June 11th, 2016
Monkey Bar turns Mangie Bar … and prods awake the latent Mangie (Mangalorean) in me, with an invite to Coast along with them on their latest food’venture.
Monkey Bar’s Coastal Adventures sets sail on June 16th, as they take us on a cruise through coastal Karnataka and Kerala. With their uncontrollable itch to twist everything that is traditional, the fare promises to be an interesting mix and match of the classic and the contemporary.
A large cut out of a friendly monkey in a boat, looms over the tables, checking whether the the coast is clear !!! Well this being our favorite gastropub we really needed no reassurance from either man or monkey and so we fearlessly surged ahead to enjoy our preview of the food.
The cocktails set us off to a swinging start with the Vanakam Panakam, Chilli Puli, Soulful Kadhee and Kapi Macha (yes I do feel redundant when they beat me to such names !!!).
The sweet Soulful kadhee with gin, Kokum syrup, tender coconut, curry leaves was the clear winner at our table, closely followed by the tangy and spicy Chilli Puli with Tequila, tamarind paste and green chilli served in a Margarita glass with its salt encrusted rim. I am not much into coffee flavors so I gave the Kapi a miss but I do I wanna’come again another day to taste the Panakam …
The Kuttari salad really did it for me, with Red rice tossed with matchstick sized raw mangoes, coconut and baby spinach along with crunchy peanuts adding a Thai twist. In my past life I must have been a Thai’nglorean !!!
The Udupi Beet Cutlets were announced to a flurry of excitement at our table since all of us wrongly heard it as Beef 😛 The potato and beet cutlets stuffed with green peas and rolled in rava were served along with Kerala Parottas and coconut tamarind chutney. Well the mishearing was not the only reason for our disappointment, for apart from not being a Beet enthusiast, I did find the Parottas rather mismatched in that scenario. I personally feel that they need a dunking of gravy and that they don’t do well in a dry setting which could cause a choking that is not just emotional 😀 However to be fair, the parottas were excellent with their flakiness and texture and the tangy sauce was delightful. Sorry if I sound like a purist on this post but this cuisine is too close to home and the (con)fusion was rather unusual for me, though I am sure it would work for someone who is probably less ‘Beachy’ :-O
Well all was forgiven and forgotten in the blink of an eye (or a change of the plate), as soon as we netted the Southern Fry, a delightful medley of batter fried calamari and coconut crusted prawns tossed in dried shrimp rub. The seafood enthusiast in me was wooed further with the arrival of the Kundapur style Prawn Ghee Roast and the fresh water prawns literally swimming in ghee, hushed my ‘diet’ conscience as i ghee’leefully dug in. The succulent prawns kept me occupied enough to ignore the strange accompaniment of garlic toast 😀
They could have Molly’fied me further with the Ode to Molly, a spicy seabass with fragrant lemon rice, avial inspired vegetables and a turmeric and coconut milk sauce but then I was already sufficiently placated.
Chicken does not interest me but I must say that the Kundapur wings – chicken wings tossed with Kundapur ghee roast masala and the KP Tacos – flaky Kerala Parota with Chettinad styled pulled chicken with black lichen, baby onion salan and garlic pickle, were quite faultless. Black lichen, for those who might be wondering, is Dagad phool or Stone flower.
What did interest me though, was the Kerala Bao Uttapam, a Kerala Inspired beef fry which was quite amazing and was served with coconut chutney and a bao uttappam (that I renamed Baothappam) sprinkled with a seasoning of mustard, onion and curry leaf. And strangely yes, this did make sense !!!
I did give the Monkee eggs a pass because I do not eat eggs … neither chicken’s not Monkey’s !!! But this coriander and black pepper crusted poached egg on puff pastry with green chutney and a coconut cream hollandaise, did receive a standing Ova’tion from the others at the table.
Among other things, they also have Batak dosa on the menu which is Kerala style duck confit served on bite sized set dosas but this was not served to us and probably with good reason too. Knowing my penchant for punning, I am sure they would have thrown a (con)Fit with the havoc that I could have wreaked with the name 😛
There is no specific dessert at this festival and one will have to resort to the regular menu to satisfy a sweet tooth. But we did taste the Mangalore buns which I felt were a tad dry too. But then they will be serving it as a part of a platter with accompaniments, so I guess that should work there.
The festival is on at both Bangalore and Delhi. So if coastal food is your thing, go there between June 16th and June 30th and check out the Sail’ient items on their menu.
June 11th, 2016
#monkeybarblr #coastaladventures #gastropub #gastrobar #coastalfood #eatingout #foodgasm #yummy
Read more at My Facebook – Monkey Bar Coastal Adventures