The usual pub offerings backed by excellent food and service.

Ever reminisce about those watering holes in New York or London where you met with friends? If restaurateurs in India have been mulling over the gastropub concept, Chef Manu Chandra and Chetan Rampal have just gone and done it with Monkey Bar.

Chef Manu Chandra wanted a place he could hang out at. With its pool and Fussball set up and music anyone could enjoy, the place is pure fun. You could be in New York — all that exposed brick, soft wood floors, booths, mismatched lights and fixtures — or you could just feel at home. The space is unassuming and welcoming with its long solid wood bar counters, edgy in-built bar stools, opaque glass, concrete tables and fun posters creating that easy feel. Sharing a table with strangers is actually encouraged. Doesn't mean you can't be intimate with friends. Monkey Bar has the usual pub offerings but is backed by excellent food and service. All of it comes at prices that don't hurt the wallet.

Eclectic drinks like Mangaa (an interesting mix of vodka, aam panna, sweet lime and mint) or the Mandarin Mojito, truly chilled beer and martinis served in rock glasses; starters like the Tiger Beef, Gaulati Killer, Butterfly Chicken, Green Twist (vegetarian), Caramalised Ribs (pork) and Chilli Brain are irreverent but nothing like you've had before. Monkey Bar turns the idea of a burger on its head. Choose from ‘dry aged’, ‘wood grilled’, ‘smokey’, ‘juicy’ or even boring ‘well done’ because it caters to everyone. The ‘Bork’ was to die for; double cooked, crispy black pork served over aromatic black bean flavoured vegetables and noodles. Desserts like Lemon Meringue and Sticky Date Pudding are decadently comforting.

Bottomline: Contemporary NYC meets India.

Monkey Bar

Where: 14/1, Wood Street, Richmond Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru. Ph: 080 41116878/79

Wallet Factor: Rs. 1200-1400 for a meal for two including drinks and taxes

Timing: noon to 11:30p.m.