Monkey Bar – A Quirky Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I say I agree because that is when I eat my Chhole Bhature, Chhole Puri and kachori. Well, mostly. But then if you have to eat out in the morning the options are very limited, specially in non-traditional food. From top of my mind I can only think of All American Diner in Indian Habitat Center (which I am not much of a fan of) and coffee shops of star hotels that host breakfast buffets. 
When I got an invite from newly opened Monkey Bar in Vasant Kunj to sample their breakfast menu, I was excited, excited to know finally someone was focusing on the most important meal of the day. They started off with a special menu for Saturday and Sundays, which was available from 9 am to 1 pm. However now they serve it on Sundays only and that too from 10 am to 12:30 pm. My 2 cents would say that 10 am is too late to start a breakfast and it should start by 8 am if not earlier. That said I am not an industry expert, however I am sure it would have a lot to do with the actual demand and/or operational challenges faced by management. 
This morning me and my partner in crime Anuradha Gupta landed at the doorstep of Monkey Bar at 10:30 AM and the first look of the building took me by surprise. The restaurant is a glass pyramid, with essentially means a glass roof which is quite high. Giving it a feel that is like none another that I have experienced before. Even though we were indoors, it felt like open air, with filtered sunlight pouring in adding to the blissful feel of the morning. 

Multiple seating levels
Lot of natural light
Decent crowd for a Sunday noon.

The menu was quite refreshing, it was nice to see someone not going the usual cliched western breakfast way – eggs, sausages, bacon, potatos, breads, coffee, juices, but actually trying to innovate using the cliched items and then adding their own twist and quirkiness to it. The only downside – not much selection for vegetarians, specially the eggless types. 

I needed a strong coffee to kick start my system and Anuradha ordered a fresh watermelon juice. My french press was served with some milk on the side, however this morning I wanted to stay on the dark side and the coffee did not disappoint me at all. From aroma to taste, I had no reason to complain. Anuradha seemed quite happy too, knowing how tough a cookie she is to crack, I am assuming the juice was upto the mark in freshness as well as taste. 

Fresh Watermelon Juice
French Press Coffee
Star of the day for me : The Breakfast Slider
We started off by ordering a ‘Breakfast Slider’ which can be described as a Sandwich / Burger in what menu said was Louisiana style Biscuit. It had slices of smoked mozzarella, their house-made sausage patty (beef), poached egg, bacon, topped with loads of Hollandaise sauce. As much as I am trying to find a better and more descriptive word, Orgasmic is the only adjective that is coming to my mind. The best part : The bread used (Louisiana style biscuit) in the slider. One of the best bakery items that I have ever tasted, lovely texture which accentuated the taste of all the awesome ingrediends of the slider. Do not be deceived by its small size, it was VERY scrumptious and would be sufficient for an average breakfast all by itself. 

Breakfast Slider – One Side look
Breakfast Slider – Other side look – Loads of Hollandaise Sauce

Anuradha decided to go vegetarian today and ordered a combo called “GARDEN OF FIVE SENSES” which as per the menu had Mushroom rolls, Veg croquttes, hash browns, fetta stuffed tomatos, house-made baked beans, tomato chutney & toast. Hash browns were unedible, Mushroom rolls felt like a spring roll & I do not remember any fetta in my tomatos. Bakeds beans were delicious though small in portion, bread was freshly baked and one of the better ones you will have, tomato chutney was surprisingly yummy & croquttes were very well made, crispy and tasty. A confusing combo, I would rather not spend Rs. 450 (approx) + taxes on it. 

Garden of Five Senses

Stuffed Mushrooms, Croquettes and Tomato Chutney
Hash Browns, Mushroom Rolls, Grilled Onion and Tomatos
Another look at the Garden of Five Senses

Did I mention that they serve Cocktails in the breakfast? Yup specialy designed menu of 5 cocktails which they start serving at 11 am (Bar & exise regulations issues I would assume). We started by ordering a ‘Mary Pops In’ which is their take on the classic Bloody Mary and a ‘Chandon Mimosa’which was a Chandon Brut and Orange Juice. Mary Pops In had a nice smokey floavour and when we opend the the jar we were pleasantly surprised. As the morning progressed we sampled all the 5 cocktails on the menu other three being :

Chandon Mimosa
Jade Mojito
Mary Pops In
Once upon a time in Mexico 
Leprechaun’s Vice

– JADE MOJITO – Which had Green Apples, Mint and Rum as per the menu, however we felt some monin syrup in it too. The Apple in it was actually fresh and fun to bite into.  

– LEPRECHAUN’S VICE – Jameson Irish Whiskey, French Press Black Coffee, topped with Cream 
– ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO – Spiced Hot Chocolate with Dark Rum : Loved the drink, just the kind I appeciate. It came in a kullahd style chai cup (made of china though) which was quite funny and out of place. I think it would taste and feel better in some other glass. Also it was served without any stirrer, which is needed with this drink as the Chocolate sauce would always settle at the bottom and would need stirring to keep the concoction going the way it is supposed to go.  
None of the drinks gave us any reasons to complain and we were quite impressed by the quality of coctails. Quirky and delicious. Pefect start for a Sunday.. πŸ˜‰
Our love for their breads continuted with ‘Bialy’ & ‘Toast to France’. The Menu describes Bialy as a New York style Jewish Bagel but much more gratifying. It comes with cream cheese and I got some smoked salmon added to it. It tasted good with salmon in it, however it tasted much better without the salmon. And yes, it was much more satisfying than any other bagel that I have ever had (though I have not had much :P). Toast to France as the name suggests, was much like frech toast but with a different bread, which again was the star of the show. Loved the way it looked! Giant portion, squishy bread and that tiny bottle to pour the syrup. The menu describes is as a Challah soaked in milk, eggs, wine, cinnamon, orange zest, honey and vanilla. Pan-fried and served  with house syrup.

Bialy – With Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
Salmon and Cream Cheese
Toast to France 

Trying another dish in vegetarian selction we ordered MURTABAK, to call it a close relative of a Besan ka Chilla stuffed with Paneer Bhurji would be wrong. It was not a close relative but Besan ka Chilla stuffed with Paneer Bhurji itself. For someone like me its a very traditional dish we associate with our homes and to my pleasant surprise it tasted exactly as it would taste in home. The Paneer stuffed inside was very well done, not expected from a fancy ‘gastro-pub’, in a good way:P. It was served with delicious tomoto chutney and Chholey.

Murtabak – Stuffing of ‘Paneer bhurji’

That brought an end to our breakfast, 50% of it I ate just because I was enjoying the ambiance, and the menu was so interesting that I wanted to try as much as possible. writing this post reminds me that there are still a bunch of things on the menu that sound VERY inviting to me and I guess I would be going back to try them soon enough. Specially those breads, I need to sample more of them.

Even though I should not be commenting on service here, however the staff seemed knowledgable & quite friendly.
Overall had an awesome experience. A must try menu if you enjoy your breakfast or food in general, however if you are a vegetarian, specially the ones who do not eat eggs as well, then visit at your own risk. Did not pay any attention or bothered about the prices as it was invited review for us, however a cursory look at the menu tells me that this place is not too expensive, atleast by the modern standards. A cocktail would cost you Rs.250-350 + taxes here, which I feel is quite reasoable. I would assume that rest of the menu would be priced accordinly too. 

You can connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

8 thoughts on “Monkey Bar – A Quirky Breakfast”

  1. very good review .. though i havent had the food here but heard the appetizers and main course are pretty good .. I really enjoyd the drinks and the ambience in the evening when I visited this place πŸ™‚
    will definitely give the breakfast also a try πŸ™‚

  2. A very insightful review. Though I have been a silent audience all this while but have been following most of eatlo's posts. A thing that tingles my mind is; Eatlo gets invited for reviews and tastings. Wont this make the host bound to provide a more-than-good quality food and similar factors for service as-well. Shouldn't reviews be done like mystery shopping? Might I be wrong… but jus a ques.Having said that…. the place looks amazing and so does the food.

    1. Well, I have a positive outlook of life and I work under assumption that if someone is capable or serving good food, he/she would like to serve good food to everyone. That said, I usually do not comment about the service when invited, however there have been times when I have recieved bad service even when I was invited to review the place.

      And invited reviews always mention that they were invited, the reader has to make his/her own mind.

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