Monkey Bar opened its doors to the Kolkata crowd on the 6th of September and has ever since been rolling them inward, to let in the food fanatic Kolkatans. Being invited to the pre-launch tasting at Monkey Bar, allowed me to have a go at their mouth watering food and incredible mocktails. The mocktails were a personal preference; you can go bananas over their fabulously curated cocktails as well.
Monkey Bar has managed to re-launch the concept of gastro Pubs, in the country and has done so in the most trending way possible. The establishment in Kolkata is a unique mix of Kolkata heritage, European architectural elements and a lot of contemporary seating and lighting arrangements.
The place oozes a charm that is hard to ignore and will force you to stay back a little longer than you would have primarily decided upon.
Food and Refreshment:
Though, the whole concept of the place has been inspired by a number of international gastro pubs, the heart of it still remains a true Indian and it is well noticed throughout the menu and the drinks and food served at the table.
Some of the very unusual mocktails that are sure to get you in a lighter mode are the-
The Manga is a beautiful combination of Aam Panna, Sweet Lime, Cumin & Salt. The alcoholic version comes with a dash of vodka in it.
The Monkey Bar has curated some of the finest and most unusual concussions to please their guests with. One such example is the Copper Monkey. The CM is a mixture of Orange Juice, Passion Fruit, Mint and Bitters. The alcoholic version comes with 100 pipers as the fifth ingredient.
The Mad Men proved to be the most loved of the three. Its strong, its well balanced and is in one word, divine. The drink also comes with a bit of theatricals to it, when your server sprays some rosemary essence on top of it, right at the table. The welcoming smell of rosemary, makes it all the more luring. The Mad Men is made with coffee, orange shrub tonic and Rosemary. Whisky is the poison of choice here, for the alcoholic versions.
Other mocktails and cocktails that are a must try are, the Pack a Punch, Toast to Calcutta and the Hipster Smash.
The amount of thought that has gone into constructing each dish on the menu is plainly noticeable the moment it reaches the table. Right from the presentation to the portion, the ingredients and their flavours, everything is well balanced.
The Kerala Red Rice Salad is a fresh compilation of flavours and texture.
The shaven coconut, the pomegranate kernels, the crushed tomatoes, roasted peanuts, baby spinach leaves and the red rice, all these different ingredients have a role to play in the dish and they do it extremely well.
The Med Platter is again a combination of a number of veg Mediterranean delicacies.
The crispy exterior and the airy insides of the falafel is downright impressive and so are the smoked baba ganoush and the humus. The spinach cheese filo parcels on the plate is also a must try.
The Prawn Pil Pil is an absolute stunner.
If you love seafood and you love garlic, there isn’t a chance in the world that you won’t like it. Soak the bread on the side, in the garlicky olive oil and top it with the delicious prawns to form the most delectable mouthful.
The Butterfly Chicken is fluttery in terms of flavours.
It is spicy, tangy, crispy and soft. It is all that and more. It is a perfect accompaniment with any and all of the mocktails/cocktails mentioned above.
Other dishes that you can try from the menu are the Tikki of Job, Tiger Beef, Pork Ribs, The Baked Brie and the Laal Maas Phulka Tacos.
The laal mass taco is a take on the Mexican taco, but with Rajasthani/Marwari flavours. What a thought and a great success too.
For desserts, you just cannot miss the Gondhoraj Lemon Tart and the Snicker Bar.
The Gondhoraj Lemon Tart is a fresh dessert and cleanses your palette while creating pleasurable flavour explosions in your mouth. The sugar crusted rose petals, the gooey meringue, the airy micro waved pistachio cake and the lebu gel are all where they need to be, right in front of you, on that plate looking up to you and creating just the right flavour combinations in your mouth that they intend to.
The second and the most loved dessert on the menu is the Snicker Bar. It is a de-constructed take on the beloved and handy snicker bar and is downright bomb on a plate. The inclusion of elements, such as the Milk Chocolate ganache, Dark Chocolate Micro Cake, Hazelnut Praline Cream and salted caramel gel make it a very rich but well balanced dessert. This is without a doubt the most intelligently put together dessert I have ever devoured.
Apart from the food and the refreshments, Monkey Bar carries an addictive vibe inside its glass walls. If you haven’t stepped in yet, do so soon. Learn to socialize and relax on weekdays in a new way.