MNKY HSE invited The London Journalist's Christabel Milbanke for a very boozy Latin American Sunday Brunch down in their bizarrely eclectic underground restaurant/club in Mayfair.
MNKY HSE, on Mayfair's Dover street, is part of the new wave of melange-a-trois establishments in London combining a restaurant, bar and club under one convenient roof. - Or in this case underground in an exotic sexy-luxe dungeon. Due to very special demand MNKY HSE have recently launched their new Sunday Brunch Menu served from 12 - 5pm.
Descending the dark stairs illuminated only a large neon-red lighting depicting their 12 Monkey's style logo at 12-noon feels unusual to say the least. Causing one to wonder, when you gaze around the dimly-lit windowless cellar, bedazzled by twinkling Moroccan lamps and tarot cards hung from the ceiling, whether it was a club or a cult you've just entered...
A proper live funk band plays warm covers of popular songs against a backdrop of swirling digital light patterns. Brunchers are encouraged to embrace the madness with carafes of 'Bloody MNKY' (a Creme de Cassis-infused twist on a Bloody Mary) and Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne seemingly on tap.
We were seated in a secluded half-gated bolt hole, creating the illusion of calm and distance from the visually and acoustically louder areas of the HSE. A small monkey toy at each setting inevitably got fiddled with by my increasingly uninhibited guest as we chomped our way through the Latin-American inspired menu...
Starting off with a deliciously smooth Guacamole puree topped with scattered sweetcorn, leaves and finely sliced radish. My guest, 100% pure millennial and therefore expert in avocado, remarked that usually he did not like such a smooth guac. However in this case the MNKY knew best... We followed through with a very smoky Huevos Shaksouka Arabian dish which I am assured is very en-vogue right now, but failed to excite my palate.
It was the Sweet menu however that really impressed, with MNKY HSE's French Toast standing out as the most deliciously comforting dish and an exceptional twist on the classic: fresh-out-of-the-oven soft, but chewy, brioche covered in almond ice cream, sliced almonds and sweet ripe berries. Their purple petal decorated Pancakes are also to die for, covered with a thick grid of dulce de leche, banana ice cream and sliced banana.
It seems to enjoy oneself at a MNKY HSE Brunch, you must wholeheartedly dedicate yourself to the denial of daytime. But once the mental leap is made it becomes the perfect place for endless play and mischief, and with changing ambiences designating different zones and animalistic mating calls playing in the lavatories you could be forgiven for letting brunch bleed into dinner and dinner bleed into a devastating Sunday night out. Which seems to be the preferred method and madness behind the monkey business...
With fantastic service, electrifying decor, spirited music and most importantly an outstanding menu Brunch at MNKY HSE's is the most outrageously immersive experience you can have on Sunday.
10 Dover Street
Mayfair, London W1S 4LQ
+44 (0)20 3870 4880