Every year, for about seven weeks, India has to endure this sports phenomenon called the IPL, the Indian Premier League. (Well, mostly, it’s just me who and a handful of folks who don’t quite relate to any sport any more). It’s during this time, that most restaurants and pubs turn into loud venues that screen the games where people plonk themselves and cheer on their local cricket teams ( which at many times rarely feature local players or talent). While every watering hole and restaurant has offers on drinks (buckets of cheap oxidised beer), the team at Monkey Bar are doing something a bit different by focusing on food.
The Full Toss menu looks to feature dishes inspired from the cities that host the teams that participate in the IPL. Normally, I tend to stay home during the two months of the IPL, but I’m glad I managed to get around to accepting the invitation to check out the menu. My friend and I began our meal with the Rajasthan Dahi ke Pithore, a tikka made from hung curd and served on a bed of peas with tamarind chutney. This is one of my go-to dishes at any restaurant that has it on the menu. And being from Bengaluru, we ordered the Bangalore Prawns Chilli, Butter Garlic, a Bangalore style butter garlic sauce tossed prawns served with crispy chips. I am delighted to announce that Bangalore won that game with the friend and I fighting for who go the last of the sauce from the plate. Perfectly cooked prawns, and a surprisingly well balanced sauce of both butter garlic and chilli has us wanting more.
Keeping in tradition with the fact that there are two matches every night, we ordered the Delhi Butter Chicken Samosa, and the Kolkata Fish Fry. After all, Kolkata is my place of birth and my third favourite city in India. We honestly were not expecting anything mind blowing from the Delhi samosa. However, like a Sehwag inning’s, this dish hit our taste buds for a six. Wonderfully flavoured, we took just over an over to polish off the dish. I’m sure the ‘Butter Chicken’ purists from Delhi would vehemently scoff upon the abomination that puts their favourite dish into a mini samosa. Unfortunately, Kolkata came up short in comparison.
Keeping our eating matches going, was the Mangaa (Aam Panna, Vodka and a bit of sweet lime… my favourite), the Copper Monkey (Whisky, orange juice and passion fruit… recommended by the team) and the Mobar Spiced Rum Mojito (which was delightfully potent).
We didn’t have any space for a third match. But we did have space for dessert… you know! That little extra space you have tucked away in your tummy that magically appears when a scrumptious dessert is placed in front of you? No? We were served the Mango Falooda Ice-cream Sandwich which had fresh mango ice-cream teamed with rose syrup soaked falooda, mango jelly and tutti fruiti, which is a part of their ‘Mango Unchained’ festival that’s running in tandem. While the dish looked like one big mess, the flavours hit the ball out of the park (I promise, that is the last forced cricket reference I shall use). Textures, flavours, colour, the dish had everything.
We’re into the home stretch of both festivals. With three more games to go for the IPL, don’t miss out on heading over to Monkey Bar to check if you love the dish that represents your team. And that dessert… just go over for that dessert!