Updated about 18hrs ago
Cuisine: Indian with a twist
A neighbourhood pub with great food in an extraordinary setting.
It has broken all the rules of the restaurant game in the NCR. It is located in a glass pyramid, and rather than being shiny and new, it has the patina of age in a boho chic way. It is a nightmare to light up effectively, the acoustics are harsh on the ears (especially if you are of a certain age). But Monkey Bar breaks new ground for a couple of reasons. First is the food. It transcends classification by cuisine, but a fair proportion of the dishes have their origin in India, even the sliders, that contain shaami kebabs rather than standard western-style patties. The other thing is that the chef behind this venture, Manu Chandra, obviously loves pork more than any other meat, and Monkey Bar has more pork dishes than chicken, lamb and fish put together: something of a first in the city. However, it is the prices that are most compelling: you could eat at this place regularly and not feel the pinch.
The menu is really long: Monkey Bar is a gastro pub, with equal emphasis on drinks and eats. But there are plenty of gems in there that merit several visits. Most dishes are served with buns, toast or rice. The finest of them all is Galauti Kebab (Rs 290). Made with tenderloin, it is rich and buttery with the trademark potli masala. The other great dish is the Chilli Brain Cutlet (Rs 240). Chef Chandra presents standard dishes with a tiny twist to them. The brain is as soft as a cloud and the batter is ever so slightly crisp, but what makes it different is the finely sliced green chillies that contrast wonderfully with the almost bland meat.
Two iconic pork dishes include Sorpotel Jam Pot (Rs 200) in which sorpotel with its hot and sour appeal is served in a glass jar with toasted buns. From another part of the country is Coorg Pandhi Curry. Mobar Caramelized Ribs (Rs 230) goes out to almost every table.
Plus and minus:
The valet parking has to be the rudest, most user-unfriendly in the NCR; the luxurious, rich pot de creme with salted caramel (Rs 220) is a touch of genius.
Tiger Steak, Tikki of Joy (Bhetki cutlets), Goan Chorizo and Sausage Fried Rice
Buzz: 4.5/5 | Decor: 4/5 | Service: 4/5
-By Deepali Gupta
What can one say about a Bangalore transplant that has taken over our city in under a year? A resounding welcome might be a good start, especially when the place in question is the always swinging Monkey Bar. Running on the collective happy/shiny energy of its regulars, who flock to this mecca throughout the week, MoBar (as it’s popularly called) is a great addition to the Capital where every restaurant is trying to be a bar and every bar is trying to be a restaurant. This self-proclaimed “gastro-pub” might be part of a larger wave sweeping the scene these days, but their signature cocktails and excellent pub grub ensures there is no monkey business as far as the output is concerned. The older, but by no means shabbier, of the two outlets is still our favourite thanks to its larger-than-life pyramid structure, while the CP version has helped revive the neighbourhood. On most evenings, you’ll find assorted groups milling around the foosball and pool tables even as multiple pitchers of very VFM beer do the rounds. If you are into finer libations, we highly recommend you sample their own concoctions including the Mangaa – a deliciously tart and tangy build up of vodka with aam panna, sweet lime and cumin or the new (heavily spirited) summer in a glass Cherry Pop aka CP – bursting with cherry brine and syrup in a swirl that almost reminds you of ice lolly’s. Though it’s the Copper Monkey with whiskey, orange juice, passion fruit, mint and bitters, which is the most ordered house special.
We admit that we begrudge the use of cheaper spirits as the base for cocktails here, but at least it keeps the prices down. They also take their gastro tag quite seriously and dish out a host of kickass (hangover curing) fare such as the MoBar Caramelised Ribs and Shaami Sliders – yes, this isn’t light eating – although we have a soft spot for their Indian take on fish ‘n’ chips called Finding Nemo. The use of local ingredients and desi flavours is a recurring theme here and we ain’t complaining. As a norm, the music tends to be loud and the service a little slow on weekends, but this monkey is truly the king of the jungle!
Updated about 19hrs ago
Barka is almost entirely outdoors with a pebbled walk at the Garden of Five Senses. Designed making full use of the greenery around, this lounge bar is more into hosting private parties. So it’s fairly obvious how the management is making their money. The music is a mix of commercial and whatever catches the host’s fancy getting louder with each passing hour. Cocktails are standard though the LIIT is quite lethal. Also popular are Sangria, Mai Tai and Sex on the Beach. Kamikaze and Brain Damage are good options for shooters. If you must eat, their pizzas are a safe bet and so is Mezze Platter. From the Indian section there is Tandoori Salmon Tikka that go well with the drinks.
Food 3/5 | Décor: 3/5 | Service 3/5
-By Marryam H Reshii
Set in the Garden of Five Sense, Barka is a romantic restaurant with colourful lights, airy spaces and a green garden backdrop but not much of a delight for food connoisseurs. It derives the name from Barka region between Sudan and Ethiopia called Eritrea. The coastal area is dotted with small cafés serving casual food and playing light music. Barka is a blend of Mediterranean, Italian and Tigrinya influence. The restaurant has an exhaustive menu: Classic Ceasar Salad, Tarragon Mushroom Tartlet, Harissa Chicken, pizzas, pastas, grills, skewers, platters, biryanis and desserts. Try the Chicken Shawarma and Mezze Platter. From the little North Indian section, Galouti Kebab is worth trying. However, those interested in sheeshas will have a good time here. Romance is in the air!