Monkey Bar, Bangalore
14/1 Krishna Manere,
Wood Street, Ashok Nagar
Bangalore – 25
Phone: 080 41116878/9
Note - I understand it occupies the space where Taipan used to stand. Mobar doesn't have valet parking, so you can do as we did, go down the street to Olive (which is a co-owner of Mobar) and hand the keys to the hapless valet there.
"Monkey Say Drinks Laphroaig On the Rocks", or words to that effect. After a couple of Maanga's, Monkey Bars signature cocktail, Monkeys pithy aphorisms dotted around the bar are liable to be misquoted.
It's a pleasant surprise to walk into Monkey Bar, and see Ashok "Seabiscuit" Nag behind the bar. Ashok is a tremendous fan of the horse Seabiscuit, which was immortalized first in the book of the same name, and then in the movie, which starred Toby Maguire, as the jockey, not the horse. I became aware of that after interacting with Ashok, several years ago, when he was tending bar at Olive Beach, Bangalore. Ashok then soon departed for parts Middle East, for several years, before he was redrafted to Bangalore by Chef Manu Chandra and Olive, to helm the bar at Monkey Bar, and as I assume to also provide a helping hand at Chef's new outlet in Whitefield - "likethatonly"
I'm glad he's back to India, cause it assures us of some expertly made cocktails, and which more importantly don't cost an arm and a leg. Monkey Bar has appeared quietly on Bangalore's bar scene, and joins the ranks of Chef owned outlets, with what may be termed as a gastro pub slant. Don't ask me what a gastro pub is, but by the term I think it implies a pub which also serves good food, and just on these counts, I'd be happy to slot Monkey Bar as a GP.
Pleasantly designed, with a nice long ground floor section, with an outdoor smoking corner on the side and a rectangular bar in one corner, it also has a more sporty basement with "things to do" - foosball and pool. The ground floor was a bit more lively, on a Thursday afternoon, and we wangled a table near the entrance and Team Tulleeho, settled in to peruse the extensive food and drinks menu. Please note the BoB is 1.4 (for a KF pint).
There's an interesting range of Mobar specials and I choose a Monkey Mule, which appears to be a take on the Moscow Mule, with a combination of vodka, beer, ginger, coriander seeds, all spice and an orange slice, served up in a nice tall glass, excellently balanced, and delicious to the last drop. 3 of our table, ordered Maangaa, one of their signatures, and judging by the other tables, Mobar will need to order in more Jam Jars, as that's what the Maanga is served in.
The Maanga is a compelling mixture of Vodka & Aam Panna (green mango juice for the uninitiated) and went gushing down the throats. It was burgers for everyone, with the MoBar Burger (Medium Done), getting the most votes. Fries are served alongside in a nice paper cone, stuck in a rack, which wouldn't be out of place in a high school chemistry lab.
I also order a Heineken to wash down the burger. MoBar has got their pricing just right. At 250 bucks for a cocktail, it's a great deal, especially when they're expertly prepared. It's bars like these which can help create and foster a cocktail culture. Long may they reel.