Monkeying around at Monkeys bar, Bangalore

MONKEY BAR-INTERIORSAfter a major marathon work session of two weeks, I found myself with my team in Bangalore on a Saturday afternoon wrapping up my work. A quick message to Pawan Soni and a second opinion from Ruma Singh lead me to this popular Bangalore joint with my team to celebrate the successful completion of our project. A review was the last thing on my mind – we just wanted to have a good time!

TMangaa 2his popular joint, located in the Ashok Nagar area of Bangalore has a rather nondescript exterior, but the interiors are done in texmex style and reflect a very laid back chilled out ambience. There is a grand blackboard in front which mentions all the specials of the day (which I reckon change, every day). We were quick to be lead to the table and after quickly checking with Kunal Chandra on his recommendations for the day’s special we proceeded to order the highly recommended Mangaa (the mango kairi and vodka mixed concoction; Rs.320), the mix was quite interesting but I felt that the tartness that should come from raw mangoes was lacking and the vodka was overpowering the taste of the drink.

Mary Beer - Monkey Bar - Photo Courtesy Kunal ChandraOur next drinks of the afternoon were a Gin Ger Cosmo (Ginger, Cranberry and gin based cocktail-Rs.320) and a Mary Beer (A spin off on Michelada and Bloody Mary – Beer with tomato juice, tabasco and pepper Rs.320), of the 3 drinks we tried, I believe the Mary Beer was the best to my liking, but then since our focus was more on comfort food, we switched on to Beer and food here on.

Spiked Nachos MONKEY BAR-016 Sanjay RamchandranWe were three hungry guys, chilling out after two hard, fifteen-hours-a-day-weeks of work and were ready to gobble down anything that would hop on to our table. So the first thing to be welcomed to our table were the quintessential pub grub –NACHOS, a big platter of nachos topped with frijoles (refried beans -though not refried), jalapenos, salsa, sour cream and an itsy bitsy dollop of guacamole (perhaps the expensive avocados are a bit hard on the restaurant’s menu despite of decently priced dishes). Though the presentation of the nachos was quite decadent, the dish in itself was quite the usual stuff ( I so wish there was more guacamole and some melted cheese too, it would have been a meal in itself).

Spicy SaucesHave heard many times that Bangalore crowd is quite hot, this fact was reminded to me throughout the afternoon – firstly by the young crowd present at the place, secondly the extensive menu with its inclusion of chillies and other spicy elements in almost all its dishes (Very unique, in many, just a touch for flavour and yet not overpowering), thirdly with the hot and trendy music piping at comfortable decibel levels in the restaurant and fourthly and most importantly by the selection of condiments on each table. Yes condiments! Instead of the regular ketchup, mustard, mayo trio which one finds in all restaurants, I was delighted to find an interesting selection of chilly sauces on the table, right from Chinese chilly sauce and green and red pepper Tabasco to a deadly bhoot jolakia sauce which was mmmmmm hot hothot awesome. As if that wasn’t enough, I later discovered a special BREAKFAST menu that the restaurant prides itself in and a special breakfast COCKTAIL menu with a few very interesting alcoholic concoctions. Perhaps this is the only restaurant I know which serves liquor for breakfast. Can you make it any more hotter than this!!

Tiger beefWith the spice tingling on our taste buds and the chilled beer doing a great job at satiating the tingling sensation, the stomach growled for a bit more attention and we went ahead to order a portion of tiger beef, (A Thai Chinese fusion dish with strong chilly and lemony taste, perfect as a beer accompaniment; Rs. 180),  BBQ caramelized ribs (three times cooked, soft at touch, cut through with fork ribs with delectable bbq sauce;, Rs. 190), porky pork dumplings (Rs.180) and hot chicken wings (Rs.180; Regular fare) and finally the classic burger with added bacon (Rs.270 + Rs.70 for added bacon) which was abBig soft bun baked in house and a big beef patty topped with a handsome helping of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and the works.

Old Monk(ey) Chocolate CakeEven though we were quite full by the time we shared our burger (yes we shared it, much to my chagrin) we decided to order desserts and went overboard ordering (a) Old Monk Chocolate Cake with salted caramel and praline, (Very soft and moist cake with yum salted caramel; Rs.180) (b) Mini Mobar Macaroons, (2 tiny macaroons shaped like burgers with a red velvet cake filling with chocolate ganache, white chocolate and fresh mint, very interesting but too sweet for my liking; Rs.95) and finally the piece de resistance, the mobar sundae sandwich, (A salted caramel ice cream bar, thick and creamy, topped with whipped cream, candies, pralines, gummy bears and the works; Rs. 180).  It was, in my opinion every kid’s favourite ice cream fantasy and every adult’s sinful indulgence.

Mini Mobar Macaron - Monkey Bar - Photo Courtesy Kunal ChandraAll in all, despite a heavy bill of almost Rs.7000, (yes we did eat a lot – and drank even more), and a quick cross check of the bill (most recommended, I was charged for a beer extra!) the meal was extremely satisfying and fulfilling. The comfort food quotient is definitely up a notch here and the team from Olive has earned one more feather in their cap delivering more than what they promise. I am sure that the forthcoming opening of Monkeys Bar in Delhi will not only see many HOT Patrons from Delhi, but will certainly see one very simple, overworked, nerdish little fellow (Moi) each time I hit the city! Cheers, Salud, Campei!!!

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for two: Rs. 1500 (Without Alcohol) Rs.3000 – Rs.3500 (With Alcohol)| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 9.30 AM to 11:30 PM (Weekends) and 1200 noon to 11.30 PM Mon to Fri

Address: 14/1, Krishna Manare, Wood Street, Ashoknagar, Off Richmond Road, Bangalore | Tel: 080 41116878, 080 41116879

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