That Monkey In Bandra

Bangalore’s favourite Gastropub, Monkey Bar has arrived in Mumbai. And a recent visit there revealed that it might be up for becoming a favourite among the pub crawlers with its simple philosophy of competitive prices and some good food with an Indian soul, and a global attitude.

The Gastropub has its legacy as one of its primary advantages. Even the relatively uninitiated know that Monker Bar came in when the Gastropubs were not a “thing” in India. Now, even as a new one erupts on the scene every second week, Monker Bar has the first mover advantage among the folks who want their alcohol served uncomplicated. Having been around almost a month now, it’s easy to see why the not-so-large space is almost full, all the time. It has a great vibe, unlike the self-aware and ever so slightly conceited Bandra pubs. Exposed brick walls, pop-coloured chairs, comfortable booths, and a laid-back al-fresco section, complete with a foosball table make it the upcoming chill space in the city.

 Dal Pakwan

Adhunik Pani Puri and Laal Maas Phulkas

The menu is affordable and varied. A good mix of appetizers, mains, some lovely desserts and great cocktails makes it the perfect place to unwind after a maddening work day. I was invited to a Bloggers’ Table, and we tried quite an extensive assortment of their signatures. Among the dishes we tried was Rajasthani laal maas phulkas, served with mirch achar, ker sangria sabji and coriander chutney. Though well cooked, the lal maas was a bit wanting in its traditional flavours. There was the Adhunik pani puri, a novel concept or puris served with sphere-fied  pani. Interesting, but lacking the punch for someone addicted to the usual street fare. Dal pakwan would make for some good finger food with your drinks. General Tso’s Chicken, a sweet and sour wok tossed chicken is the perfect companion for the uncomplicated drinks. The quirky Aam Aadmi Eggs is a filling Texas toast topped with chatpata tomato and onion seeds chutney, green chili cheese and eggs. This is what I personally will go back for. The Galouti Kebabs were an unfussy preparation, staying true to the original recipe, and are recommended for folks who can’t have a drink without their meat accompaniments.

Rasmalai Panna Cotta

The desserts were surprisingly good. The Gadbad Falooda, Rasmalai Panna Cotta, and the Tres Leches Cake were all fabulous, though the cake could be a bit moister.
The most important part of an establishment that serves drinks are the bartenders. And the ones at Monkey Bar couldn’t be a more awesome lot. Seeing that I had a bad throat, they immediately offered to serve a Hot Toddy with Cinnamon and a dash of lemon. The Copper Monkey was also much appreciated by a fellow blogger. The menu shows some great mixes like the Mangaa, Spiked Masala Soda, and Don Drapper that I’d like to go back for. My personal wishlist is the tongue-in-cheek Shazia Imli,  that will definitely be had on my next visit.

Mangaa and Don Drapper

Overall, Monkey Bar has their game on track. A bit of tweaking on the Gastro bit is required. But it’s a new kitchen, and they are serving some great fare. I am sure that the less than dazzling bits will soon be phased out, as they are extremely willing to hear feedback. The reason you are seeing a restaurant review after a really long time here is because I haven’t been able to find a lot of places I’d love to go back. Monkey Bar, fortunately, has changed that. 


  1. I need that green drink in my life----that color is everything! Looks like u ate like a Queen!! YUMMY!!!!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls


  2. your blog is lovely......makes me pine for delicacies.......:)


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