Taking over the space from Naughty Nuri in Capitol Piazza, Monkey Warung is the new kid on the block. Serving both Indonesian grill and Balinese style pork ribs, this is one dining spot you won’t want to miss.
If you just want a pint and some bites, there are bar bites and $5 drinks during happy hour too!
Bask in the natural light at the spacious, open dining area, and if you want a cosier dining space, there’s indoor seating as well. The dark-wood tables added to the rustic mood of the restaurant.
We started the meal off with a few refreshing drinks. Classic Indonesian beverages, such as the Es Jeruk Nipis ($2.80), a sour and fresh limeade, and Es Bandung with Grass Jelly ($3) made an appearance.
I really liked how the chewy grass jelly complemented the rose fragrance and sweet milky taste of the Bandung.
Heading down with a group of friends would be a good choice, as they have sharing sets for groups. The Babi Rock Anthem ($100) serves four and covers all of the must-try food items on the menu.
Small crunchy bits of ikan bilis mingle with prawns and squid pieces in the Nasi Goreng. If you want to get it a la carte, the Nasi Goreng Seafood ($10) also comes with an egg.
The Indo Mie that came with the set was the perfect comfort food; the noodles were slightly sweet and springy, and the juicy chicken pieces added a meaty flavour to the carb-heavy dish. If you’re just here for a quick meal, you have the choice of either Indo Mie Goreng with Egg ($7), or Soto Ayam Indo Mie ($10).
The set also comes with Pepes Squid (Chilli Squid) and Pepes Udang (Chilli Prawn). These spicy seafood dishes are not for the weak; the spice started to burn my mouth after a few mouthfuls.
Both the squid and the prawns were fresh and juicy, and the squid, in particular, was very succulent. Only try this if you can take the heat!
Of course, the main highlight was the Bali Pork Ribs Full Rack ($36). The portions were massive even though the set was for four to share, I felt that four people could simply eat the pork ribs and already feel stuffed to the brim.
Drenched in sweet kecap manis, the pork ribs were so tender that the meat simply fell off the bone. The meat was juicy and the fatty layer melted easily in my mouth.
If you want a lighter option, choose the Steamed Ikan ($22). Although the sea bass is a white fish, it tasted buttery, with a meaty texture. Cooked in lime and soy sauce, the dish tasted quite sour. Nonetheless, this juicy fish was a refreshing break from the heavier meaty flavour of the ribs.
You can also try the Tahu Telor ($10), a tofu omelette which was served with kecap manis, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. The blend of tofu and egg was crispy on the outside, but soft and fluffy on the inside. If you’re watching your calorie intake, you’ll want to restrict yourself to just a small nibble of this. The dish was quite oily, so it’s definitely not something you can eat every day!
If you’re just in the area for a quick bite and some drinks, the Indo Fried Boxing Chicken ($16 for 8 pieces) is the perfect fried snack. Like a more upscale version of popcorn chicken, this greasy bar snack exploded in my mouth with flavour. I particularly liked how juicy the chicken chunks were, and the crunchy fried skin was sinfully good too.
For an alternative snack, try the Bakwan Jagung ($8), which is corn fritters with prawn. The fritters were quite sweet, and the dish actually became a bit jelak after a while. Dipping the fritters in chilli sauce added a bit of kick to the dish.
We had to try the Goreng Pisang ($4 for 2 pieces). I loved how fluffy and light the batter was, and the mushy banana pieces were sweet without being overpowering. I found this dish to be suitable for both a dessert and as bar bites, although you’d want to pair it with a less sweet cocktail.
We also tried two of their more unusual cocktails. The Unusual Tonic ($10) is an Indonesian twist on the usual gin and tonic. The added rose syrup and lime juice masked the bitter taste of gin, and the resulting drink was a sweet and slightly fizzy cocktail that didn’t taste too alcoholic.
Another unique cocktail was Melon Paradise ($10), a sweet melon concoction with a pretty blend of reds and greens. Made with midori (melon liqueur) and watermelon liqueur, fresh lime and watermelon juice were also added to the drink for a more refreshing taste. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Unusual Tonic, but that could be my partial dislike for watermelon juice in general.
If you’re in the area for lunch or after-work drinks, pop by Monkey Warung for fantastic ribs and Indonesian fare. Gather a few friends and have some drinks over sinfully good pork ribs!
Expected Damage: $15 – $40 per pax