Monkey Bar in Kolkata is raising a toast to classic cocktails and 90's music with its newest menu
Cocktails have been evolving for the longest time, and while rasam is being used instead of tomato juice in the Bloody Mary, it is hard not to miss signatures like the Gimlet, Whiskey Sour or the Dry Martini. Going retro this winter, Monkey Bar on Camac Street is taking diners back to the good ol’ days with signature cocktails and even bar-bites that were popular in the 1980s and ’90s. However, the menu called Comeback Wednesdays is only available mid-week and is presented in a cassette box. Tuning into the theme, they also turn on the disco ball as the sun sets on the city.
The small menu is available all day, and features the likes of Mai Tai and Blue Lagoon and the Chutney Club Sandwich, Pan Toasted Ham Sandwich and even the simple Chicken Frankie. However, we decided to start with the Tequila Sunrise, which we are told is a favourite of Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger! A mix of orange and yellow, the cocktail is a classic with tequila, orange juice and grenadine. With a sweet hit from the orange, the tequila is perfectly balanced with an added fruity flavour from the grenadine syrup, delicately mixed into the drink. A few sips into the cocktail and the Chicken Lollipops, which are easily a crowd favourite, appear on our table. Unlike the street version, the meaty snack is less oily and served with a spicy chutney, which we relish thoroughly.
With the mix of seafood and red meat, the menu also has Bacon Wrapped Prawns, a go-to in many clubs around the country. Wrapped and shallow-fried in strips of bacon, the prawns are mildly spiced, and a perfect accompaniment, as we try to decide between the Blue Lagoon and Mint Julep. We chose the latter, as we forked our way through a few more prawns, and savoured the lollipops. Served in a copper mug, the Mint Julep is neither shaken nor stirred, and simply loaded with crushed ice, sugar and water with bourbon and mint. The potent mix is quite a surprise but a welcome one, as the lights dim to suit the darkening skies, before the strobe lights bounce off the disco ball, right above our heads. With a taste of tequila and whiskey, we decide to end our meal with the Nargis Kofta, a dish that clearly works as main course, if you’re still hungry. The dish has hard-boiled eggs coated with a spicy mutton kheema, and deep fried with bread crumbs, before they are served with buttered pao on the side. Butter makes everything better, don’t you think?
Meal for two is Rs 1,200 + taxes.