‘A gastropub that promises to be anything, but usual!’ is what they say on the website. And true to their word Unusual is what you get from the word go at the Monkey Bar in Bangalore. On a Sunday afternoon we walked into an old style bar with with brick walls, wood floors, vintage posters, some very cool coasters (which we noticed only later) and completely unconventional lights and fixtures. The booth style seating with long wooden benches were comfy and inviting. You could however miss the spiral staircase leading to the basement that houses fun stuff like a snooker table and foosball.
After a quick tour we got down to serious business – food and alcohol. The menu in keeping with the rest of the place is quirky and even a tad irreverent! The bar churns out some innovative and refreshing cocktails – ‘Mangaa’ a vodka based cocktail served in a jar (that looked suspiciously like a recycled Nutella bottle) topped with a slice of mango was brilliant – very refreshing and tangy. The lemon Margarita was pretty darn good too. Others that beckoned were from the ‘Mobar Specials’ – Goose Bum’s, Monkey Mule, the Sangria section – Pink Devil and White Lady. Some healthy options for a teetotaler who wanders in – Banana Nutella smoothie, fresh melon, date shake, and horlicks(!)
The Spiked Nachos with large doses of fresh tomato, jalapeno salsa, avocado, and dripping cheese was sinnnnfullllly good. We also dug into some Prawn Balchao served with small toasts – which was not bad. The Bombay Vada Pav (with a dab of butter and ghaati masala) and the Tikki of Joy (Calcutta inspired Bhekti fish cutlets) we decided to save for another day; today we were being Bangalore loyalists!
For main course we tried the Porky Pork Dumplings ( a brothy dish ) served with potato patties and a spicy sambal which was quite good. We also ordered the Galouti Killer – mouth meltingly soft and delicious kebabs served with pav, onions and chutney – definitely the star of the show. The Chicken burgers however were so-so, we thought the patty was not juicy enough and a bit too dry. Must add that most of these dishes came from under the starter category on the menu. We did dip into something from the main course section – Jerk Chicken on rice – chicken cubes cooked in hot jerk seasoning, served on steaming buttered rice with green peas – oh so yummy!
Definitely a place to try out for the great drinks, good food and last but not least the cool coasters!