Monkey Bar Kolkata and the memories –
We didn’t attend the launch of Monkey Bar Kolkata 3 years back. I don’t remember my first time there. However, I do remember, well before my first visit that the mural on the very high ceiling had become the talking point, especially Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen on a hand pulled rickshaw. I remember all these for its cousin down one floor, The Fatty Bao, but none of these are testimonial to my lack of love for Monkey Bar Kolkata.
One day at Monkey Bar and the friends. Bye Bye Mad Men
It took no time for Monkey Bar to become the talk of the town. After the first tryst, Monkey Bar became a favourite hangout place for me too. Many an evening have been spent with Kerala Beef Fry (a personal favourite and we have never stopped at one), Shami Sliders or tempura fried peppered calamari, engaging conversation and fun. Madhushree and I, still can’t forget when we spent one entire Monday at Monkey Bar. Yes, the favourite drink Mad Men is no longer there.
Welcome Indian Odyssey, Mutta Puff and tandoors
It’s 41 new dishes and 8 new cocktails. The Indian Odyssey is a touchdown across various parts of India. Baingan bharta with mustard oil, an ode to Bengali begun pora, Kaddu Hummus, salted Labneh and Aloo Bonda. Aloo Bonda is like the Alur Chop which comes in sphere and I discussed this in detail, in my last post on Pakodas. Scoop up all these with Mangalorean Kodi Roti, Fryums (remember school days?) and Gujrati fafada with a bowl of pickled Shalgam with carrots and Kalimpong cheese. I bet this is going to be the most ordered dish.
If Kerala Beef fry was your past favourite then try the Naga Pork with Imli Sour. A fiesty dish of Pork Belly with Naga Chili, bell peppers, cabbage and greens. What can be a better accompaniment than Imli Sour with egg white, adrak, imli, saunth chutney and whiskey. I predict this is going to be a great pair to watch out for. Mutta Roast is very popular dish in Kerala and the twist in the tale here is that Mutta Roast comes in layers of flaky puff pastry, with a curry leaf Hollandiase Sauce. There is a quenelle of chutney with Harissa, grated coconut and dhania powder. Yes, perhaps the Mutta roast as a filling could have been little spicier but nevertheless, it was quite a clever dish. That was Mutta puff for you.
Closed Bao comes in addition to Lal Maas phulca Tacos
The Ghee Roast Bao comes in the soft airy steamed Baos. The prawn option will remind you almost of a kumro chingri filing and it’s available in chicken also. This neat and beautiful looking dish has 4 baos and is ideal for group and hard to resist. You don’t have to miss the Laal Mass Phulcas Tacos which used to get served in Bao Stands. Some of the old favourites, including the tiger beef, have been retained in the section of Kolkata favourites.
The new members in the team of Monkey bar kolkata – Gundruk Fried rice, Tandoors
What’s a menu without Fried rice in Kolkata? A plate of Gundruk Fried rice comes with little DIY of chili vinegar, fried garlic and chili onion and Gundruk Paste. Lovely Smokey flavour interspaced with small chunks of prawns . Leave aside all the other experiences of the new menu, I will love to go back to Monkey Bar Kolkata for this. In case you are not fond of rice, there is a wide array of Kulchas to select from. There is Onion and cheese, butter chicken, Malabar mutton, Achari Prawn Kulcha as options. I will be personally keen to go back and check out Kasundi chicken and Achari beef next time.
Plenty of options yet not all over the place – The New Menu of Monkey Bar Kolkata
While having plenty of options with cross sections of cooking techniques across geographical boundaries, it is a strategy often adopted by restaurants to cover all possible target groups yet there is a risk. Sometimes there is a possibility of overlooking what food stands out the most in that particular area. It must have been tough for Monkey Bar to do away with a sure shot success recipe of the previous menu. They have done it with style. Small plates, Burgers, pizzas, sharing plates, local touch, Indian comforting flavours from all over and a terrific cocktail menu. The food has a familiar flavour profile in an unfamiliar combination but it works and that’s what matters the most.
The address of Monkey Bar Kolkata is 901 A, Fort Knox, 6 Camac Street. Opens at 12 noon every day. Closing time on weekdays is midnight and on weekends is 1 AM.
P.S. – The cover image and some of the images are from the restaurant authorities
P.P.S. – We were invited to taste the new menu however the opinion is absolutely personal.