Neon Monkey Bar
Neon demon: Neon Monkey is a Thai bar with summer cocktails, budget food and relaxing atmosphere.
Bolshaya Dmitrovka 32, str 2
Tue-Thu: from 18:00 to 00:00
Fri-Sat: from 18:00 to 03:00
Neon Monkey was made to look like an underground Thai bar not far from hipsterish Sukhumvit Road without unnecessary décor and overdone Thai elements. Overall, the interior can be said to be nearly minimalistic, but it is so subtle that the atmosphere of humid noisy basements of the Asian megacity is reproduced in fine detail.
The staples of Neon Monkey’s menu are cocktails with an Asian flavor and solid Thai food without presence. The chef Pavel Maletsky, who set up the kitchen at the Japanese bar Neco, formerly (Rybka Moskva), Novikov (Dubai) and Seafood Room (Hong Kong).
The menu turned out to be well-rounded, with Thai staples and without a personal touch. There are salads and hors d’oeuvre: crunchy aubergines, Bangkok salad with shrimps, avocado and pineapple — a good starter. The next are two soups: tom yum and tom kha kai, a number of hot dishes, four kinds of rice and three versions of noodles with various fillings: everything makes sense: exactly what is needed for a snack in the early hours, when you don’t want anything fancy.
The co[ck]tail card was put together by Natalia Balakina; she devised for Neon Monkey 12 proprietary cocktails with a bright Asian note: the ingredients include pineapples, grapefruit oil, banana, aloe, litchi, lemongrass foam, blue tea and Thai spices.
The cocktail card was put by Natalia Balakina; she devised for Neon Monkey 12 proprietary cocktails with a bright Asian note: the ingredients include pineapples, grapefruit oil, banana, aloe, litchi, lemongrass foam, blue tea and Thai spices./p>
Having descended the steps from the entrance door, you find yourself in a dark concrete hall with graffiti on the walls, subdued light from red lamps and a wooden bungalow-style floor. From here you can also see through a doorway a second hall with a bar counter — with its evenly spread alluring neon shimmer and Thai hieroglyphs on white tiles. You take a seat, to be sure, at the bar — the counter is finished in tiny white mosaic featuring colour characters from the Pac-Man game and cartoonish monkey faces. The second hall, in contrast to the first, has been made very bright: the walls are plastered with off-white concrete; the wall over the bar counter is faced with plain-vanilla white tiles.
The enchantment is entirely due to the many-coloured concrete lamps at the back of the bar counter and under the wooden ceiling, and to the colour glass blocks at the very top, behind which is yet another hall. The first floor is a delight, resembling as it does a secret room, where the stylization reaches its apex: a slanted ceiling with skylights, tidy lamps and — what a lovely idea! — a table sunk into the floor in a way that seems to suggest that you need to sit around it Asian-style: virtually on your knees. This is where you sit down if you want to feel like a Thai gangster, doing some important deals in a seedy bar or if you just want to have a quiet meal — it is much quieter on the first floor.
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