This month, we’ve rounded up four of Chennai’s latest additions to the city’s constantly evolving restaurant and dine-in scene. Grab a steaming cup of filter kaapi and settle in as RITZ takes you on a culinary journey with flavours and dishes that take inspiration from North India’s plains to the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast and more.
Text: SIDDHARTH KUMAR
Monkey Bar: Ain’t No Monkey Business Here!
Warm, glowing neon lights greeted me as I strolled through the narrow corridor of entry to Monkey Bar, Chennai’s newest addition to its list of ever-growing gastropubs. The friendly and enthusiastic staff were more than happy to give me suggestions and recommended that I try a few of their signature drinks and appetizers first. While waiting for my order to arrive, I decided to take a walk around the establishment – and there’s no doubt that ‘Mobar’, as the chain is fondly referred to, is undoubtedly non-conformist, yet hip. The softly lit interiors and neon-signage decor is inviting and reflects the thoughtful design choices made by Jatin Hukkeri, from Bangalore-based interior design firm WDA Spaces.
No sooner had I sat back down at my table than a staff member placed two of Mobar’s signature drinks in front of me – the Hipster Smash and the Copper Monkey. The former was a vodka-based concoction with watermelon and mint, infused with a cucumber-elderflower spritz, while the latter was a whisky-based cocktail with hints of OJ, passion fruit, mint and bitters. The first round of appetizers came next. The Two States – soft tacos stuffed with Jackfruit 65 and a coriander-onion slaw, along with pudina chutney and sour cream was packed with flavour and brought with it authentic Dhaba-stylings. The Baked Crab that followed was a dish that served up wonderfully sweet crab meat, lightly spiced with a Coconut Chammanthi Podi-base sauce – all of which were baked in the shell of the crab.
What followed was the highlight of this review – succulent and perfectly cooked, fall-off-the-bone Mobar BBQ Spare Ribs drenched in their drool-worthy BBQ sauce that was sticky and sweet with a touch of earthy smokiness. The Lasooni Prawns came next – and although well-cooked and mildly spiced with notes of caramelized garlic and mustard, it wasn’t a dish that one would gush over. That said, the main course that arrived – the Mustard- Grilled Fish – was excellent – perfectly cooked sea bass with a well-seasoned potato mash and assorted veggies. The dessert – an Apple Pie Cheesecake Crumble – was the perfect dish to wrap up the meal. I’m quite certain that Mobar is going places – the signature cocktails, classy decor, and unabashedly Indian menu is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Do Not Miss Out On: Food: Mobar Ribs, Two States, Mustard-Grilled Fish and Drinks: Hipster Smash, Copper Monkey, Come to Momma
Address: 3rd Floor, Madras House, VR Chennai, Clock Tower Street, Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar, Chennai – 600040
Call: +91 98402 44226
Average Cost For Two: ₹2000 plus taxes extra (with alcohol) | `1400 plus taxes extra (sans alcohol)