Monkey Bar, Kolkata:
I left Kolkata/ Howrah right after my class 12 was over to pursue law at a university in Sonepat. While I was not very hopeful of the conditions there, I was definitely sure that Delhi will provide me with ample opportunities to train my tastebuds, and make up for the lack of good, new food joints that I had experienced back home over the four years of my stay here. I wasn’t disappointed. Delhi does have a huge range of culinary options for consumers to choose from. And Kolkata is catching up too. Since I spend most of my two month long semester breaks here, I have decided to explore Kolkata And this is probably the first in a series of reviews of restaurants in Kolkata, new and old.
Monkey Bar definitely did not exist when I was in high school. At least the name does not ring a bell. However, it seems to have created quite a buzz in the food scene in Kolkata, and I decided to try it out.
Located on the 9th Floor of Fort Knox, in Camac Street, Kolkata, Monkey Bar is easily accessible to most commuters. Barring the minor inconvenience caused due to the ‘one way street’ regulations in place, and abnormally small lifts, Monkey Bar is relatively easy to find, with valet parking options for self driven cars.
It is quite confusing to be very frank. There are definitely plenty of options available but making it a little cleaner and grouping the various options better would have made it a lot better. To my surprise, there were a number of beef/ pork dishes and that in itself is praiseworthy, there isn’t much variation of the same. In my opinion, they were aiming for this niche zone between finger food and a full three course meal. They have partially succeeded at hitting the bulls eye here.
I had heard that the cocktails here were something to look out for, however, due to the abnormal drinking age of this state and the even more abnormal pricing of the same, I decided to give it a pass. Even though I didn’t indulge myself, I can definitely comment on the choice of drinks available.
The range of drinks caught my eye. They had a good selection of whiskeys and an even more interesting selection of cocktails, all with an added Bangali touch. But charging above Rs 150 for a pint of Kingfisher premium is atrocious at the very least. A bar in CP, Delhi would normally charge half as much for the same. Stop this monkey business 🐒
Moderate, at best. The Beef Galouti Killer was the only thing in the main course/ starter that I would strongly recommend. The Loaded Chicken Nachos are a big no no as they were a huge disappointment. The vegetarian spring rolls weren’t too great either.
All that being said, the dessert was lovely. The MoBar Sundae Sandwich which I happened to have on a Sunday (geddit?) was beautiful. Probably the one dish that stood out that night.
This is perhaps the only thing (other than the dessert) worth visiting this place for. It is absolutely brilliant. The crowd here was really good, and so was the choice of (pop?) music. You can see fireworks outside through the large windows if you’re lucky enough. Lot of wedding halls nearby.
The waiting time is painful though. What was surprising is that the crowd started disappearing around 8:30 PM on a Sunday night. The waiters need to be a little more attentive as well.
If you are with a large group of friends, this is probably a great place to go to on a Friday or Saturday night. The live sports streaming adds to the fun. Otherwise you are better off going to some other restaurant/ bar for better food and/or cheaper drinks.