Head down to this new bar restaurant concept on Bussorah Street for an intriguing evening of pan-Indian tapas and creative cocktails
There was a lot to take in when I first heard of this new bar on Bussorah street. Contemporary Indian? Tapas? Cocktails? The latter being the biggest surprise, considering that there really aren’t many serious Indian restaurants in Singapore with focused bar programs. That’s where Flying Monkey fits in – seriously good Indian food, and Indian-inflected cocktails that aren’t merely an afterthought.
Kicking off this pan-Indian feast was the Galouti kebab. Rumoured to be created for a toothless king with a fondness for meat, the Galouti kebab is an almost terrine-like dish made with very finely minced lamb. Served atop a mini chapatti, the kebab is an intensely savoury dish that reminded me strongly of blue cheese. While I certainly loved it, expect this to be a divisive dish.
Another small plate quickly made its appearance, the basil marinated Tulsi cod. Charred in a tandoor, the green-coated fish was tender and broke apart into plump, chunky pieces that melt in your mouth.
And of course, you can’t have a pan-Indian experience without tandoori chicken, can you? And Flying Monkey’s rendition of the dish, was certainly a treat. It’s brief three- to four-minute stay in the tandoori oven made for spectacularly tender pieces of chicken. The dish doesn’t stray too far from its roots so expect nothing more than fantastic, traditionally done tandoori chicken.
My final dish was the rich, creamy nali gosht – the stewed lamb shank was incredibly tender and fell apart when teased with my fork. On the side was a serving of truffle naan that very quickly disappeared as I used it to mop up the gravy. Use your hands for this!
Aside from the latter, diners will find that most of the dishes on the menu are a touch less rich than traditional offerings. After all you’ll definitely want to leave room for some of Flying Monkey’s cocktails.
Soon enough, we segued into the cocktail offerings. Head Bartender Kannan (also known as “The Beard”), started me off with the eponymous Flying Monkey. Based off the classic Old Fashioned, the cocktail features a base of Monkey Shoulder whisky, King’s ginger, jaggery syrup, and bitters.
We moved on to something a little more offbeat next, The West Indian. This spicy, refreshing cocktail is one of Flying Monkey’s more unique offerings – it features a base of coconut water and Plantation 3 Stars White Rum, yellow chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, and ground cardamom.
While Flying Monkey shakes things up in terms of its concept, the establishment’s appeal lies in the familiarity of its Indian dishes. You won’t find ‘avant garde’ remakes of the classics or awkward attempts at fusion here. After all, why fix what isn’t broken?
Flying Monkey, 67 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480. p. 6291 0695. Open daily 11.30am-11pm.