Trust Monkey Bar to do things in style, even if it is shutting its legendary green doors after seven years of unwavering loyalty from patrons. Before it bids goodbye on November 24, the gastrobub has launched a new menu to bow out with a bang.
The end of an era
Back in 2012, Bengaluru welcomed its very first gastropub–a pub that placed equal emphasis on food as it did on drinks. Regional Indian pub grub got its time under the Sun (or in this case those signature tungsten bulbs), as love for Goan Chorizo Pav and Pickled Beef spread across the city. The move from Castle Street to Indiranagar saw a collective mourning and celebration–mourning from fans who lost the space to Indiranagar and the latter from fans that loved Monkey Bar’s new address.
But now, they’ve decided to conclude the journey. Manu Chandra, chef partner, Monkey Bar says, “The Bangalore landscape has changed to an extent where it is almost impossible to run a bona fide restaurant and bar business today. As a result, the city is seeing the closure of some of its favourite homes away from home, which will totally change the living experience for so many.” On a possible comeback, he said, “We are always supportive of the authorities and the interests of everyone, and try to work closely with the law. Retroactive decision making, post all clearances, investment and effort is a huge setback and ends up punishing so many legitimate businesses. Monkey Bar became a Bangalore cult brand, a story that spread across the country from this city. We will be back, hopefully soon.”
The Last Supper: Evolution Menu
This new menu delves deep into lesser-known delicacies as well as popular dishes. Make a start with the Nimbu Masala Fries –nothing to beat starch, spice, and lemon being tossed together. From small plates, try the Bandel and Malai Fish (you get to choose from three kinds of fish), in a bandel cheese and kasuri methi spiked cream yogurt. The Naga Pork may not make spice fiends a happy lot, but is a comforting dish to dig into with some beer by your side. The Mutta Puff is another one that warms the heart with hardboiled egg, chillies, spices, and onions in a flaky puff pastry.
Vegetarians must try the Watermelon & Feta Escabeche salad with shredded lettuce, pickled watermelon, feta crumble and roasted peppers, edamame beans, and a coriander basil dressing that ties it all together. The Samosa Chaat is definitely going to be a favourite. Do order The Indian Odyssey Platter–this is Monkey’s answer to the mezze platter. Some Kalimpong cheese in a carrot and shalgam achaar, Bengali bhorta, kaddu hummus, salted ladneh, aloo bondas, and for the crisps–rotti, fafda, and spiced appalam. This is an all-hands-on-board, dig-into-unabashedly platter.
These dishes are best complemented with their new cocktails. Try the peppery Rasam Mary, Mobar Mace that brings mace into vodka, and sweet and sour topped with tonic. The Imli Sour combines whiskey with adrak-imli-saunth chutney and egg white. The Tomesh Collins is an Indian twist on the classic with morabba in it. The Masala Chai Eton Mess is a good dessert to end the meal.
Monkey Bar Bengaluru will offer this menu till November 24. Its outlets in Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata will have this menu on offer as well, along with local favourites.
Where: 610, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, (Opp State Bank of India), Indiranagar
Contact: +91 80 44114455.
Price for Two: Meal for two including drinks and taxes Rs. 1,200 to Rs 1,400
Recommended dishes: The Indian Odyssey Platter, Bandel and Malai Fish, Masala Chai Eton Mess
Noise levels: Medium
All images: Courtesy Vinayak Grover