Monkey’s Corner Chippendale

From the owners of KOI Dessert Bar comes Monkey’s Corner, an intimate cocktail bar in Chippendale’s Kensington Street.

Monkey's Corner
Monkey’s Corner Chippendale

Located adjacent to KOI Dessert Bar, Monkey’s Corner is the latest venture by the Poernomo brothers, Reynold, Arnold and Ronald – of the Masterchef fame. With a capacity of 20 persons, Monkey’s Corner has been designed to mimic Tokyo bars with minimalist fitout, clean lines and blonde wood and overhanging timber ceiling.

Monkey's Corner
Communal Table

The intimate venue is split into three sections, the bar area with stool seating, a dining area with a communal table and outdoor seating – all catering for 20 lucky guests.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale

The drinks list was created by Quynh Van Nguyen, (Fred’s restaurant) whose other works include cocktail lists at Matteo, Luis Tans and Anason to name a few.

You’ll find a modest selection of wines, a growing range of single malt whisky, Japanese sake and an impressive selection of premium spirits.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale
Herno Gin Martini

The ten strong cocktails (all $19) feature Asian-inspired flavours leaning on the fruity side while delivering balanced and tasty drinks. Most have been designed with techniques and enough of a twist to make them unique while remaining approachable.

The Litchi Martini balances rum with rose and lychee flavours with the dryness of fino sherry. The Pandan Ginger Pisco Sour is a popular choice, and the Green Tea Margarita brings together Calle 23 Tequila with passionfruit, green tea and shichimi rim.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale
Okinawa Colada

The Okinawa Colada is the standout cocktail that brings a harmony of flavours that will entice you to order another of the same. Kakubin Japanese whisky is washed with pineapple skin and mixed with Coco Lopez and citrus. Becherovka adds cinnamon spice and sesame seed lifts the drinks and gives it a lingering note. The presentation alone will tempt you with a nori sheet, dehydrated pineapple and mint sprig. In one word, sensational.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale
Hawaiian Old Fashioned

The Hawaiian Old Fashioned is another fine example in creativity. Ham washed pineapple rum gives the drink its texture while Nikka from the Barrel gives it body. The drink is garnished with dehydrated ham and makes a fine after-dinner sipper.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale
Whipped Silver Lake Eel on Toast

Monkey’s Corner is essentially a bar but in the short time it has opened, it has gained a reputation as a dining destination. The food is prepared in a tiny kitchen, steamed sous vide then blow torched as required and the tiny selection offers many temptations.

The Whipped Silver Lake Eel on Toast ($13.50) are and easy to choose, salty and savoury quenelles on toast that whet the appetite.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale
Ox Tongue

You may need convincing to order the Ox Tongue ($14.50) as we did, but it is well worth it. Tender and thinly sliced, the meat is cooked sous-vide, blow-torched and served swimming in lime juice, dry aged beef fat and chives. The only thing is this dish leaves you yearning for a piece of bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

Monkey's Corner Chippendale
Kingfish Collar

Don’t leave without ordering the Kingfish Collar ($15), it packs a lot more of the flesh that you think. The fish is perfectly moist flesh and topped with shichimi, a Japanese spice mixture with seven ingredients that adds a lot of flavour with a touch of heat.   

On weekends, Monkey’s Corner serves rice bowls and what has become the go-to dish, uni rice bowl – that is if you can get it before it runs out.

Monkey’s Corner is the kind of bar that draws you in and succeeds in winning you over in the first few minutes. The ambience is chilled and welcoming, the cocktails are unique and well crafted making it the kind of place you’ll be rushing to tell your friends about. 

Monkey’s Corner
40 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Ph: (02) 9212 2085
Open: Tues-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm

Photography © by Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.