THE Funkee Monkee Bar and Eatery was the venue for the Herald staff power lunch on Friday.
With covid-19 forcing many of us to work from home, it’s been a while since we all got together, so physical changes were apparent.
Some Chooks were nursing injuries, others biblical beards, and there was the odd staffer who looked like they had just got back from a POW camp in Vietnam.
Nothing a good feed wouldn’t cure though, so we began perusing the menu, which had a nice range of dining options including small plates, burgers, salads and pastas.
Open since September last year, The Funkee Monkee specialises in Indian fusion dishes like Deconstructed Samosa, Tandoori Scotch Fillet and Chicken Tikka Burger.
There was also “Big Plates” like Green Curry Mussels, Goan Prawn Curry and Twice Cooked Pork Belly, so the eatery had both lunch and dinner covered.
Herald chief of staff Steve Grant ordered the Crispy Skin Salmon with charred broccolini, crushed potatoes and mustard tempered corn korma ($33).
“The salmon was so fresh it could have been plucked mid-jump from the river and slapped into the pan,” he said.
“Of course, you don’t see a lot of salmon up the Ganges, so it was something of a surprise, and also a rarity, to see it paired with an Indian sauce.
“The Norwegians were so concerned the spice-heavy Indian cuisine would stifle salmon’s distinct flavour they brought along a selection of recipes when they sailed into the sub-continental market five years ago.
“But happy to say this was a glorious melding of flavours, which gave the fish an extra point of interest but without ever over-powering it.
“The skin wasn’t the crispiness promised by the menu, but it was forgivable given the quality of the dish, which came with a delicious three-grain salad and crispy onions.”
Chook business director Bryan Zemunik has his own office, so he went for the beef cheek vindaloo with sago potato rosti and sweet potato crisp ($29).
“The meat was very tender and it had a great curry flavour,” he said.
“The service was fast for a large sitting, and it’s one of the best beef vindaloos I’ve had in Perth.”
The Funkee Monkee lived up to its name with a lively bar vibe, with an image of a cheeky chimp on the wall, grinning down at us. I imagine the place would have a fun vibe at night with pumping tunes and cocktails.
At the other end of the table, production whizz Nibha was enjoying her crispy fish tacos ($7 each or three for $20).
“What a quirky and funky place to have a meal. Was pleasantly surprised by the unique Indian fusion menu and the crispy fish Tacos were fresh, crunchy and delicious. My colleague ordered the Tandoori Scotch Fillet ($29) which was beautifully presented and oozing with flavour. The food was well priced, service was quick and friendly – what more could you want? Would definitely revisit.”
Sales manager Fiona and copy control guru Julie shared some wagyu beef sliders (three for $20) and guac sev puri with crips papdi chips, guacamole and chutney ($14) – “a delightful, delicate and light dish.”
Situated diagonally across from the Fremantle Leisure Centre, Funkee Monkee is part of a small group of shops on James Street.
I imagine it’s quite popular with gym goers treating themselves after a week’s worth of exercise, and as a go-to destination for hungry punters.
The eatery also does a takeaway and catering service, so they clearly know their way around the kitchen.
If you fancy a tasty pub meal with an Indian fusion vibe, then give Funkee Monkee a go.
8A James Street, Fremantle
by STEPHEN POLLOCK