Monkey Bar, the popular gastro-pub, takes you on a coastal voyage this month as you set off to treat your taste buds to delicacies from Udupi, Kundapur, Mangalore and Kerala, but of course with ace Chef Manu Chandra’s signature ‘monkey’ twist. The Coastal Adventures at Monkey Bar Mumbai, is on till November 30.
Presented in a new avatar, with the characteristic quirky twist, Monkey Bar is known for, the menu, even for a limited period promotion, is exhaustive.
The cocktails too are replete with coastal ingredients. The soul kadi gets a makeover and is christened, soulful kadhee. With gin along with kokum syrup, tender coconut, lime cordial, tempered with curry leaves, it is refreshing and perks your taste buds. Kapi macha, with dark rum, pineapple juice, espresso and cinnamon is intense and aromatic.
Keeping the quintessential spices of this region alive, the food boasts of a myriad textures and flavours, that are bound to set your palate tingling. Udipi beet cutlets, can even make a carnivore relish vegetarian flavours. The humble mandeli, never tasted so good before as in the mandeli fried fish on offer here. Rava crusted fried fish, baby onion salan puree, plantain chips and South inspired bread and butter pickles. KP tacos – flaky Kerala paratha with Chettinad styled pulled chicken, black lychen, baby onion salan, garlic pickle and the batak dosa – Kerala style duck confit with shaved onions and chutney on bite sized set dosa, are an absolute testimony of the chef’s mastery. The accompaniments and presentation are equally innovative.
Of course, while this menu is a treat for seafood lovers, choices abound for hardcore meat eaters too, as well as vegetarians. With a combination of dishes from the coast, it gets easier for diners to choose from and savour a great variety.
One is likely to go overboard with the savoury offerings, understandably so, given the varied flavours. But the jaggery custard is worth saving your appetite for. Eggless, creamy and sinful, this is not a cloyingly sweet dessert, yet, satiates your cravings and outshines many versions of custard, one is used to.
This is a food escapade you can embark upon instinctively.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.