Monkey Bar – India’s first and favourite gastropub (part of the Olive Group of restaurants) is set to make a return to Bengaluru, rekindling its cherished relationship with the city. Set on the first floor of the newly refurbished The Museum building, Monkey Bar overlooks Bengaluru’s buzzing Museum Road.
The newly imagined gastropub of today promises a delicious culinary adventure (don’t worry, our beloved burgers are still on the menu), great cocktails and everything else that makes for a fun time out. In the menu, you’ll find regional food from India sitting pretty next to favourites from across the world; and street food from ‘patli gullies’ holding their own against culinary gems discovered down narrow lanes across the planet.
The bar menu focuses on indigenous ingredients and local flavours injected with a dose of artistic flair. Drawing inspiration from the evolving world bar scene and old MoBar favourites, every element of the bar has been reimagined with a nod to India’s indigenous food and beverage scene. A slew of local flavour profiles have been incorporated into the beverages. Local spices and fruits like amla, queen pineapple, red banana and star fruit, quintessentially Indian flavours like chilli chaat, masala cola and preparations like murabba, kulukki sharbath and cutting chai all make their way to the menu.
Olive Group of Restaurants has partnered with Tushar Fernandes and Nikhil Chittiappa of Silverback Ventures LLP to begin this new chapter of Monkey Bar. First launched in Bangalore in mid-2012, the gastropub currently has outposts in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. A celebration of Monkey Bar’s enduring popularity in Bangalore, the brand’s renewed commitment revolves around providing an unparalleled dining and drinking experience and creating an inviting atmosphere for memorable gatherings.
The design direction has reimagined Monkey Bar into an ‘Urban Tropical Dreamscape’. Sabina Singh, Design Director of the Olive Group of Restaurants, and the creative genius behind this evolution has worked with WDA and in close partnership with Raseel Gujral Ansal, the celebrated interior designer and architect behind Casa Pop to capture the narrative of the brand in the playful spirit of the monkey.
Founder and Managing Director of the Olive Group of Restaurants, AD Singh, says, “Ushering in a new generation of gastropubs, Monkey Bar’s return to Bangalore is fueled by its decade-long legacy and popularity in the city. This relaunch maintains Monkey Bar’s essence as an all-day gastropub with a modern twist. Bangalore holds a special place in our hearts, and the city’s demand for our return has been resounding. This relaunch marks just the beginning of our ambitious plans and pays homage to Bangalore’s rich food culture. We aim to transform our existing outlets across India into this exciting new avatar while expanding to tier 2 cities like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur, and Indore.”
Monkey Bar’s cutting-edge fusion of global flavours in food and beverage and contemporary offerings taps into the rising appetite for diverse Indian cuisine beyond classics like butter chicken. It’s the perfect recipe for international expansion, especially in regions like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Southeast Asia. The trend internationally is also leaning towards food-centric, trendy bars, like those thriving in NYC; and a blend of Indian cuisine and international offerings augurs a promising future,” he adds.
FOOD AT MONKEY BAR
At the core of this exciting transformation, is a diverse menu where each dish and drink has a story to tell. Iconic and beloved Monkey Bar specials make a comeback while new Indian flavours and international classics make up the menu that has something for every person who steps in. The bar bites section features the fiery Fire Pork, a Coorg-style crispy fried pork adorned with crushed chillies and a zesty hint of lemon — a slow burn that is incredibly satisfying; and the Garfield-inspired Deep Fried Anchovies comes with a serious crunch. Moving to the small plates, ‘Paddus with a Twist’ offers an intriguing South Indian blend, bringing together onion, coriander, and chilli Paniyarams, perfectly complemented by a side of tomato, mint, and coconut chutney. The Prawns Kheema Pao is prepared with a house East Indian bottle masala and served with buttered pav. The Juicy Lucy Slider stands out with its rosemary and garlic-infused lamb patties, offering an irresistible treat. A bunch of comfort food from kitchens of South Indian homes completes the menu; the Puliogare Rice & Bhindi Raita is a delectable fusion of rice with Gojju masala, accompanied by crispy fried bhindi raita, papadum, and chaat salad. Straight from Coorg is the flavorful Pandi Curry, served with Akki roti. Classics like the OG MoBar Burger and the ever-popular Cheese Cigars make a triumphant return. To round off a delightful meal, indulge in The Snickery Monkey dessert, a delightful take on Snickers bar, but on a stick.
“Monkey Bar has always incorporated elements of Indian and global cuisine in its authentic form, and our goal has been to blend the essence of a pub experience with the integral role of food. Some of our recipes have been passed down through generations. Monkey Bar is unwavering in its commitment to maintaining the highest standards of quality and freshness and through our in-house preparation, patrons can anticipate nothing less than an exceptional dining adventure.” says Chef Irfan Pabaney, corporate chef, Monkey Bar
DRINKS AT MONKEY BAR
There’s also a new bar menu, fresh from the imagination of Lead Mixologist, Harish Chhimwal. Drawing inspiration from the evolving world bar scene and old MoBar favourites, every element of the bar had been reimagined with a nod to India’s indigenous food and beverage scene. A slew of local flavour profiles have been incorporated into the beverages and all the classic cocktails surprise with a monkey twist. Local spices and produce like amla, queen pineapple, red banana and star fruit, quintessentially Indian flavours like chilli chaat, masala cola and preparations like murabba, kulukki sharbath and cutting chai all make their way to the menu.
The extensive menu has three dedicated sections – Tales From India, Museum Signatures and Classics. Starting with the show-stopping The Monkey Queen, the cocktail is a tribute to the eastern states, with Queen of Pineapples from Assam and vanilla cordial from Meghalaya’s Garo Hills blended vodka and elderflower to create a spirited cocktail. Who is to say the murabba can’t have a liquid form? The Manga Mule takes the desi marmalade to create a sweet and zesty cocktail that delivers all the right punches. The Down & Dirty has the hero ingredient pickled as a brine and spiked with gin and chardonnay to create this dirty number and the Rum Cha cocktail of Old Monk, masala tea cordial, aperol, vermouth celebrates the tales that are narrated over copious cups of tea across the country. A mature rendition of the nostalgic beverage, the Church Street Corner is a melange of pink guava, salt and bird’s eye chilli uplifted with tequila and agave to create this oomph citrusy cocktail.
The Green Gimlet, an amalgamation of green mango and Ghondoraj cordial, is a must-try from the Museum Signatures. The drink invites you to savour the old-world charm of Bengal and takes you to the iconic Howrah Bridge where vendors slice the most delicious slivers of spiced mango. The Panipuri Pickleback is an ingenious play on everybody’s favourite street food – a shot of whiskey with panipuri and pickled brine.
Harish Chhimwal, says, “Monkey bar has always been about having a good time and the bar is an intrinsic aspect of that mood. Dedicated to new flavour experiences, all the cocktails are made with modern techniques but are also heavily influenced by the varied culinary nuances that the country has to offer. The menu reconnects people with memories and each cocktail has a tale to offer. Our bar also adopts eco-friendly and zero-waste practices.”
COFFEE BAR AT MONKEY
Not all who wander are lost; some are looking for coffee. Monkey Bar’s coffee menu has a cup for everyone. Browse through our menu, and you’ll find the usual suspects, some unusual brews, and even coffees that give you total control of the situation. May your week be short, and your coffee be strong!
LOOK AT MONKEY BAR
The design direction has reimagined Monkey Bar into an ‘Urban Tropical Dreamscape’. It’s the start of a series of immersive transformations. Expect a contemporary Monkey Bar with an inviting ambience, lush terrace, and an innovative bar scene. The colour palette embraces natural light, and a captivating red stone accents the bar. This reinvention brings new life to a beloved space, departing from traditional aesthetics.
Sabina Singh, Design Director of the Olive Group of Restaurants, and the creative genius behind this evolution has worked in close partnership with WDA and Raseel Gujral Ansal, the celebrated interior designer and architect behind Casa Pop.
The colour palette chosen is bright, sunny, and inviting, doused with an abundance of natural light from towering windows. It departs from the darker, evening-oriented ambience of the past, making Monkey Bar an all-day destination. Guests will be greeted by lively hues like oranges, yellows, sage greens, pigeon blue, and plenty of white, mixed with various prints and textures to create a comfortable and engaging environment.
At the heart of Monkey Bar is service. You are always welcomed with a smile and there is a sense of familiarity that greets you at this new space. The commitment to delivering top-notch food and service quality guarantees an exceptional dining experience for all. So whether it is a breezy evening out with friends, a catch-up with colleagues after work, taking the family out for lunch on a languid Sunday afternoon, or a date night with a cheerful vibe, Monkey Bar is focused on not only meeting but exceeding your expectations. The team has finessed all the details – from food and drinks to music and experience, to décor and a relaxed ambience.