I love to procrastinate; which means all my plans are usually structured around places that are close to where I live. So, when I heard Monkey Bar was opening its second outlet in Namma Bengaluru, I had more reasons than one to be thrilled. Yes, I am absolutely in love with both their food and the drinks they have. Its first outlet in Richmond Town has done exceedingly well in the past two years and has gathered a huge fan following in the city.
I was invited to the said new outlet for a review where they introduced us to the new additions in the menu. At Monkey, it’s the ambience that puts one at ease the moment you walk inside. It’s a no pretence, all fun place. There are quirky slogans written all over with a lot of fun knick knacks thrown in. There was this particular scooter, kept on a table in a corner that caught my attention. The DJ’s console has an actual scooter kept hanging vertically, which I think is rather cool. The seating is comfortable, and if you are the type who doesn’t like to sit then there’s a Snooker Table and Foosball to keep you entertained.
The focus here, in this review, is going to be on the new entries since we at IFF (Indian Food Freak) have already spoken about their existing stuff (read the previous Delhi and Bangalore reviews). Having taken a good look at the ambience, I started with the drinks; I ordered for a Ginger Roger (Rs 320) that has a mix of gin, ginger ale, ginger and peach syrup. This was a pleasant tasting drink, which I would definitely order on my next visit. For starters, I asked for the Roasted Beet and Orange Salad (Rs. 200) that has three mustard dressed lettuce, feta cream, sesame beans, toasted and candied walnuts and crumbled feta. This one was rather nice and fresh, with the lettuce and walnut giving it a nice crunch, the slight pungent taste from the mustard and the orange bits adding to the freshness of the salad. I also tried Pirogie (Rs. 180/200/220), a Polish dumpling , which is first steamed and then pan-fried. The vegetarian version had a filling of chilli cheese and sour cream, which I quite liked. The hit from the chilli and the slight tanginess from the sour cream was a well thought of match. I also tried the chicken and the pork versions, which honestly, I didn’t like as much as the vegetarian ones. The chicken and the pork filling, in my opinion were a little dry. Monkey also has the Goan Chorizo Pao(220); an absolute melt in the mouth goodness. Crab Rangoon(260), another new entrant on the menu; has its origins from the good old Chinese food vans which replicated crab wontons with imitation crab meat. This one, thankfully, has just imitated the name. Delicate crab meat and cream cheese filled crunchy wontons served with a sweet chilli sauce- it is one balanced and beautifully created dish.
The main course has the good old Berry Pulao (Rs. 400) (not a new entry on the menu), that has shredded chicken, bits of chicken kebab, Iranian berries in rice topped with fried onion and crisp salli. This dish was nicely made otherwise but lacked the tinge from the berry. A new entrant on the main course list is the Parsi Orderlies’ Mutton Curry(Rs. 380). This recipe is adapted from an Army kitchens’ recipe where the twist is a generous sprinkling of cheese atop the curry. This, for me, didn’t make a mark. I just didn’t find that Monkey twist in the dish, maybe some more cheese sprinkled on the curry would’ve made a difference.
Stuffed to the gills, I eagerly awaited the dessert. First came the Pot De Crème with Salted Caramel(200). This one’s a winner all the way- with just the right texture, right amount of sugar and the crunch from the salted caramel. This dessert also has two slices of freshly made lemon and poppy seed cake served with it which sort of cuts through the intense chocolate flavour. Also on the menu is the Lemon Cake; this one has lemon curd, with vanilla lemon syrup soaked pound cake and has a layer of seasonal fruit on top. I found this dessert to be way too tart, all the three layers- the cake, the whipped cream (lemon flavoured) and the strawberry were sour, which made me miss the sugar in my dessert.
Overall, I found the starters to be the best, the main course could do with a bit of tweaking and the dessert was good. So, all Monkey Bar fans, with all the new entries added to the menu have more reasons to go and hit their favourite pub!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3.5 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for two: Rs 1500| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: 12.00 noon till 11pm (Mon to Thu) 12noon to 1 am (Fri-Sat), 12noon too 11:30pm (Sun)
Address: 610, Diagonally Opposite State Bank of India, Near Apple of my I, 12th Main, Indiranagar, Bangalore | Telephone :080-44114455