I headed off to The Monkey Bar with the same group from when I went to the Pastoral Hotel. This time though our group had expanded by another 3. It was a great night hanging out with them all.
But let’s talk food.
The Monkey Bar has been through a lot of changes over the years. Menu changes, management changes, refurbishments, everything. Their current logo contains the phrase “Burgers & Booze”. I don’t love that phrase, it’s not enticing to me. The word booze doesn’t exactly scream a place that I want to be at.
Anyway, minor detail.
The place in mind has always been a bar that serves food. As opposed to a restaurant that has a bar in it. But the focus has definitely switched to putting more effort into food which is a good thing in my opinion.
Lately I hadn’t heard much about them, they seem to be flying under the radar a little which can’t be good for business. As I wrote this I checked out their facebook page and they use a picture a bit that says to “Try our homestyle burgers” and that they’re the “best in town”. The watermark is still present in some of the pics but I’m not Dr Copyright-Law so no further comment on that.
On their menu they also say they’re a “Burger & Schnitzel Bar”. This is enticing, this is what I feel they should focus on.
So we arrived at 6:30 and the place was quiet, there was only one other table with people at it. It’s not a bad place at all, it’s tidy, it doesn’t look run down or anything, it’s nice. It’s just lacked atmosphere and I think that’s because it lacked people.
The menu has a good variety of hamburgers, schnitzel burgers, schnitzel meals, breads, and sides. They also have a weekly special burger, which can involve schnitzel, beef, or any other number of things.
This time the special was the Wingman and it was constructed as follows:
- House made milk bun
- Double Chicken Schnitty Fillet
- Smokey BBQ glazed Bacon
- Smokey Cheese
- Hash Brown
- BBQ Sauce
- And a BBQ Chicken Wing Topper
As usual the choice was hard for me, do I go the special, do I go a standard, what do I do?! I was in the mood for beef on this occasion, and my decision was made when I was told that their King Kong burger was their most popular.
The most popular is always the best place to start in my opinion. So the King Kong is:
- 150g House-Made Beef Patty
- And their “own delicious Monkey Sauce”
The menu also states that it’s their biggest burger.
Side note: I’m all for a big burger, I like that you can eat lots, or finish early and be satisfied. However I’m not sold on the idea of a burger as big as a dining plate that some places serve. That to me talks of sheer mass of food and moves the focus away from quality. Yes you can have both, but it’s not really my thing.
There’s a place over the West side of town that I hear does one of these burgers, they use a cob loaf for a bun. That doesn’t sound enticing to me. Show me your quality, then I’ll consider your quantity.
Anyway, back to The Monkey Bar.
I also ordered a side of chips. When talking chips at this establishment you can get either French Fries or Beer Battered Chips. Take my advice and get the Beer Battered Chips. As these my friend, are some of Dubbo’s best chips. I was really impressed with these little puppies.
The fry to chip ratio at the table was 50/50. I heard lots about the chips and nothing out of the mouths of the fry eaters in regards to quality. Speaks volumes. I was going to steal a fry to see what they tasted like but, well, they looked like fries and what I had looked like Beer Battered Chips, therefore I was uninterested in doing so.
Actually I tell a lie, I did taste them as a couple of people shared a fries for entrée but more on that later.
From all reports the Wingman was a great burger, it tasted the goods. There was one person who said it was too big, but I beg to differ. For the price it was a good size, if you weren’t that hungry you could just eat a little less. That’s a free tip for you all.
I thought the burger size was good as they left you full but not overfull and having to live with regret as to why you ate so much.
I enquired about the BBQ chicken wing topper and was told that it wasn’t just an add on that was tasteless. But rather if you ordered a bowl of them you would enjoy the flavour as a stand alone dish.
Now on to my choice, the King Kong. I rate this burger well. It was very tasty, the sauce, the “delicious Monkey Sauce” was definitely delicious. It also had a bit of a kick to it which I enjoyed, not too hot, but just a little something extra. The meat patty was good, the cheese was good, all the salad was fresh and as you would hope. This was a good burger.
I think The Monkey Bar deserve more hype than they get. I think this is food that Dubbo should be talking about and recommending to their friends.
The diner to my right ordered the Clive Parma burger:
- Chicken Schnitzel
- Napolitano Sauce
- And melted Cheese
I was interested to find out why, at the end of our meal, this burger still had quite a lot left in the basket. Upon asking the question of the consumer she assures me that the taste was good, it’s just that she ate a good portion of a box of Jatz before coming to dinner. Rookie mistake.
Some of my dining companions had Cheesy Garlic Bread as a starter too and enjoyed that.
Others tried the Bowl of Fries and went with the “Pimp My Fries” option and had Bacon, Shallots and Liquid Cheese added to them.
I stole a few of these and they tasted alright, maybe the bacon could have been a little crispy more but it was still cooked enough. Though the cheese had a grainy texture to it, I didn’t love that, but I’d steal more while I wait for my meal.
There were a couple of desserts ordered too. There are no standing menu items for dessert but rather they’re listed on a board… and they only have one. But in two flavours, so that’s something. They were Churros Bowls and came in either Nutella or Golden Gaytime. But as we ordered we were informed they had no bowls but could do them just as churros sticks. We ordered them anyway, we wanted dessert.
They tasted pretty good. The ice cream was home made, the churros were good. I’d have them again.
Just a little note on the service. Before going we were given the advice “King Kong burger is the goods! Too bad the staff had an attitude problem.”
As usual I tried not to be influenced by this comment when thinking about my experience at the time. I feel that they didn’t an attitude problem as such this night, but they were very flat. There was no bubbly, going out of their way service, but they were just there, took your order, didn’t smile, just did their job. So I felt a little awkward interacting with them for the short time I did.
I’m going to give them a solid 7 Beer Battered Chips out of 10.
The Monkey Bar
Lower Wingewarra St, Dubbo, New South Wales 2830
(02) 6884 4949
The Monkey Bar is on Facbook here