bangalore eats: brunch at monkey bar.

i must begin this post with full disclosure: for the last 3.5 years, i have held a bit of a grudge against monkey bar. i really loved tai pan, the restaurant that was there before, and was upset and just a little betrayed when it was shut down to make way for monkey bar. thankfully i have now seen the error of my ways and have made my amends. please forgive my stubbornness.

and now on to our story:

julie gehrki, a fellow rhodent and clinton school alum, messaged me a few weeks ago asking if i would be in bangalore this past weekend, as she was going to be in town and wanted to meet. the timing worked out perfectly, as my schedule had me returning to the city on saturday morning, so we agreed to meet for brunch. since she had never been to india, let alone bangalore, before she left the choice of place up to me.

and then i realized: i had no idea where to go for brunch in bangalore. there was the fact that i’ve not really lived here in four years. there was the fact that my previous salary didn’t support extravagances like brunch. there was the fact that, prior to about five years ago, i didn’t even know there was a brunch culture in bangalore outside of five-star hotels.

pork ribs starter at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.
pork ribs starter at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.

thankfully i have friends like shonali who always have their ears to the ground and make up for my shortcomings in these areas. when i mentioned my predicament to her, she immediately suggested the place that had kind of become my nemesis: monkey bar. i had been hearing good things for a few years, so i decided it was finally time to bury the hatchet and see what all the fuss was about.

paneer starter at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.
paneer starter at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.

and i am so glad that i did. we had a wonderful brunch / early lunch and spent nearly two hours chatting and eating. we went at noon on sunday, and the entire place had such a nice, relaxed feel to it. there was nice natural light coming in from the road, and everyone, from the staff to the customers, seemed to be in happy moods. i definitely liked the sunday morning feel to it all.

for starters i asked our waiter for his recommendations, and both hit the spot. the pork ribs were delicious, and this is coming from a memphian who doesn’t generally trust ribs outside the bluff city. but i might have to say, the paneer starter he suggested was even better. it actually didn’t have that much paneer, which i appreciated, and it had a nice kick to it at the end. [note: this dish was suggested by our waiter, and after perusing their menu online, i still don’t know what it is called. but it was really good]

gastro burger at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.
gastro burger at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.

when we finally decided to order the main course, we went with a gastro burger and jerk inspired chicken [for shonali and me to share] and a veggie burger and jerk inspired veg [for julie and her colleague to share]. all were really good, especially the burger and the rice that accompanied the chicken. i thought the portions were a little small for the price, but everything was extremely tasty. i am not at all ashamed to admit that shon and i practically licked our plates clean.

jerk inspired chicken at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.
jerk inspired chicken at monkey bar. bangalore, india. march 2015.

i’m sad that it took me so long to finally try monkey bar, but i am glad that my shortcomings have finally been overcome. it’s a great place for a relaxing sunday morning brunch, and i will definitely be back again soon.

the nitty-gritty:

location: wood street, near richmond road, bangalore // second location on 12th main road, indiranagar, bangalore.

landmark: richmond road. it’s just a 2-minute walk from the hosur road signal.

serves non-veg: yes

serves drinks: yes. full bar available.

wifi available? i’m not sure, but i don’t think so.

what we ordered: pork ribs and paneer dish [starters]. gastro burger, jerk inspired chicken, veggie burger, jerk inspired veg [main course]. all are recommended.

our bill: Rs 3,600 for 3 drinks, 2 starters, and 4 main dishes.

my zomato rating: 4 / 5. the quality of the food is worth the price, but i thought the portions were just a little too small. average review is 4.1 / 5.

fun facts: they have been showing all the cricket world cup matches live and will be doing the same once the ipl begins in april; i imagine it’s a fun atmosphere for the games. also, shonali’s friend girish helped design the original menu for the restaurant!

to keep in mind: if you want breakfast, get there early, as they had stopped serving it when we arrived at noon. the music volume fluctuates a lot, so be prepared to whisper or shout accordingly if you are having a conversation with someone.

will i go back? yes, without a doubt.

have you been to monkey bar? what did you think?


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