Traditional fine dining has adapted to the new age well-travelled workaholics all looking to unwind after work. An outing has always and will always be primarily focused on food but it no longer begins and ends with it. Comfort first and at last a happy feeling is all what we are in aiming at. And Monkey Bar has just that and Calcutta too needed just that.
How many times have we left a restaurant feeling we over paid for no real food and it all just looked fancy? Followed ‘The roadside chaat is better than this at least’ This usually happens when the taste, time, comfort and budget is compromised but then again it doesn’t feel like an outing if you just go down the street and have chaat for a meal. In the last five years, eateries have, not really dramatically, but playfully amalgamated the lounge factor, comfort and healthy food to cater to both demands, and tweaked the environment from being less formal to more relatable. A staple here is a delicacy there and Monkey Bar hand-selected India’s relished street food and brought it to our tables with a lot of oomph.
BlabberCat spent a lot of ‘Me’ time at the fourth outlet of the popular chain gastro owned Olive Cafes South private limited, a subsidiary of Olive Bar and Kitchen Pvt. Ltd in partnership with chef Manu Chandra and Chetan Rampal. The best time to go there is undoubtedly during sunset when you can sit with a book and a cocktail or just indulge in an appetiser or two before the crowd sashays in, the music conquers and you find your feet tap dancing under the tables.
Have a look at our top recommended dishes.
Reddy’s pop corn chicken
Crispy fried chicken with coconut shavings, curry leaves, black pepper and lemon. You don’t even need an appetite to finish a bowl of these. While watching the videos on big screen or drowning in tasty cocktails, this appetiser is a must order at any time.
Tikki of Joy
Kolkata-inspired bhetki fish cutlets with kasundi mustard, fennel seed andcoriander; served with mint chutney. Surprisingly this dish wasn’t especially made for Calcutta. It has been on the menu since the start and quite a hot-seller in other cities as well.
Goan Chorizo Pao
Chunks of Goan sausages, sautéed with slice onion, garlic, tomatoes, stuffed inside toasted cocktail-sized buttered pav.
Other orders not to miss: Mee Goreng: Indonesian spiced noodles with fried garlic and onions, cucumber and boiled egg, mint, coriander and chill oil. A vegetarian dish recommended outlet owner and entrepreneur Avantika Saraogi is Paneer 65 – Deep-fried paneer tossed in a heady mix of spices, chillies and ghee; served with steamed idlis.
True blue desi at heart, we could have gallons of Mangaa – Vodka, aampanna, sweet lime, cumin and salt With Absolut.
Tipsy Sherbet – Tequila, rose syrup, lime and egg white. A perfect companion for a perfect evening.
BlabberCat’s top FIVE excuses to keep going back to MONKEY BAR!
Photographer: Tanushree Bhasin