Here’s a contemporary Indian Tapas Bar that retains the authenticity of the cuisine yet manages to deliver a concept that is a little different.
Situated among the hustle and bustle of Bussorah Street, Flying Monkey is the brainchild of Sumeet Singla who happens to be the owner of the famous Pizza Fabbrica, which is right next door.
With a swanky bar within the restaurant, they are one of few in the area that actually serves bespoke cocktails, you can expect to mix up some classic flavours with an Indian twist.
Helming the bar is head bartender Kanaan, who is in charge of creating some of the most creative cocktails you will find in this district; trust me when I say the cocktails here are one-of-a-kind.
To begin our meal, we had the Tandoori Chicken ($10), a staple of every Indian restaurant and my personal favourite. Marinated overnight with the chef’s blend of masala and yogurt, this is one of the signature tapas on the menu. The chicken was extremely tender and had a slightly charred skin, making it absolutely delightful.
A twist on the classic South Indian dish “Chicken 65”, the Calamari 65 ($10) is the perfect appetiser to have with a couple of beers or even cocktails. Fried in a crisp batter, what’s not to love about these?
This is the first time I’ve had Truffle Naan ($14) and damn, was it good. While the taste of the truffle wasn’t the strongest, the crispy naan did it all the justice. Dip them in the paneer mousse and pear chutney and I guarantee you will be back for more. I will ditch curry sauce for this anytime.
Marinated with basil, the Tulsi Cod ($15) is charred in the Tandoor and served with a slightly caramelized skin. Underneath, you will find a delicately tender fish that simply melts in your mouth. Definitely, one of the most memorable dishes I’ve had.
While I usually like mutton, the Galouti Kebab ($14) proved to be too gamey for my liking. Minced at least 13 times and marinated with unripe papaya, the lamb is served on crackers and plated beautifully. However, the taste was a tad bit overwhelming and I personally wasn’t a huge fan of this.
This might look like Briyani but the Quail Musallam ($26) is actually a Kashmiri Pulao. As part of the highlights from the Big Plate section, this dish features a whole quail that has been slow cooked and buttered before being set on the saffron rice. Crushed pistachios are also served on the side to add a nice crunchy texture to the dish.
Tender as can be, the lamb shank in the Nalli Gosht ($26) is cooked overnight and doused in a deliciously creamy peanut-cashew curry that complements it perfectly. Served together is a garlic naan that certainly did not disappoint in the crisp department.
To end our meal on a sweet note, we had the Jalebi ($10), a traditional Indian pretzel made fresh from the kitchen and dipped in an aromatic syrup. While this was too sweet for me, I did enjoy the crispiness of the pretzel and appreciated the hint of pistachio that was added to it. Do be sure to have this while it’s served hot, though.
A signature cocktail, The Flying Monkey ($18) is concocted using Monkey Shoulder Whiskey, Jaggery syrup, gingers and bitters smoked with applewood. Strong in taste, this is the kind of drink you should get if you want to start the night off on a high.
Brilliantly executed, the Mind It! ($18) is a tribute to the Indian heritage in the form of a cocktail. Made mainly from Monkey47 gin, the drink is completed with maple syrup, fresh mint leaves and of course, Jasmine flowers.
Inspired by and named just that, the Yo Yo Mani ($18) is a tropical drink with a rum base and an added touch of coconut and 5-spice Kerala rice syrup. Served in a ceramic pot with crushed ice atop, this is one I’m sure the masses will enjoy.
Having tried the very best from Flying Monkey, this is most definitely a bar that I would like to revisit again someday. With it’s aromatically fragrant Indian dishes coupled with whacky cocktails, the whole idea behind this space is everything I could ask for. If this sounds like it is right up your alley, do not hesitate to hit them up.
Expected Damage: $26++ per pax