Among the places whose new menus and festivals get me excited, is Monkey Bar. I recently attended the new Taco Libre or the Taco festival currently running there and the menu are full of innovative flavours.
Monkey Bar has always been about quirky food with a lot of personality and the Taco menu is no different. You can find a little bit of Mexico in the fresh mushroom, bean and corn taco. This is as tex-mex as it gets with beans, peppers and a great chipotle bringing it all together.
However, the real hero of the veg menu is the pulled jackfruit taco. The jackfruit is just perfect – spicy & sweet which then lends itself beautifully to the contrasting favours of the pickled onions and the creaminess of the avocado and sour cream. Each bite of this is a reminder of how well the flavours are married.
The other sure fire hit from the veg menu is the paneer pakoda taco; it’s like you have such familiar flavours that go well with Indian pakoras like achar and radish (presented as a slaw) but taken up a notch with the addition of things like ker sangri.
There is another worthy mention, the masala style Mumbai breakfast taco. A culinary homage to the city, it gets the flavours of Mumbai perfect to the tee. Misal, masala omelette, aloo bharta- you name it and they have it here. You even have the option of adding Goan chorizo to it and you must.
The menu is as good if not better on the meat side of things. As always there are all kinds of meat one can relish here- duck, pork, chicken and fish. Pick any taco and you will not be disappointed.
My recommendations are the Sausage and pulled pork taco and the fish taco. The sweet and sticky homemade BBQ sauce brings the entire dish together and how. Everyone knows pork goes beautifully with sweet sauces but you have to eat the taco here to understand why so. Delectable to say the least, this was my favourite item on the menu.
The fried fish taco, I am sure will be a bestseller and a crowd favourite. It looks deceptively simple but the spicing and the crunch of that fried fish are spot on.
I tried the beer can chicken taco as well as the duck confit taco and they were good too. But compared to the other dishes that were , flavour wise, just perfect – I found some minor flaws in them. The marinated chicken on its own was great, but dominated over all other flavours. The confit duck was again great but the tamarind glaze was a bit underwhelming for me.
There was nothing wrong with the dessert- banoffee taco though. It is wrong to strictly call it a taco as it was a pancake that contained caramelized banans, a heavenly spiced dulce de leche pastry cream and that wonderful contrasting texture (and flavour) of a slightly bitter coffee and chocolate crumble. There is just one dessert on the menu and it is an absolute winner. I hope Monkey Bar puts it on their regular menu soon!
The festival goes on until the 4th of December and you should not miss it.
Festival – Taco Libre
Location – Monkey Bar, Vasant Kunj, Delhi
(Plot No 11, Pocket C 6 & 7, Commercial Complex Vasant Kunj
(Adjacent to Kotak Mahindra Bank and Mini Cooper Showroom)