Monday, 30 September 2013

'BreakFirst @ Monkey Bar', Bangalore

Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day and considering the food scene in Bangalore, there is a world of option available for us foodies. In Bangalore, it can be a simple South-Indian affair or an extravagant affair involving global offerings. Depending on the cuisine and preferences, it can be eaten on either the street side, the neighborhood garage, or the restaurants housed in the numerous star hotels and everything in between.

But how about having breakfast at a pub? I stand corrected; at a Gastro-Pub?

Yes and this is exactly what my wife and I did. We kick started our weekend with ‘Breakfirst @ Monkey Bar’; known to be India’s first Gastro-Pub.

Well, what is a Gastro-Pub? It is a space that has the essence of a pub, but is backed by excellent food and service at accessible prices.

Monkey bar, on weekends only runs a special a-la carte breakfast menu starting 9 AM to Noon. The listing includes delicacies spanning across cuisines from the western hemisphere to the eastern hemisphere; but with a twist. The breakfirst menu introduced earlier this year, now has some new dishes introduced as a part of the Breakfirst menu offering gourmet options for vegetarians, eggitarians and non-vegetarians. Here is a glimpse of the ‘Breakfirst @ Monkey Bar’ menu.

The menu not only caters to the eggitarians (The eggs came first), the health conscious, or the ones with a serious appetite (The Big Bang) but also to those who believe only a ‘breakfirst’ cocktail can cure a hangover (Well, that’s a just a reason to drink). Yes, Monkey Bar serves signature breakfast cocktail 10:00 AM onwards.

What we ate:
Our breakfirst was really king sized with a lot of dishes making a visit on our table. It started with the 'Mutton Keema Bao', 'Eggs Benedictine' and 'Eggs Florentine' arriving first.

Bao is a Chinese steamed bun stuffed with either meat or veggies. It is something I ate first during my travel to US a few years ago and since have longed for a good one in Bangalore. I’d assume the picture speaks for itself; the bao was stuffed well with a spicy mutton filling and enjoyed best when eating steaming hot with the accompanying peanut- chilli sauce and the hot mutton broth served in a shot glass.

On request, our portion was split between an Egg Benedictine and an Egg Florentine. Benedictine, listed on the menu since start contains ham between the poached egg and the English muffin while the new addition ‘Florentine’ replaced the ham with creamy spinach. You may have noticed that my preference usually inclines towards the non-vegetarian option but Florentine was a winner this time. What worked was the marriage of the texture and flavor of the creamy spinach, the poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

Soon to follow was a portion of ‘Eggs in a Blanket’ and ‘Toast to France’. ‘Eggs in a blanket’ was a fabulous preparation of egg stuffed between a flaky and light paratha served with mutton keema. I kept asking myself, “Could Breakfast get any better?”

Mention 'Toast to France' and I will always be reminded of the ‘French Toast’ that is served at Monkey Bar. It is a sweet and heavenly preparation of Jewish Challah soaked with numerous ingredients like egg, orange zest, cinnamon, milk and more. This was served along with maple syrup which takes the toast to another high.
Photo Credit: Kunal Chandra

By this time, we were stuffed but were not willing to give up without trying the newly introduced ‘Cinnamon & Toffee Pancakes’. This came as a stack of 3 fluffy cinnamon pancakes topped with sweet toffee and vanilla pastry cream. Of course, there was maple syrup too. Again, this was delicious and easily the best pan cakes I have eaten here in Bangalore. All thanks to its goodness, we managed to get through half the stack.
Photo Credit: Kunal Chandra

How can I miss to mention, all the food we ate was in the company of their ‘Monkey recommends’ – ‘Red Riding Wood’ – vodka based cocktail and a healthy smoothie ‘Green Goddess’. ‘Red Riding Wood’ was served in a mini vodka bottle with the plum and apple pulp floating in it. This drink exudes lovely flavors of fresh plum and apple juice. ‘Green Goddess’ failed to make its mark due to the over powering flavor of Banana. We wished the flavors of banana, peach, orange; kiwi and cucumber were well balanced.

Ohhh, what a wonderful way to kick start our weekend!!!

Monkey Bar with ease makes you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they take no time to do so. We loved every single dish that came on our table. As we drove back home after the hearty breakfast, we spoke about what we liked the most. For my wife it was ‘Eggs Florentine’ and the ‘Cinnamon & Toffee Pancakes’ and for me it was ‘Egg in a blanket’ and ‘has to be ‘Toast to France’. Bao – something I love; was good too but missed being at the top only for the lack of sweetness in the steamed bun which makes a lovely contrast to the spicy mutton keema filling.

The ambiance was welcoming and warm. Interiors are rustic and wood finished yet well balanced. Monkey bar does receive a pleasant amount of natural light through it windows which is a plus for me when I’m going for breakfast. The music was on with the sound levels maintained well for a morning visit. It was quite a contrast to how you will find Monkey Bar post evenings. The basement has a pool table and a foosball table.

What will be an average spend for a ‘Breakfirst @ Monkey Bar’ without alcohol and taxes? And What about parking?

Parking is the owner’s responsibility and can be done on the roadside. The breakfast at Monkey Bar averages about Rs. 1200 for two. Post this visit; I’d rate this sit down breakfast way over the extravagant but standard breakfast fare at numerous star hotels. Well, at least I do not want to walk around with my plate across a large buffet hall when I can have lovely delicious food brought right to my table.

Quick Tips:
‘Breakfirst @ Monkey Bar’ rocks! It was not just a meal but the whole experience that we loved. Where else do you get to sit in a NYC style diner and enjoy a gourmet breakfast in Bangalore?

Signing off with a collage of some general info on ‘Breakfirst @ Monkey Bar’

Address: Woods Street, Ashok Nagar, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 80 4111 6878 / 79 

No comments:

Post a Comment