Monkey Bar, Bandra’s newest Gastropub, has brought back the much needed Happy Hour. We arrived only one week after its opening and it was already packed – the waiter told us there had been people waiting to get in since 6pm! Monkey Bar has great cocktails, good food, a fun ambiance and an amazing DJ. Exactly what you need after a gruelling day!
The refreshing cocktails are served in fun contemporary glassware. We ordered the “GT + Karnal” and the “Copper Monkey.” The GT takes your standard Gin and Tonic up a notch with the addition of sweet Fennel and cooling cucumber. Similarly, the Copper Monkey is made with tangy passion fruit juice that transports you to a tropical paradise. I warn you, these go down way too easy. ;)
Executive Chef Manu Chandra has created a very innovative menu and we wanted to try a bit of everything. Because of the setting, we preferred a more “tapas” style dinner. Thus, we stuck with sharing a few appetizers rather than ordering the mains. For the carnivores, we tried the Mobar Caramelized Ribs, Goan Chorizo Pao and the Quick Gun Murg-hen – these were all huge hits. The Chorizo Pao was filled with juicy, spicy sausage that was balanced out by the soft Pao. The Mobar Ribs are covered in a sweet BBQ sauce and the meat falls right off the bone… I found the boys licking their fingers clean! ;) The Quick Gun Murg-hen was wonderfully tender and full of flavor. We especially loved the tangy tomato chutney that came with it and started putting this chutney on everything.
For the vegetarians, we ordered the Loaded Nachos, Adhunik Pani Puri, Poha Croqs, Bhaigan Pakoda Phulka Tacos, Dal Pakwan and the Kurkuri Bhindi. My favorites were the Nachos and the Bhindi, as they paired perfectly with the cocktails. The nachos started with a base of cheese flavored corn chips, layered with melted cheese, beans, jalepenos, guacamole, salsa and topped with smooth sour cream. The bhindi was crunchy, tangy and spicy; the perfect bar snack.
Unfortunately, the Adhunik Pani Puri didn’t work for me. While I applaud the creativity, I found the texture a bit odd. The chef created a soft “pani” jelly that dissipates in your mouth, but I’m just more accustomed to tasting that rush of water as you take a bite. The Bahigan Pakoda Phulka Tacos and Dal Pakwan were also very unique but lacking a little flavor and crunch. I would have liked to have some of the tangy tomato chutney that’s served with the Quick Gun Murgh-hen inside the tacos, or some other similar “salsa.” Maybe that’s what all the hot sauces on the table are for! ;)
Overall, we had a really fun time at Monkey Bar and we will be coming back often. It’s a great place to go from dinner to dancing. Get there early – they don’t take reservations!
Getting There: Monkey Bar: Junction of 14th & 33rd, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Phone: 022 26005222
Meal for two without alcohol, excluding taxes: Rs. 1200++
Meal for two with alcohol, excluding taxes: Rs. 1800++
Mon to Fri 6 pm to 1 am and Sat & Sun 12 noon to 1am
(Guests below the age of 21 years are permitted only till 6 pm)