Monkey Bar, touted as the first gastro-pub in the country, recently launched their revamped menu and we cordially accepted their invitation for a lavish food tasting. With 41 new food items and eight refreshing cocktails, the menu offers a variety of dishes infused with local elements of every state.
First up was the Indian Odyssey Platter – a perfect dish to order when you are out with a large group of friends. There's Mangalorean Kori Roti, fryums and Gujrati fafda along with a host of yum dips like Bengali style baingan bhorta, kaddu hummus, salted labneh, bonda vada and pickled Shalgam or turnip and carrots with Kalimpong cheese. In kebabs we tasted the Paneer and Tarkari Shashlik and the more exotic Kasundi Chicken. The pieces were tender with the right amount of spices. Keeping the health freaks in mind, they have come up with piping, hot Tibetan Thukpa, a light watermelon and Feta Escabeche Salad and Honey Mustard Chicken Salad. For some Amritsari tadka, they have introduced Malabari Mutton Kulcha, Butter Chicken Kulcha and Onion and Cheese Kulcha using indigenous Kalimpong cheese. That’s not all – there’s Meen Pollichathu - a Kerala Toddy Shop-inspired masala fish served with lemon and coriander potato and Naga Crispened Pork Belly with vegetables and soy, hoisin and Naga chili.
In the mains they have introduced some of the authentic flavours of North East and South. There's Gundruk Fried Rice (vegetarian fried rice with Gundruk chutney from the North East), Kerala style Beef Ularthiyathu Fried Rice and a Chemmeen (Prawn) Fried Rice. Worth trying is the Meen & Curry– with topshe fry, Meen Kolambu served with beans and carrot poriyal, ghee rice, appalam and salad.
To live up to their cocktail game, they have come up with some crazy concoctions. There's Rasam Mary, a delightful combination of vodka, tomato pepper rasam, curry leaf and lemon salt rim, Tomesh Collins (our personal fave) with gin, lime murabba, sweet & sour topped with tonic water, Juicy Martini made using vodka, Rhododendron syrup, pear juice and apple juice and Peena Colada where homemade rabri and badaam shirin give a delicious spin to an old favourite dessert.