The ‘Monkey Bar’ Kolkata Avatar is a welcome addition to its’ watering hole map and what an experience it metes out. Located in the heart of the city with a huge and lofty space, it exudes a comfort zone feel. The visual delight of the interior space couples well with a spectacular view of the Kolkata skyline from the restaurant.
The cream de la crème of the restaurant’s USP is the outdoor seating arrangement of about 5-6 tables. Although open to air, yet it is air-conditioned to beat the muggier months. Incidentally in the clement months it would be a pronounced experience of the Kolkata’s mild winters. The corner verandah serves hookah for the y-generation and for those who love to smoke with their tipple it is rather comfortable. I loved the incipient November chill all through the evening in the outdoor! It would be an idyllic place all through the wintertime months to soak in the lovely weather.
Though I am not a cocktail loving person, I ventured out to try some of their swinging concoctions. First shot was the famed Manga.
Sweet and Tangy Vodka based cocktail, it had an all desi flavour burst from the AamPanna as the main base with its signature cumin flavour to follow. It comes in a kullarshaped glass with etched in a typical Hinglish font that sets the tone for a fusion evening.
Next, was the more stylized ‘Mad Men’a Bourbon base with Coffee Orange and a swish of Rosemary spray, which, I really liked and got myself a double spray. (The single dose disappeared into the atmosphere).
Getting headier I tried out the Copper Monkey, lo and behold but predictably it was in a copper mug. I quite liked the passion fruit flavour and the hint of mint in it worked well.
Although christened as ‘Monkey Bar’ one would be rather surprised to see a super array of fusion food alongwith some very innovative desi leaning twisters. I was instantly attracted to the Laal Maas Phulka Tacos, Radish cake bites for its novelty, Mobar Caramelized Pork ribs for its slow cooking and the Butterfly Chicken for the signature shells.
The Laal Maas in the Phulka Tacos was pretty well done and served in Bao Stand for appeal as well as to function as a hold on. The meat was unique in flavour and spiced up enough to support its laalmaas Status!
The radish /moolicake bites were indeed a experience though one really cannot make out if radish is used as the main filling ingredient unless told. The Tempura batter and the black bean sauce make up for the frunchy bite and flavour.
The caramelized rib was succulent as ever, living up the 6-hour slow cook traditional method. So was the house sauce quite zesty and lip smacking.
The Butterfly Chicken was perhaps the only dish, which I would give the pass, though a visual delight again. I was lead to believe or was expecting a Butter Chicken filling. Maybe that is a good idea too.
Overall this place is not all just ambience, though that feeling is certainly overwhelming and sets up the mood. The service, food and the liquid chemistry attained are commendable too.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.5 | Service: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
Meal For Two: Rs. 2,500 | Wheel Chair Friendly: No | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes
Address: Fort Knox, 901A, 9th Floor, 6, Camac Street, Kolkata
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind
– Sanjeev Sood