I have a habit of asking people what they’d choose if they could eat only one thing for the rest of their lives. Answers have ranged from terrible attempts at humour (food, duh) to the slightly disturbing (onions!), but by far the most practical answer I’ve gotten is from an ex-boss. “Eggs, of course. You can cook them in a million ways,” she told me, in that wry, wise way of hers.
I think that’s when I began to see eggs in a different light, and developed a fondness for them that still dictates most of my menu choices. We had, in fact, been toying with the idea of doing an eggy post for a while. So when we heard that Monkey Bar had expanded their Breakfirst menu, it seemed to be egg-xactly (egg pun 1) the angle we were looking for.
A sunny Sunday morning found us in the gastropub, seated at a table that could very well be groaning under the weight of all the egg-based dishes on it. Egg-citedly (egg pun 2), we started making our slow, but steady, way through them.
I first took a bite of the Railway Masala Double Omlette, which is bound to evoke memories of sizzling skillets in the kitchen you grew up in, the hot, savoury mouthfuls managed before the school bus pulled up at the gate. Comforting stuff, this, redolent with coriander and everything familiar.
The next omelette I tried was anything but. The Pizza Omelette is a cheesy, meaty wonder, where the taste buds are accosted by Italian pork sausage, bell peppers, mozzarella and tomato sauce. Unegg-spectedly (egg pun 3), undeniably delicious.
The Akoori was fluffy and delicate, but what bowled me over was the Eggs Florentine. The English muffin served as the base for a perfectly poached egg (a veritable science by itself!), a layer of creamy, heavenly spinach and hollandaise. I loved the play between different flavours, especially how the slightly sweet spinach held it all together without being overpowering. The Eggs Benedict, which replaces spinach with ham, is a winner as well.
The next dish I tried was one I had really been looking forward to – Scotch eggs, the firang Nargisi Kofta, if you will. The egg that was encased in a house-made sausage mixture was soft-boiled, not hard, as is the norm (another example of Monkey Bar’s knack of switching things up). A well egg-xecuted (egg pun 4; do I just stop keeping count now?) dish, but the seasoning didn’t quite hit the spot, P and I both agreed.
The Egg in a Blanket was pleasant enough – a flaky, non-greasy paratha stuffed with egg and served with beef galouti (there’s also kheema, for those who want it). Next up was one of the nicest cheese omelettes I’ve had till date. To Brie Or Not To Brie is Monkey’s toast to France, an egg-xtravagant (egg pun 5; yup, I’m still at it) omelette stuffed with mushrooms and brie.
I’ve saved the best for the last: the Breakfast Slider. This dish is not for those who delicately pick at fruit or enjoy the frugality of dry toast and tea in the morning. It’s a full blown, out-and-out meatgasm, and one of the best things I’ve tasted. Ever. I’m not egg-xaggerating (egg pun 6). Between two flaky, Southern-style biscuits lies a patty of juicy house-made sausage, blanketed by smoked mozzarella, topped off with poached egg and crowned with crispy bacon. It’s big, bold, messy and a total pleasure from start to finish. I wanted to stop after three bites, but P egged me on. My waist considers her a very bad egg (7 and 8, thankyouverymuch).
What we love about Monkey’s eggy offerings is that they’re a mix of the familiar and the out-there. There’s something for everyone, perfect for breakfast since we’ve seen tables seating three generations of a family on numerous occasions. We’re told that the eggs they use are organic and free-range, and yes, you can taste (rather, smell!) the difference. And most importantly, we love the fact that this isn’t all-day breakfast menu, which makes the effort of getting out of bed early on a weekend that much more worth it. If you walk in at 1 pm demanding these morning pick-me-ups, you’ll be greeted with two thumbs down!
What remains to be seen though, is if any of these egg dishes find their way to the main menu, like Pandi and Pita has. Team Monkey Bar, we would love it if the Breakfast Slider made the cut! Pretty please?