summer, as it’s the perfect balance of sweet and sour, not to mention SUPER refreshing.
Whilst I’ve heard reports from friends and colleagues that their experience with the servers left something to be desired, I have personally found the staff to be very attentive across every single one of my numerous visits to dine here. Service has always been received with a smile, even on occasions when they are clearly a little overwhelmed by the number of patrons.
On that note, the place has noticeably increased in patronage during the day since last summer, with many people opting to sit and enjoy coffees here. I haven’t personally tried their coffee, but it certainly seems popular with the locals!
This quickly became one of my new favourite spots, so much so that my face probably feels like part of the furniture here. When I was living in Vlora, I even drove to Tirana just to eat some dumplings and chicken teriyaki with rice to satisfy a craving. If you haven’t figured it out yet, in a nutshell, I HIGHLY recommend this place!
Monk – ✪✪✪✪✪
Cuisine: Breakfast, Brunch, Pasta, Sandwiches, Asian, Sushi
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday; 7am to 11pm
+355 69 447 7907