We scour the bar scene to bring you the new and noteworthy. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! Anthia Chng checks out the Flying Monkey in Kampong Glam to see what they have to offer. The Flying Monkey has a delicious array of cocktails and bar bites. They offer a variety of tasty Pan-Indian dishes from tandoori chicken to cashew-peanut curry.
Located in the lively Kampong Glam district, this restaurant-bar is housed in a two-storey shophouse, along a stretch of mostly Lebanese eateries and hip watering holes. The décor is simple and contemporary: fun, colourful art murals on the walls are offset by sleek, black furniture and wooden flooring. We also got a sneak peek at the newly refurbished event space on the second storey; it boasts a large projector and plenty of comfy sofas – perfect for hosting a private party!
The Chosen One:
Helming the bar is head bartender Kannan, who has had stints at renowned establishments like Long Chim and Cufflink Club. A must-try is the Goa Mamma Lassi ($18), a spiked version of a traditional lassi. This rendition includes passionfruit for an added tang, while vodka and rum are mixed in to give the easy-to-drink smoothie a boozy upgrade. You won’t go wrong with this crowd favourite! If you’re craving something out of the ordinary, order the Monkey on Fire ($20), a comforting concoction of Monkey Shoulder whisky, Grand Marnier, Maraschino, honey, three-spice and coconut water; then snag a seat by the counter and watch the experienced mixologist at work. We won’t spoil the surprise here, but this tipple involved a blow torch and some live fire action! My personal favourite? Hands down, the Mind It! ($18), which was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The ingredients are minimal but the highlight of this creative cocktail is the jasmine-infused Monkey 47 Gin. Fresh jasmine buds are soaked in gin for an entire week, and the end result is a refreshing, floral fragrance that hits you unexpectedly at the first sip. Lemon juice is added for acidity, while maple syrup is mixed in for a hint of sweetness. The flavours are spot on!
The cocktails, which pack a punch in the alcohol department, are all priced at $20 or below. Seasonal beers on tap start from $9, and you can get a glass of bubbly or white at $14.
Bite on this:
Look forward to a variety of tasty Pan-Indian bites, many of which are familiar classics. The small plates were extremely flavourful – our only gripe was wishing the portions were bigger. You won’t go wrong with the tandoori chicken ($10), which was deliciously charred and tender. But, for something different, we highly recommend the tangy and savoury papaya kebabs ($12), featuring papaya fritters served with plum chutney. If you’re still hungry, tuck into heartier plates like the Nalli Gosht ($26) – slow-cooked lamb shank served with garlic naan. The freshly baked naan, paired with falloff-the-bone meat and cashew-peanut curry, was a winning combination. We wiped it off in no time!
Last but not least:
In place of sugar or sugar syrup, a common choice of sweetener used in regular cocktails, Kannan incorporates natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey instead – they’re slightly healthier and add great flavour, too! – Anthia Chng