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Friday, 21 May 2010

Red Monkey, Battersea (CLOSED)

At the bar, we're pestered four times in rapid succession by a dumpy dame on a mission. Gurning like Little Miss Bossy on speed, she insists we join her in one of three karaoke pods for hire. Judging by her  country bumpkin pinafore and cider drinker’s complexion, she’d probably pick The Wurzels’  Combine Harvester. I’d rather eat at a Harvester than get involved with Random Nutter so, I decline. We’re at Red Monkey; a new bar/ izakaya from the guys behind Clapham's Underdog bars, it serves sake, shochu, sundry Nippon nibbles and lonely women, evidently. My fishy-fumed jacket’s imminent trip to the dry cleaner’s aside - sort the aircon? open a window? - it’s rather good.  Enthusiastic Parisian barman, Brice, is the shaker to know; his Japanese-y rinses, such as the (you-can’t-go-wrong-with-a) Tommy Wong, well executed and imaginatively presented. Keen to wean my Glaswegian pal off his infra dig Long Island Iced Tea habit, Brice suggests Brass Monkey - a gin martini with green tea, yuzu and shiso syrup. ‘ syrup? Is that big in Japan?’ marvels pal, shiso not yet on his Gorbals radar.  Meanwhile, the karaoke junkie is fixing for more rejection. ‘C’mon boys! It's back to mine for a session, but first, a song!’  ‘Yeh! Michael Jackson’s Beat It,’ snipes the Glaswegian. 
Red Monkey,  50 Battersea Rise SW11 7924 6288