If I was given a penny for every time I fell in love with the Kolkata skyline and the street food, I would be a billionaire. What if I told you that one of the city joints gives you the best of both? Hard to believe, is it? Now imagine this, a fancy cocktail teamed with the classic Jhaal Muri and all of it while taking in a spectacular view of the Victoria Memorial.
The Monkey Bar, India’s first gastropub is one of Kolkata’s newer additions has been inspired by the gastropubs around the world and yet exudes an unabashed Desi charm. The menu caters to the palate of the comfort seeker and the gourmand, alike. Taking homely and familiar flavours and giving them an unconventional and playful twist for diners who are increasingly looking for food that surprises, comforts and satiates, has become a hallmark of the Monkey Bar menu. From regional Indian specials and Bengali cuisine inspired dishes with a twist to international specials, Monkey Bar’s offering spans across different cuisines with Tikki of Joy, Prawn Ghee Roast, Butter Chicken Khichdi and Goan Chorizo Pao as well as MoBar Caramelised Ribs, Mixed Mushroom Bruschetta, MoBar Laksa, Spaghetti Aglio Olio and more. New additions bring you food that qualifies as pub food, with a distinctive international twist. Delicious small plates from around the world, a whole new selection of thin crust pizzas with exciting toppings and combinations, a few Bengali cuisine and ingredient inspired dishes, hearty mains and desserts to die for. Much has been written about the Monkey Bar burgers, which seriously challenge traditional notions of what a burger should be: smoky and juicy, even well done. New Small Plates include dishes inspired by international favourites like the Rock Corn Tempura, Baked Brie, Prawns Pil Pil, the Med Platter and Sticky Korean Chicken. The all new Pizza offering includes exciting toppings such as Mushroom and Truffle Oil Pizza, Iti Auntys Daab Chingri Pizza, Baja Chicken Pizza and Pepperoni Picante Pizza. From the modern take on the ubiquitous Keema Ghotala and Spicy Paneer Bhurji Buns to rare regional delights like Aunty Vinnie’s Berry Pulao, Laal Maas Phulka Tacos, served with mirch achar, ker sangri sabji and coriander chutney and Reddy’s Popcorn Chicken. Interesting mains include the Soulful Bowls, Thai Curry and Kerala Beef Fry; while the Potatoes with Raclette is addictive and a great accompaniment to your favourite drink. Look out for Chandraji’s Mutton Curry (a succulent mutton dish served with Gobindobhog rice), Galouti Killer and Chicken Chapli; hearty meals for meat lovers like the MoBar Bork, Chicken 65.
Monkey Bar, is that cool, trendy gastropub, where you step in when the mood grabs you. The music is buzzy, the vibe is happy, and the ambience relaxed yet cool. Food is as important as the design and music and for once, the bar has kept abreast. Its trendy and affordable and, above all, high on taste! There is never a dull moment at this all-day gastro-pub, whether it is a casual outing with friends, a catch up after work with colleagues, a Sunday lunch with your family, a date with someone special, or getting your weekend mojo back. The vibe is trendy, young India. It is new, yet, familiar. This is exactly my kind of place.