Monkey Bar,Vasant Kunj, – India’s first Gastropub

 Set inside what can be called as a “One of it’s kind ” exterior for a restaurant, a glass pyramid surely works to give that “chic” feeling to Monkey Bar ( Popularly known as MoBar ).
Known as India’s first GastroPub, MoBar in Delhi is the second outlet. The first one being in Banglore has already got rave reviews and is successfully nearing 2 years of completion.
When we got an invite to visit MoBar on a Sunday afternoon, we readily agreed as we thought what better way to spend a Sunday than to have a few good drinks, come home and sleep. But we fell in love with the place, food and the cocktails so much so that we ended up spending almost 4 hours there without noticing the time till the sun started to set.

Gastro-pub is a term originated in UK during late 20th century. People went to bars only to drink, and the food quality was always ignored with dishes being served either cold or with stuff that wouldn’t give you a gastronomic experience. We had heard and visited Restro-bars in India, but the concept of a restaurant in a pub is new. And we loved it ! One, because we are foodies and two, because we are foodies !!! Yes, food is always on our priority list compared to getting drunk. So MoBar is one such place where you can visit with your family ( Children allowed till 6 pm ) and have a nice relaxed lunch or dinner.

When we entered, we were greeted by a smiling staff ( who is efficient and friendly enough) and guided around for what MoBar is about. We loved the 3 level seating, the exposed brick walls, the open bar, the simplistic seating style and the quirky posters adorned on the walls. We couldn’t help but notice a nice section on the wall they have made for customers to pin up their “Reason to drink tonight”… Some of the comments on it are worth a read for a laugh!

After seeing around the place, we were greeted with a nice fresh mocktail called Mangaa.Recommended by the staff, the distinct flavour of Aam panna with vodka and sweet lime and a hint of jeera salt was a fresher.

We saw the menu card and the names and the variety of the cuisine really caught our attention. There was as much a choice for vegetarians too! The first we tasted was  Spiked Nachos (Lime Tortilla Chips served with fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, beans and a salsa of spring onions, avocado and sour cream ).

Each bite made us want more and reminded us of the famous slogan , “No one can eat just one “!!!

Then on the table was  Chubby Mushrooms ( Baked mushrooms skins stuffed with onions, herbs and cheese ). Simple and easy on diet, yet tasty!!!

And one by one, the starters kept coming on the table and we couldn’t help but thank ourselves for coming there empty stomach-ed !!!! The Flutterfly ( Paneer and Cheese with chilli, onions, herbs served in their signature crisp butterfly shells ) topped our list !

Since i am from Mumbai, i was specially served to taste the Bombay Vada Pav and the Dabeli. The Ghati masala added in the vada pav, immediately brought me to the streets of Mumbai and the Dabeli ( served just right with the pomegranates, sev, heeng peanuts and the distinct flavour of tamarind ) is a thumbs up to the detailing of originality they have tried to maintain in each dish. Getting a vada pav and Dabeli so authentic in Delhi is rare, and i am totally impressed with the fresh baked in-house paav they served, rather than the sweet buns commercially available in markets.

The pot stickers came in a nice serving dish ( which looked like a muffin tray). Pot stickers are basically dumplings with filling such as mixed greens and vegetables. But the twist to it is when you dip it in the house special tomato chilli sauce.

For all the spicy eaters, the Blair’s “After Death ” ( Yes, we love the name ) sauce is a must try… There is “Pure Death too, but guess we liked to check what’s “After Death” and we totally saw “Heaven” ( or Hell?? ) and came back after tasting the spice in it !!!

We asked for another drink to take a break and ended up tasting a couple of them. There is an extensive menu for drinks, but we decided to stick to Cocktails, just to try the new combinations… And every drop of it was refreshing !

Maneesh tasted all the non vegetarian dishes and he loved the huge spread they had. For starters, he tried the Butterfly Chicken ( Sweet and spicy crispy bits of chicken tossed with sesame, chilli, honey and peppers) that was crisp and delicious. He also savored on some home made chicken nuggets which were perfectly fried and was very juicy and succulent.

The Pepper Chicken and typical bong style fish cutlet with kasundi was well seasoned and tasted divine. Chilli brain and liver on toast was amazing and for him, that was his Dish of the day!!!

Galaoti Killer (Silken spiced tenderloin kebabs we take pride in; with no added fat, served with pav, onions and chutney) was actually one of the best galouti he has tasted.

The MoBar Burger also topped his list with bacon and super moist and succulent tenderloin patty, He says, “I have been always searching for a good burger and I am glad that finally I found one. Perfect burger with patty and bacon, just the way I like it. Each dish was excellent in taste and very well presented”.

The Kheema Bao, The Berry Pulao ( Chicken Kebabs, Shredded Chicken and Iranian Berry Pulao, with saffron, fried onions and potato salli ), and the Kosha Mangsho ( Bengali mutton stew, served with saffron glazed kerala parathas) are must try if you like to taste different cuisines.

And there is always a space for dessert !!! Our recommendations are the Chocolate Pot De Creme with Salted Caramel ( Different !!! ), and the Old Monk (ey) Chocolate cake ( For all those who love the Brand, this one will just melt in your mouth ).

And for people who have a fruity-taste, The Pineapple outside in is a must try ( Rum soaked pineapple baked inside a bun served with almond ice cream ). Ahaaaaaa…yummm is the word !!!!

During this gastronomic experience of ours, we were accompanied by Manu Chandra, the co-owner and chef of MoBar. And as cool as the name of the pub is, Manu seemed just the same. A guy enthusiatic about using the Indian local flavours and ingredients in his menu, Manu surely works on the utmost principal of having a successful restaurant business : Customer satisfaction !!! And during our visit there, we saw just the same : Happy smiling faces leaving the Gastro-pub…There were people of all age groups and genres : Young college students, happy families of 3 generations and even some professionals having an official meet or a lunch break!

MoBar gives you a reason to smile like a “Monkey with a new banana ” …and trust me, it’s contagious. You would surely want to go back there again !!!!

For more pictures please see our fb page. Here is the link

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Food-oholic, Eat-oholic or whatever you call me, i just love food!!! Learning about different cuisines and cooking them has helped me discover a whole new world, and it’s endless….Sharing it with all of you through my blog brings me joy! All for the Love of Food!!!! :) Photography is what i do to destress..Right from clicking birds who come to my balcony for food and water, to nature, to the pets i board and of course food…its so much fun to click…click…click :) Pets have always brought a smile to my face… My love for pets made me work for a couple of Animal Ngo’s and now i do pet sitting from home…Writing articles for dog blogs and magazines as a freelancer has helped my knowledge about them better. Cook…Click…Eat :))

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