It’s no secret. You only need to read through my Townaround blogs to know that I am a bit of an Indian food fan. I Have tried most of them in Bunno, and the quality is pretty good. Last night it was Funkee Monkees turn. Some of you may question whether this place comes under the “Indian Cuisine” banner at all. I would say a resounding yes…But with a difference!
The occasion was a friend’s birthday so there were quite a few of us. Lisa and I had started off at my favorite bar Lost Bills. https://www.townaround.com.au/blog/getting-lost-with-bill With taste buds teased by way of a cocktail and a freshly made lemon and lime bitters, (I was on driving duty), we made our way to the restaurant.
It had been raining most of the day but had been humid. The air conditioning was cranking inside and was quite a relief. If there is one thing I hate, it a restaurant that is either too cold or too hot. Happy to say, it was spot on. It was quite busy, but not full. The spicy aromas got the mouth juices well and truly flowing. We were seated at a large table in the middle of the restaurant. In some other places when there is a large group, it can feel quite cramped, but this certainly was not the case at Funkee Monkee.
The wall art around the venue was impressive and fitted in with the modern and fun theme they are going for. The music added to the vibe, but perhaps a bit too loud for my liking, I’m a conversationalist so more a personal thing really.
The menu was interesting. I would say probably ninety percent Indian. There was the occasional surprise on there too like taco’s which I believe they are well known for. They were to be tried another day. There were a few curries on the list, and some interesting Indian style salads. Mmm decisions, decisions.
Whilst deciding, a round of drinks were ordered. They have a very impressive drinks menu. A wide variety was ordered by our fellow guests. Everything from classic cocktails like Long Island Iced Teas, craft cider, and mocktails, (seems there were a few other drivers too). Lisa opted for a zesty locally sourced Sauvignon Blanc from Nannup. With Drinks delivered it was make your mind up time. Like many other Bunbury venues, Funkee Monkee offer a tasting option. Theirs is aptly named The Funkee Feast. This was on special tonight at $39. Unable to decide from the impressive menu, Lisa and I agreed, this was the best option. The Funkee Feast it was.
The first two dishes to arrive were some appetizers from the “Small Plate Menu.” A Black Bean Humus” served with Dukkha, evoo and smoked paprika naan bread, and “Guac Sev Puri” which were bite sized papdi chips loaded with guacamole, chutney and sev. See I told you it was Indian with a difference. The hummus was smoother than a jazz band and packed with flavour. The addition of pomegranate gave each mouthful and interesting juicy pop. The naan added the texture, something to bite on. It was a good start to the meal.
The Guac Sev Puri was more of an amuse bouche but packed a punch. A popular Indian Street food, this was an interesting twist on it. The guacamole and chutney smashed together in the mouth. Half of my taste buds were in Cancun, the other half in Calcutta. Despite the confusion in my mouth, my brain was enjoying the experience.
Continuing down this path of difference the next dish was Chicken Tikka Pie. I could hear Peter Kaye in the back of my mind (google him) “Chicken Tikka???? In a Pie???”
Well, despite my reservations about this one, it happened to be the stand out dish of the night. The pastry of the pie was crisper that John Travolta’s suit in Saturday Night Fever. The filling was exactly what it said on the tin. Moist marinated chicken in a thick sauce. The star was the amazing raspberry chutney it was served with. I learned fairly quickly that the Funkee Monkee chef is a risk taker. I mean come on who serves a raspberry chutney without sieving out the seeds? Well, I tell you what, I am glad he/she didn’t. It was a punchy delight. The tartness of the raspberries, the added spice and hit of chili and the texture of the seeds made this feel like a Bollywood number in the mouth. It was the perfect partner for the pie. It also got mopped up with some naan bread I had left over.
So with the pie devoured, our last three dishes were presented. A Tandoori Chicken, Saffron Rice, and Amritsari Mackerel. The Tandoori Chicken was medium spiced. The sauce was creamy and thick with an added drizzle of yoghurt. The pickled veg neatly nestled on the summit of the curry was—again—a surprising but welcome twist.
The rice was well cooked, not a sticky grain in sight. A delicate hint of saffron, a fistful of flaked almonds and a scatter of pomegranate gave it flavour and texture. It went well with the curry and served to soak up that delicious sauce. The Mackerel to be honest is not something I would order from a menu, but as was with the general theme of the night, again I was surprised. The fish was cooked to perfection, not a dry flake in the house! It was coated in a thin batter that gave it the most delicate suggestion of crunch. It was served with some fresh herbs, micro greens and thin disks of radish. It looked as good as it tasted. A perfect end.
Desert was offered. There are a few choices from Churros to the old Indian favourite Gulab Jamum. Served with Ice Cream and cheekily named Hot Balls on Ice! Unfortunately, we were stuffed so no dessert for us tonight. I did however opt to have my one alcoholic drink of the night which was their house Cabernet Merlot. It finished the night off beautifully.
Other dishes ordered by our friends included Twice Cooked Pork Belly, Goan Prawn Curry, and Tandoori Chicken on Board. Thumbs up all round.
If you want to try Indian food with a twist, Funkee Monkee is the place for you. Every dish had a unique spin on it. The service was professional and friendly. The lady who served our table knew the menu inside and out and answered any questions we had, even going so far as telling us she had had the Chicken Tikka pie for lunch. To be honest, If I worked at Funkee Monkee, I would have had it for breakfast and dinner too!