Monkey Bar is a repeat offender!
A few months ago, I had one of the most memorable evenings of my life at the outpost in Indiranagar, Bangalore. My sister Pami and I left her place, planning to take a leisurely 15 minute stroll through the quiet lanes of the neighbourhood, past the now-peaceful school building, along the softly-lit 12th Main Road to Monkey Bar for some sisterly bonding over a few (dozen?) drinks. But a minute into the walk, a sudden cloudburst caught us by complete surprise, making us run through the evening downpour, to arrive panting, soaked and giggling at the bright, happy and welcoming gates of our destination. The rest of the evening flowed in a daze of cocktails (mixing spirits be damned!), a friendly server who made us feel like princesses, and a few pops of hazy memories of my now-favourite Mobar Burger and Pami’s all-time favourite Chorizo Pav. Incidentally, I think I came to be identified as ‘That Chorizo Girl’ at the Mumbai airport security, because I HAD to carry spicy, piquant, and gorgeously aromatic Goan Chorizo Sausages for her EVERY time I visited her, for more than a decade now. Thank you Mobar for taking that errand off my hands! :)
Last week, Monkey Bar hadn’t even officially opened its doors to the gastropub-hungry Mumbai crowds when it happened again! No, not the cloudburst, although heaven knows we need a shower or ten to make things just about bearable around here. But the rest of it was… ‘same same, but different!’ ;)
Teddy and I ambled into a monkey house stuffed to the gill with friends… Aditi Chakaravarty and gang at a booth here, tucking into the Kurkuri Bhindi and Butterfly Chicken, Deepti Dadlani and Ashish Chhabria hanging out at the long wooden bar, Sameer and Saloni Malkani, and Bhisham enjoying the fun of choosing funky drinks off the wall menu, a bunch of 8 squeezing around a table for 2, sipping on the signature Copper Monkey and waving wildly at us to say ‘get over here NOW!’, another quieter bunch hanging out in the outside area, ciggies winning over sweat for now, a few more working up an appetite at the Foosball table, and last but not the least, the gang of heavyweights – Chef Ranveer Brar, Rushina M Ghildiyal, Kalyan Karmakar, and the star of the evening, Chef and co-owner Manu Chandra, all toasting the arrival of this monkey business in Bandra :)
And, like that trippy night in Bangalore, this night too tripped by in the company of new friends Mangaa, Don Drapper, Ginger Rogers and Shazia Imli (truly amazing cocktails these, mixing spirits be damned again!). A few pops of hazy memories are surfacing now… of deliciously spicy Galouti Killers and burst-in-the-mouth Adhunik Panipuris. And also the friendly, omni-present host Sidhesh who made it his business to fuss over Teddy and me all night!
So how does that make Monkey Bar the repeat offender, you ask? Because, with the friendly neighbourhood bar opening its doors bang in the middle of my friendly neighbourhood, it looks like there will be many repeats of offenses like these in the near future! :)