Just monkeying around!


When one wonders why amazing gastropubs are not located centrally in the City, the unusually grand pyramid structure of Monkey Bar provides the answer.

The sight from inside, makes the travel across the busy roads of the City worthwhile to reach Vasant Kunj and try out the treats that are vouched for by the gourmands who have tested them in Bangalore.

Marked as one of the pioneer gastropubs of India, the place does deserve an applause for bringing a certain standard to this genre. In terms of food, what Metrolife experiences, follows thus.

The images of Butterfly Chicken and Dabeli had been haunting our minds since Metrolife checked its reviews and thus these two were sure shot choices for the order of appetisers. Along with these, the Chilli Cheese Dragons, Tikki of Joy, Goan Chorizo Pao and Spiked Nachos get paired!

One distinctly finds the outer crust of Butterfly Chicken and Chilli Cheese Dragons as oily. Probably something went wrong in preparing the batter or selecting the wanton sheets that didn’t really go well with the moist and nicely fried chicken cubes (in chilli sauce) and cheesy rolls (with veggies). Even the finely minced smokey Goan sausages tossed with onion and garlic to be filled in buttered pao didn’t work for us atleast.

Comparatively, the Tikki of Joy aka Bhetki Fish Cutlets inspired from Kolkata’s traditional preparation in mustard acquire a North Indian twist yet remain tender and palatable. The Dabeli stands true to its promise of high quantity of asafoetida (heeng) with tamarind-flavoured potato mashed and filled in buns. When wrapped with sev, it reminds one of the typical Bombay Vada Pao. 

Though one hardly feels the ‘spike’ in the so-called baked nachos, their crunchy texture garnished sparingly with cheese and generously with tomato salsa stays on the table throughout the meal!

In between these and the mains, one sips Manga – a mocktail tasting exactly like aam panna and Mankeccino – regular cold coffee with negligible flavour of mint. To keep the munching exercise on, the yummy TLC salad that has diced vegetables (including onion and cucumber) tossed in a thick dressing comprising feta, corriander and lemon with freshly crushed oregano.   

Soon the empty table gets loaded again as Iranian berries in Berry Pulao, succulent mutton pieces in Kosha Mangsho and wok-tossed eggplant in The Mobar Bork’s vegetarian version become the topic of discussion. While the pulao gets a little sweet touch, due to the berries and lovely yellow colour from saffron, the Kosha Mangsho has no Bong connection and tastes much like a North Indian-style mutton simmered in a rich curry with traditional spices. The Mobar Bork is very much an Indianised Chinese, yet flavoursome due to the aromatic black bean flavoured vegetables and noodles.

If you miss the dessert here, even monkeys will not spare you for the rum-soaked spongy Old Monk(EY) Chocolate Cake is as sinful as the berries in the Wild Berry Vacherin that effortlessly melts in the mouth with
every bite.

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