Many of my friends had talked to me about this in past few months, looked like this was getting high with many on their to do list. Chances are if you have some gastronomic loving friends in Bangalore, you too would have heard about Monkey Bar. This is a gastro-pub in town (well pretty much in the center of Bangalore) which promises to be unusual than many others. It stands up to this challenge with cheerful set of employees willing to go all out to help. Driving towards the center of Bangalore may be a challenge for few but not if its early in the morning on a weekend, so I decided to give it a try for breakfast. With the ever growing one ways in Bangalore, I was still spot on to a narrow building hosting Monkey Bar.
The areas in and around the MG Road, Brigade Road area started to host shops long back, but its still not as commercial as those. You can still see some old residential houses reminding you of old Bangalore city. One of the roads off the Brigade road is Wood Street where you can find this lovely place set up on the corner.
Address: 14/1 Krishna Manere, Wood Street, Ashok Nagar, Bangalore - 560025
Phone: 080 - 41116878
The gastro-pub is open from 12 PM to 11:30 PM every day, it also serves breakfast on the weekends from 9 AM onward. Although you don't need a reservation for breakfast as plenty space was still available, I've heard the place gets filled quickly on most evenings. Street parking can be a big challenge in this part of the city, they have a valet which takes care of this.
American retro look, totally out of ordinary, absolutely true to what they promise! Once you enter, it looks like a small place, but then you realize they have a pretty nice basement as well. The place sports a old Lambreta scooter over a shelf, brick walls, posters from movies like Rango, Amy Winehouse, Rolling stones striped with funny quotes, a poster of president Obama, a fuse ball and a snooker table in the basement, everything is just a bit unexpected. The whole ambiance adds up to the gastronomic experience.
The servers gave one of the nicest experience, they were ready to accommodate our requests with ease. They were able to recommend the food to our liking and it came out quickly. I went in with my son, who was amused with the fuse ball table and whenever they got a chance the servers even came out and started to play the game keeping him engaged and us happy. I was just too pleased overall with the fun behavior and great service.
The restaurant offers all the out of usual breakfast experience for just the right price. A breakfast for two would cost about INR 1200 ($20).
They had a fairly great choice for a breakfast, the regular egg benedict, scotch egg, masala chai (spiced tea) to more fancy railway masala double omelette. I love my omelette loaded with vegetables so I got "To brie or not to brie" which was loaded with mushrooms. The omelette was served with a toasted bread and butter and was a great start to the day. It was cooked just perfectly with good amount of filling and pleasingly served.
We also tried an "Egg in a blanket" which is a flaky paratha stuffed with egg and was served with minced mutton (keema). I just could not imagine how they made such a flaky dish, the paratha was literally one single flake and egg was so neatly packed into. The accompanying keema was too yummy to be left out and was finished to the last grain.
The keema bao was freshly steamed and filled with spicy minced mutton and came out with some mutton soup. A great soup and a great steamed dumpling just to finish of our main breakfast courses.
All these courses with a glass of nutella banana pot shake served in an earthen glass, just an out of the world experience.
Well before I say we were done, the waffle caught my eye and since its not usual for a breakfast in India, I'd to give it a try. Again softly cooked topped with some vanilla dust and honey was a perfect sweet ending.
Monkey Bar is definitely a must visit for its out of ordinary and down to earth item selection, decor and service, a great place to spend a lazy time in the morning. As I write I'm also tempted to try out one of the evenings and see how the experience turns out, but that's for another day!Published On: Saturday, March 29th, 2014