Familiar meets the unusual with a Monkey Bar’s surprise

Like every year Monkey Bar gears up to celebrate Kolkata’s biggest festival Durga Puja with its specially crafted menu Chayna Ochayna. The name suggests bringing together a bit of the old and familiar with the new and unknown. Chef Iti Misra brings cult classic Bengali dishes along with her twist in taste from global cuisine.

The festive menu comprises three sections- Jol Khabar or small plates, Boro Ahar or mains and Mishti Mukh or dessert.

Who said rosogollas can only be dessert?

Start with Rosogolla Chaat, surprised?! A dish inspired by the street-side delicacies of Hazratganj in Lucknow and the famous Bengali Rosogolla, in a not-so-sweet mood. Creamy yogurt, house-made chaat masala, a drizzle of sweet and sour chutney and a sprinkle of crunchy bhujia. Its looks similar to Dahi Vada but miles apart in texture. If you are a Bengali then no Durga Puja is complete without telebhaja, declared ‘World Famous in Bengal’. Try a platter of Bhaja Bhuji, a medley of batter-fried vegetables, come in a whole new avatar, inspired by many similar street side fried snacks from around the world.

A tribute to Kolkata’s colonial past, the Mini Pantheras are thin crepes filled with a Indian curried chicken mince, rolled and crumb- fried. Do not confuse this with Chinese spring rolls. For vegetarians, there is a mushroom and bell pepper version. Tepa Kachori is an amalgamated version of Bengal’s khasta kachori and famous Bihari litti. It’s crisp, savory pastry casing filled with a spicy fish mix, hand-rolled, shaped and deep-fried. Goes perfectly with creamy cholar daal. Vegetarians should ask for the sattu or roasted gram flour filled version.

In the mains, if you’re in the mood for something to pair with your cocktail then order a plate of Jaali Prawns. Kolkata’s heartthrob prawn cutlet meets Bangkok’s popular noodle wrapped prawns. Squeeze some gondhoraj lebu (kaffir lime) on top for the fresh zest. The dish is complete with a side serving of Bengal’s trademark sada aloo tarkari (white potato gravy).

Is there no paturi in store for us?

Everyone’s favorite paturi appears in a surprising new package. The Bhetki Bhatey is mustard-marinated Kolkata bhetki (Asian sea bass or barramundi), buried in a pillow of gobindobhog rice and steamed in banana leaves. Served with a side of garlic stir-fried kalmi saag (Bengal water spinach).

Wait a minute please, where is mangsho in the menu?

Mangshor Jhuri Bhaja is your answer. A dish influenced by the famous pounded meat served in Yangon, Mynamar. Slow-roasted mutton (kosha mangsho), hand-shredded and sauteed with caramelized onions, crisp-fried garlic and dried red chilies and served with flaky triangular parathas. Invoking childhood memories, right?

And finally, the Nolen Gur Panna Cotta, adding a local touch to the immensely popular panna cotta famous in the Piedmont region of Italy. This comes with flaky goja crumble and a tuille of jibey goja on the side. Enjoy the dollop of creamy panna cotta on the base of goja and relish the subtle flavor in your mouth.

Bro Tip: Must try Rosogolla Chaat, Jaali Prawns, Mangshor Jhuri Bhaja and Nolen Gur Panna Cotta

Quick Facts:

Chayna Ochayna menu will be available for the connoisseurs from 27th Sept’19 till 11th Oct’19, only at Monkey Bar, Kolkata. Average Meal for two Rs. 1,100 (Food Only) Average Meal for two Rs 1,800 (Food & Cocktails)

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