Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Monkey's Coastal Adventure @ Monkey Bar, Bangalore

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Culture of India is known for its diversity; be it languages, dance, music, architecture or even food. There is diversity across length and breadth of this nation and as you move from one place to another or one region to another, this diversity comes across in full rhythm. Keeping our focus on food, this can be experienced at Monkey Bar as it takes us through a delicious journey across the coast of Kerala through Karnataka for the reminder of this month of June. 

This gastropub is known to give a fine twist aka the 'Monkey twist' as it may be aptly called. So when monkey traveled the coast, his adventures led to creation of a menu of food and beverages called 'Monkey's Coastal Adventures' and like always the Monkey Twist' was evident and was consistently good. I set out to experience the Monkey's coastal adventure menu and here's what I relished enroute - 

Not creating a trail, I savored was Kuttari Salad, KP Tacos, Batak dosa, Prawn Ghee Roast, Mandeli fried fish and Ode To Molly. What's a journey without a few drinks to accompany, so from the drinks it was Soulful Khadi, Chilli Puli, Vanakam Panakam. The menu further offered an interesting array of dishes which include clam sukka, Monkee Eggs and Coast to Coast to name a few unfortunately which I couldn't try.

So let's begin this journey with an introduction to Soulful Khadi which was a concoction of Gin, kokum syrup, tender coconut, leaves and lime cordial for that perfect balance. The drink was well balanced and leaned towards the sweeter side and I quite liked the flavor profile. If you are the one who likes your drink to lean towards the sweeter side than the tangy side; this one is definitely for you. 
Soulful Khadi

What did not work so much for was this other cocktail called Chilli Puli which was a tequila based drink with tamarind paste and green chili to lend a flavor to the concoction. This for my taste buds was an overkill in terms of flavor and is good as a pass around drink just for the kicks of it. 
Chili Puli
What really had me wanting for more this afternoon was 'Vanakam Panakam' a whiskey-based cocktail which by the name of it was mixed with Panakam - a drink made usually made with jaggery, cardamom, black pepper and is known to be a cooling agent with a lot of health benefits. For the time being, let's forget the health benefits for this Panakam with whiskey had me clearly wanting more of it.
Vanakam Panakam
In food, we started light with a really refreshing salad of baby spinach, raw mango slivers, shaved coconut, peanuts, curd chilis and at its heart the Kerala boiled rice called the Kuttari Salad. This Salad was a big hit on my table and from what I hear has been receiving some raving response during this festival. The prawn ghee roast on the other had was stir fried in with spices and ghee in typical Kundapur style. The prawns were perfectly cooked in Kundapur spices with ghee and was served up with really crunchy garlic toasts. It wasn't long before this dish was cleaned up among the two of us.
Kuttari Salad
Prawn Ghee Roast
Batak dosa was Kerala style duck confit on bite sized set dosa topped with shaved onions and chutney. The meat was succulent and flavorful on soft and fluffy dosa (uttapam). The onion slivers gave a nice crunch to this preparation and complimented well with the flavor of the duck meat. Mandeli Fried Fish was white anchovies rava fried and served with an accompaniment of baby onion salan puree and plantain chips. Nice and comforting but not something to look forward to from the kitchen of Monkey Bar.
Batak Dosa
Mandeli Fish Fry
'KP' in 'KP Tacos' stands for Kerala Paratha which held Chettinad style pulled chicken with black lichen, baby onion salan, garlic pickle and finally topped with white radish slaw. Bang on flavors for a coastal Indian twist to a classic Mexican dish. We had no space left for mains but the bar had to be raised and so it was 'Ode to Molly' a dish with subtle flavors served as fillets of spice marinated seabass sitting on a bed of fragrant lemon rice surrounded by avial inspired vegetables and a turmeric-coconut milk sauce. This was quite a twist to the Kerala classic Meen Moilee and surely a good one with different textures and varied but subtle flavors to tickle the palate.
KP Tacos
Ode To Molly
I wish my stomach had more room for food to try out the Monkee Eggs a makeover of the popular egg puffs available across the smallest of the bakeries and the Monkey's version of a south Indian thali called Coast to Coast. Nevertheless, it was indeed a Sunday afternoon very well spent catching up with a friend over some delicious food, drinks and conversation.

The festival is on till the 30th of June and is available for lunch and dinner at Monkey Bar Bangalore and Delhi. An average meal for 2 without drinks will cost approx. Rs. 1200 ++ and with a drink each will cost around Rs. 1900++; definitely not heavy on the wallet.

Quick Tips:
I love Monkey Bar and it's a known fact. However, they're offering a really good twist to the classics from this region. There's enough for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Beverages have cocktails on offer as a part of the special menu. 

From what I've tried, go here for the Kuttari Salad, Prawn ghee roast, KP tacos and Ode to Molly in food and 'Vanakam Panakam' and 'Soulful Kadhi' in cocktails. 

Bon Appetit!

Address: #610, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Near Crosswords, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 80 4411 4455

Note: This visit to The Fatty Bao was on invitation but the opinions expressed are solely mine and are absolutely unbiased nor influenced by the brand in any way.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

World On A Plate: International Food Festival with 3 Culinary Magicians

Twitter: @nkandhari     Facebook: Review Of Restaurants     Instagram: Review Of Restaurants 

Some days can be really really special and today was just one I hoped for but did not anticipate it coming. Bangalore for weeks now has this buzz and excitement doing rounds about the 3 of their favourite judges (I believe that's unanimous)from Australia who have been scheduled to visit India; not just Bangalore for the first time ever together.

The moment is now! They are here and they came to occupy the 3 empty seats set ready for them and select few of us waiting eagerly to welcome them at @JWMarriottBLR.

This meet & greet conference was set to announce the launch of the international food festival 'World On A Plate' curated and conceptualised by Gold Rush Entertainment who get full credit for bringing the gods of culinary world to Bangalore.

Kiran Soans, CEO of Gold Rush Entertainment started with a welcome note giving way to come face to face with the 3 hosts / judges who are loved world over - George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and non other than Matt Preston.

At the conference we were served up 3 dishes; one each prepared by George, Matt and Gary themselves in the same order below.

Over the next 2 days, International food festival 'World On A Plate' will feature exclusive masterclass sessions by each of these culinary masters, tete-a-tete where guests can interact and ask culinary questions as a part of the festival on day 01 - June 04, 2016.

An exciting day 01 makes way for another action packed day 02 which features head chefs from across the city compete in a cook-off which will be a blind tasting and for the coveted title of 'Restaurant of the year' judged by none other than 3 magicians of the culinary world; Matt, George & Gary.That's not all, we patrons get to elect a restaurant to win the 'People choice of the year' award too. It does not end here as you can indulge in a Sunday brunch specially prepared for you by these 3 Musketeers from Australia.

What are you waiting for? Go have a great weekend ahead like never before in the company of Matt, Gary & George.