Monkey Bar - A Gastropub Review

Last weekend I was invited to "decode" the "Gastropub" named Monkey Bar at Indiranagar. I was excited after learning that this is a fun and quirky place and promises twice the excitement. It is India's first gastro-pub brand and has added its distinct touch to Indiranagar , following its inception in mid-2012 in Bangalore and journey to New Delhi at the end of 2013.

As soon as I entered Monkey Bar, I felt like as if I entered in a fun New York-esque space. It has exposed brick walls, soft wood floors, and large comfortable booths in deep tones, offset by mismatched yet warm lights and fixtures. This place has 2 levels and a spiral staircase connecting the 2 levels. Across the space are cool concrete tables and comfy seating, with layers and islands for groups. All over the interiors, there are fun posters and wall hangings sourced from all over the world. I did spend time looking at them, reading them and indeed they made me smile.

The food is exciting. The trendy and fabulous tasting cocktails and drinks served by the ever-smiling bartenders keeps abreast of its overall standards. The smiling bar churns out some super-refreshing fruit cocktails, ultra chilled beer and unusual concoctions like the Mangaa, Copper Monkey, Go Guava, Mary Beer and martinis served in rock glasses. The cocktails are served  in Nutella jars and copper tumblers.
The emphasis is on fresh, innovative and affordable, in a cool yet laidback, vibe and atmosphere.

Orange Mocktail, Mangaa and Virgin Mojito
The crockery is cheerfully mismatched and, somehow, perfectly complements the honest wholesomeness of the food. Wooden trays with an assortment of hot sauces will keep the most hardened chilli-freaks satisfied.

A nice place
Take a trip across the delicious small plates section for some essential pub grub and quirky flavours: on offer are Spiked Nachos with a delicious infusion of tequila and lime, Bombay Vada Pav, Tikki of Joy and Goan Chorizo Pao.
Small and Cute black boards with menu
I got to taste some starters some of the latest additions like the crispy Roasted Beet and Orange Salad which was made up of Three mustard dressed lettuce, feta cream, sesame beans,toasted and candied walnuts and crumbled feta.

PEPPER CHICKEN - Morsels of flash cooked chicken with peppers, scallions, toasted Schezwan peppers, black pepper sauce, oyster sauce, crushed peanuts and asparagus. Chicken was cooked to perfection and the flavours were all great.

PIROGIES - Pan seared Polish dumplings made up of Chicken, Celery and Jalapeño. This left me wanting for more.

CRAB RANGOON - Crab meat and cream cheese filled fried wontons, served with sweet chilli sauce. This was made up of real crab meat. I felt it was more of cheese rather than the crab meat. But overall taste was it was great.

TEMPURA CALAMARI - Tossed in fresh green curry glaze, wasabi mayo and fresh scallion. Loved this one specially the delicate wasabi flavour added to the crispy squids.

DEVILLED FISH - Sautéed seer with chilli oil, ginger, garlic, galangal and lemon grass. It kept me guessing the ingredients. But the fish was marinated and cooked to perfection - no fish smell and taste was heavenly.

Traditional dishes like Sorpotel wind up in little jam pots, the traditional Coorg delicacy Pandi Curry is paired with warm grilled fresh Pita Bread; brain fry and offal move out of their traditional MM Road bastion to be presented in a whole new avatar.

Chunks of smoky Goan sausage, sautéed with sliced onions, garlic and tomatoes, stuffed inside toasted buttered pao. Though I did not try this one as I am a non-pork, non-beef person, my friends who tried this loved the dish. And I felt proud that it comes from Goa. So I am sure my Goan friends residing in Bangalore will love this dish.

Goan Chorizo Pav
For the main course we tried The Parsee Orderly’s Mutton Currywhich  creates its own delicious spin on India’s culinary legacy.
THE PARSEE ORDERLIES’ MUTTON CURRY- A wholesome mutton chop curry finished with grated cheese, served with coconut and clove rice. I don't eat mutton, I just tasted the curry and felt that the taste was good, specially the extra cheese which has been added to it.

THE CHICKEN CURRY - It was good, but felt the taste was kinda average types. Loved the rice served with this.

THE MOBAR BORK - Fried and Wok Tossed Japanese eggplant and paneer over aromatic black bean flavoured vegetables and noodles. I tried this dish, but frankly speaking my taste buds did not get attracted to this. Maybe because of the other non-veg items served. But the presentation was great.

Monkey Bar Burgers seriously challenge traditional notions of what a burger should be: dry-aged and wood-grilled, smoky and juicy, even well done.

SLOPPY JOE- Barbecue flavoured shredded pork with coleslaw, fresh jalapenos, onions, peppers and lettuce. Served with sweet potato crisps with celery salt

Sloppy Joe
The desserts carry forward the same quirky tone, enticing you with a mishmash of flavours that melt in your mouth.

CHOCOLATE POT DE CRÈME WITH SALTED CARAMEL - Caramel popcorn, lemon poppy cake slice with olive oil. The secret ingredient here is the olive oil. Overall this dish was heavenly and kept wanting me ask for more.

LEMON CAKE - Lemon curd, vanilla lemon syrup soaked pound cake with seasonal fruit. I felt the lemon flavour was a bit too much for my taste buds. But the as the name suggests it has to be lemony.

 The Monkey Bar menu is designed to be a bonafide dining option when one is looking for a great evening out with friends

Monkey Bar is an all-day gastropub and there is never a dull moment. The music is buzzy and the pool table and foosball is more of an invitation to unwind over an after-work beer than a game centre. You don't make a reservation at Monkey Bar; you can just walk in when you feel like. The vibe is cool NYC meets trendy, young India. This is exactly my kind of place and is perfect to throw a party or a get-together with friends in style.

Pool Table

Monkey Bar,
# 610, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, near Crossword, Indiranagar, Bangalore- 560 038.

Meal for 2 including drinks and taxes Rs. 1200-1400/-
Twitter: @Monkeybarblr
Facebook Page:
Timings : 12:00 noon onwards (Children below the age of 18 years are permitted only till 6:00 pm)

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