What? MNKY HSE (pronounced Monkey House, not “M-N-K-Y, h’seee” as I heard someone call it the other day) is a bar and restaurant serving up Latin American cuisine alongside live music and DJ sets, so once you’ve eaten you can stay and party.
New? Nope, it’s been open since October of 2016.
The Setting: Once the site of the iconic Dover Street Wine Bar, MNKY HSE, is part of the Park Chinois, Mahiki and Novikov pack, the Mayfair restaurants which slide into party mode once the cocktails have been sunk. This is where the Zone 1-ers go to party, the sleek, chic seemingly wealthy beyond their years, Gucci snakeskin loafer wearers.
The Look: Divided into a sleek bar upstairs and a subterranean restaurant, MNKY HSE is full of dark corners, gold and bronze tones, eclectic and bold art work and burnt orange banquettes. Booths have been built into the vaults where rough painted walls are adorned with gilded mirrors and separated from the main room by steel lift gates. There’s an open kitchen and space for dancing too.
On the Menu: Monkeys are quite literally on the menu, that’s to say monkey figurines sit playfully on each table, I wonder how many diners have pocketed those… Everything is designed to share, so order a whole load of plates and the wait for them to come out when they’re ready. Dishes include black cod with miso and marinated chillies; octopus and chorizo with guacamole tomatillo, red onion and coriander; sebass ceviche and soft -shell crab tempura with sweet corn mayo and chipotle.
What We Ate: Letting the team choose our dishes was a good way to see what they were most proud of and what they think everyone should be ordering. There was an excellent chunky chu-toro (tuna) tartare served with yuzu, avocado and MNKY lamb chops that arrived in a sweet BBQ sauce with pickled tomatoes. There was a zingy, fresh, seabass ceviche and stone bass arrived with a pearl barley risotto and pretty purple potato which provided a bit of crunch. I never quite understand why you only get three tacos or three tostadas, when it’s normally two sharing, but there you go, we fought over our last wagyu tostada. On the carb front it was mushroom rice served with a soft egg and truffle to mush into it. To finish there was a fudgy chocolate fondant with raspberry ice cream, not the most Latin America dishes, let’s be honest not Latin American at all, but I’m not going to be pedantic it was very good indeed.
What We Drank: We started with a round of cocktails, if you like a little tang and the strong, punchy flavours of tequila then you’ll want the Catrina, made with Don Julio Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, clementine puree, Lapponia cloudberry liqueur, elderflower and vinegar. For something a little sweeter go for the Rose Petal Lychee, made from Ketel One Citron vodka, fresh lemon juice, rose syrup, homemade lychee juice and topped with prosecco. I’d like to say we then proceeded to do tequila shots, but we stuck to the sparkling water. Next time…
Go With: MNKY HSE is ideal for birthdays, whether you’re just planning on eating, or you’re going to stay on and party the night away
Where: 10 Dover Street, Mayfair, W1S 4LQ, www.mnky-hse.com
Final Word: The only thing holding MNKY HSE back was the service, glasses were removed before drinks had been finished and it seemed like they couldn’t take back the plates quick enough. There’s efficient and then there is feeling rushed.