Raw brick walls adorned with pop-culture posters from a bygone era, the interiors of Monkey Bar Connaught Place have an undeniable grunge feel to it. As you enter, you are greeted by pleasant vibes and an amicable host, which, in my opinion, is one of the most important ingredients that make a successful restaurant/bar.Originating in Bengaluru, Monkey Bar took three years before eventually expanding to five outlets spanning three cities. A newly launched, unified menu combines flavours from the length and breadth of India, including the most popular dishes from each of their branches.
"We have had a lot of people visit the bars across states and request their favourites which won't be the same in every city. Therefore, we picked the most popular ones from each of our outlets to be a part of this unified menu", said Manu Chandra, Partner and Executive Chef of Monkey bar.
Most of the recipes are creations of Chef Chandra and present intriguing deviations from traditional recipes. Part of the new starter menu are the Bengali mochar chops which are delicious croquettes made of banana flower, very popular on the streets of Kolkatta. The infamous Mumbai pav bhaji with a cheesy twist and the creamy Mushroom galouti kebab also hold their own on this menu.Now the food gets even more eccentric with the Chef's Chicken 65 served with baby steamed idli, which go surprisingly well together. Cream cheese and crab filled fried wontons called crab rangoon beats most of its counterparts hands down. Served with a hot and sweet sauce, this dish is light in flavour and texture despite being deep fried. Other highlights of the main menu are the chicken chapli kebab, Mrs Yvonne Pinto's masala prawn pickle with pav, lal maas phulka tacos in Rajasthani style and the interesting Rajnikanth rice.
The Old Monk chocolate cake is usually the first to grab your attention while choosing dessert but it lives up to the hype.
The moisture-laden chocolate cake with rum and chocolate at the centre served with whipped cream must be tried to be believed. Amongst new cocktail creations, the Don Draper is as irresistible as its namesake. It is a concoction of Ballantine's whisky, sugarcane, clove and bitters.
The most interesting trait of this grub pub are the people who manage it on the ground. Smiling waiters and a charming host keep every table engaged with witty conversations and there is never a boring moment.