Get tipsy at the new restro-bar, Drunken Monkey

Never thought this area has got such an uber cool bar, or rather a restro-bar! The place dishes out some lovely pub grubs and meals along with spinning the magic with spirits flowing from all directions. Activities at this place got kicked off recently with the comic punches of funnyman Abish Mathew and in the presence of actress, Rituparna Ghosh. This place surely has opened up an unmatched option to chill out at the underground of the classy O2 VIP hotel, situated right before the Haldiram flyover if you are approaching the place from the airport.

Few days back I visited this place on a Saturday afternoon on a special invitation, along with the Panchphoron food bloggers group. We were there to taste most of their mocktails and cocktails along with their special pub grubs and meals. As we stepped into the place we were seriously impressed by the impeccable ambiance and interior décor the place has got. The place has got a rusty yet classy finish to it, with brick wall finished surroundings paired with lovely golden wooden walls and pillars, an archetypal bar counter and wooden tables. And to be very true, the place has got an amazing and charming wooden finished bar counter with two storied shelves that goes up to the ceiling, which is very unique and a treat for the eyes. So yes, this place can boast of the best looking well stocked bar counter in this part of the city, without a hint of doubt. And yes, the bar counter has got loads of well-cushioned red colored high stools which you really can’t miss.

The ambiance has more to it and it adds more to the mood with the nicely spaced out relaxed seating arrangements, barrel shaped tables, quirky quotes on the walls, lovely background music, huge projection on the wall, provision of live musical performances  and stand-up comedy shows. The 85 seater pub also has got various board games to keep you glued.  It adds more to it with a special attached smoking room which has a spooky graveyard theme to it; it feels as if you are being buried. Also place has got a private room especially for the PS4 fanatics, the room looks one of a kind and pretty cozy with the typical Rasta colors all around, Bob Marley on the wall, a red semi circular couch and a TV for playing all those PS4 games. Can a private dining room get any better?

Now, we are all set to discuss about the food and beverages tried at this place. There was literally a plethora of beverages served for our quick tasting purposes. I won’t go into too much of mixology details about these drinks. Lets quickly discuss about the mocktails, my preferences and then we will move towards the cocktails. There were fruit based mocktails as well as syrup and soda based mocktails. For a teetotaler, this place is a mini heaven. The mocktails that we tried are – Sherry temple, Bloody Ocean, Olive in ocean, Apple jack, lovers delight, Guava on the rocks, and the sky. I specially liked the Guava on the rocks which was a mix of guava juice, fresh guava, Worchester sauce, Tobasco and a spice rim. The bartender special ‘Sky’ also looked awesome in that long huge cylinder and the reddish hue was amazing as well. It had correct proportions of Pineapple juice, coco syrup, vanilla ice cream, passion fruit syrup, fresh cream and blue Curacao. Also I specifically ordered the Lover’s Delight which is a thick cream based mocktail, but somehow the taste was not that outstanding, though it was nice to taste.

Coming to the cocktails, there were plenty of them, it’s the time where the monkey gets drunk and starts swinging! Just a point in this context, all the cocktails had amazing presentation in general. Now let’s check out what we had – Caribbean Beach Party, Drunken Monkey Blumb, Summer of 69, Mexican Espresso, Tequila-tini, Late Night Princess, Blue Ocean, Mandarin Shermouths, Test Tube Shots, Drunken Monkey Shooters, Kamakazi shots, B52 and T52. Out of these I firstly liked the shots! The B52 really had that strong kick which I was looking for; it had Kahlua, Baileys and Triple sec. The Kamakazi shots were nice as well though a bit more kick was expected; it had Triple sec and vodka in it. The test tube shot somehow seemed to be a bit diluted and was served in bit long and cylindrical shot glass. Also I liked the Late Night Princess which was Mexican Espresso served in martini glass having a chocolate flavor; it was bit bitter and had a splash of coffee liquor in it. It was a welcome change which we generally do not get everywhere and which is this well prepared. Caribbean Beach party was served in a fancy bulb, which is pretty common these days and people get to see these at Hoppipola and elsewhere in the city. The spirit levels were not too high here and overall the pineapple based taste was smooth and nice for ones who like their drink to be a bit mild. Summer of 69 doesn’t remind you of a Bryan Adams classic here, though it was in itself a gem of a drink and served in a cocktail tub, it can be shared by many. It was close to another popular drink at Hoppipola though I won’t mention the name since I don’t want any direct comparison. So, anyway, to sum it up this was some serious boozing session that we merrily went through 🙂

Now coming to the food which was served here – food was basically of two types: the regular pub grubs and the complete filling meals. Here are the dishes we tried:

a) Penny Vodka: I am in general one fan of pasta, and penne pasta is one of my favorites. This dish was bit out of the box since it had a dash of vodka in it and was tossed with a dose of pink tomato cream sauce, and so it tasted pretty sweet and was not at all spicy, though I felt it became bit too thick and was getting bad as it was getting cold. So have it warm, if you are ordering this.

b) Veg Stroganoff: This was another alcoholic food that we had. It had sautéed veggies tossed in creamy cheese sauce and served with a handsome portion of herb rice. Overall this was pretty filling and flavorful, perfect if you want to have something bit heavy.

c) United states: These were regular French fries tossed in American style with green chilies, pepper, onions and cheese. This was served along with mayo and ketchup and tasted a lot different from the vanilla French fries. These were pretty crispy and spicy and can serve as great finger food at cheapest prices.

d) Cigar Roll with Tomato salsa: These were quite common cigar rolls that we have in several places across the city. The wanton sheet used here was pretty good in quality and the deep fry was not at all soggy. It had spinach and cheese in it and was rolled in those wanton sheets before it got deep fried. It tasted great when dipped in the salsa which gets prepared in-house.

e) Mushroom Cocktail: This was an awesome dish starting from the presentation till the long lasting effect that it had after we had it. It was served beautifully on a bed of lettuce in cocktail glasses and had diced button mushrooms in it. The mushrooms were tossed in a mild spicy brown sauce that had a bit of sweet tang to it and was really flavorful. This is a must-have dish!

f) Jamaican Chicken Wings: Oh I loved these bouncy chicken wings which were drenched in some mild spicy tangy sauce. Sauce which wrapped it was a bit sticky and was basically prepared in the Jamaican style that is rum based. Overall the dish had the correct balance of the major flavors and was pretty yum!

g) Fish & fries with tartar dip: These were pretty common crumb fried fish fry along with the tartar dip. The fresh fillets were a joy to have. The skin was not too thick and was pretty crispy, and the fish inside was very fresh.

h) All-Veg Pizza with baby corn: The baby corn All-veg pizza was perfect to start with; it was not having a thick base which was really good. But at the same time the thin base or curst was not prepared well since it was pretty hard at places. The topping coverage could be improved and there shouldn’t be places having the thin crust only exposed. The toppings contained jalapeno, black olive, onion, bell pepper, sundried tomato, cheese and of course babycorn. It was flavorful no doubt but the pizza base was not that good which should be improved.

i) Fussilli Pollo Fungi: This was again a pasta dish with Fussili pasta tossed along with chicken, exotic creamy mushsroom sauce and bits of mushroom in it. The sauce was bit sweet and tangy and actually leaves a lasting effect in your mouth after you have it.

So, that’s about the food that we had. The service was pretty good here and servers were attentive. Though I felt they should be a bit more polished and better trained to handle the huge spectrum of customers. Overall I will rate this place 3.8 out of 5.

I was highly impressed by the location, ambiance, hygiene, and the amazing beverages. I must say, except couple of dishes most tasted pretty amazing which was actually a treat, and so this place is perfect for both boozehounds as well as teetotallers! Hope you will visit them soon, maybe on a Friday or Saturday night with your special gang! And surely you will have a great time!

Cheers!

The Drunken Monkey - Hotel O2 VIP Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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