Meal for two: Rs. 600,
Address: The Unicontental, 3rd Road, Off SV Road, Khar West. Contact: 30151217
Walking into 3 Wise Monkeys, one of the many bars in Khar, you probably won’t expect anything too different on the menu. It has the same vibe as most casual dining pubs — loud music, dim lighting and a young crowd. So we were taken aback when one of the first dishes the chef sent our way was a steaming bowl of our childhood nemesis — the dal khichdi.
Chef Meghnesh Salian, the man behind the makeover of the four-year-old 3 Wise Monkeys menu, says he didn’t want people to order the usual chakhna they associate with bars. 3 Wise Monkeys, he says, should be a place where people come for the food. And what better than dal khichdi, a classic comfort food, to urge people into trying out the startling variety on the menu? But there’s a twist, Salian has added a small mound of spicy crispy paneer to give it a kick.
There are many such interesting combinations available at 3 Wise Monkeys, where classics are chucked out the window and reinvention defines the menu. There’s pani-puri with a delicious paneer or chicken bhurji stuffing. The Roasted Indian Curry Fries is an addictive dish that will have you licking your fingers afterwards.
When it came to the main course, we liked the Mutton Sukha with Manglorean Noodles, which also comes with mushroom for vegetarians. It was well-cooked and full-flavoured, and went very well with a base of plain rice noodles. Another dish, the Pav Bhaji Naan Pav, was a variation of ordinary pav bhaji. There was no pav, for one — instead, the bhaji was placed between a perfectly toasted bun and served with fries and corn salad on the side. It came together quite well.
One disappointment was the Pita and Hummus. The pita was, well, not pita, but rather a thicker type of flatbread, that, paired alongside a mediocre-tasting hummus, made one full after just a few bites. Another let-down was the Seven-Cheese Pizza, which was rather tasteless and under-done. This was an especially poignant failure because pizza is an uncomplicated dish, and this one had no toppings except for a suspicious claim of “seven cheeses”. A richer tomato base, less cheese, and more time in the oven would be a step in the right direction.
To wrap up the meal, we had the Brownie, Kahlua, and Chocolate combination, an average tasting dessert that included vanilla ice-cream.
Strictly mediocre, and the brownie felt store-bought instead of freshly baked.