Walking down the stairs at Golden Monkey is like walking into an artist's impression of an opium den - the lobby is all brightly coloured with a red bicycle stuck to the walls, along with decoupage of Asian pinup girls. You'll find the bar downstairs from a bright and busy laneway near Club Retro, where you’ll be lulled by Portishead remixes and something that sounds suspiciously like Cafe del Mar. Unless you're a freak for sweet cocktails, you'll want to flip straight to the back of the menu for the Morning Glory Fizz - a whiskey number that'll make your mouth snap to attention. The ’Monkey’s Mint Julep is more like sucking on sugar water than we’d like, though it's a fresh, minty, boozy icy treat all the same. The room is attractive, with low-slung tables and cushy lounges that are perfect for larger groups, Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling and intricate wood partitioning around the space. It's tray service for the most part here, though there are a few spots at the bar if you like chatting to bartenders rather than the louche waitstaff on the floor who seem more interested in avoiding than engaging. Golden Monkey features fairly decent cocktails, a great room and a well packed back-bar. The right notes are here, and yet somehow the bar still comes up flat.
|Venue name:||Golden Monkey|
Rear 389 Lonsdale St (Enter via Hardware Lane)
|Opening hours:||ue, Wed 5-11pm; Thu, Fri 5pm-1am; Sat 7pm-1am|