Location: 1301 10 Avenue SW (Beltline Location)
Monki has been on my list of restaurants to try for at least the last two years and this past weekend I finally got to try it.
After throwing several ideas on the table, Monki was the one that we finally settled on. Monki does not take reservations, but they do utilize a waitlisting system. However, one of our friends’, Sarah, sister works here, so she was able to add us to the waitlist without us having to go through the app, which was extremely convenient.
I’m usually an early riser, but I respect that not everyone is an early bird. Actually, in the last few months, I’ve noticed that I’ve begun transitioning the other way – becoming a night owl. Had I proposed I time, I probably would’ve suggested something “ridiculous” like 8:30 a.m. for brunch, but the group consensus was for 11 a.m. Given how busy my weekend was, I actually really appreciated being able to sleep in. We met up at 10 a.m. and commuted to the restaurant together, arriving at about 10:30 a.m., which was the requested time for people on the waitlist. We were promptly seated outside on the patio as we requested and discovered that we were the first to arrive on a three hour waitlist. Things were pretty quiet when we arrived, but it didn’t take long for it to pick up.
The weekend we chose to go coincided with weekend of the Calgary Pride Parade, so Monki was offering Pride Pancake Tacos on their menu. Sarah and Alex both went with this, while I decided on a more savoury option: the Brisket Bene. Monki is actually known for their fondue, so of course we had to give that a try.
Drink wise, we all ordered coffees because starting the day without caffeine sounded like a bad idea…even if it had no effect on my body, it was an amazing full bodied flavour. Sarah got the Classic Mimosa with orange juice and Alex got the Showstopper Mimosa. Both were topped with a rainbow ribbon candy (I forgot the actual name of the candy…) in honour of pride. The Classic was delicious (I like my orange juice with pulp in it), but the alcohol was much more apparent than the Showstopper which featured their housemade strawberry lemonade. If I knew I wasn’t going to tip over, I would’ve ordered one of the Showstoppers myself.
We started with the fondue which was a variety of fruits: strawberries, blackberries, and banana, waffles and three shots of flavoured/coloured white chocolate: earl grey, matcha, and white chocolate coloured with beet juice. The problem that has already been identified by the restaurant is that shot glasses are not the best vessel to serve the chocolate in because it gets to a point where you can’t dip the fruit and especially not the waffle in anymore. I thought that the white chocolates all tasted pretty much the same; there were subtle differences if you knew what you were looking for, but otherwise, it was just the sweet of white chocolate, which is my least favourite chocolate…I don’t even consider it to be real chocolate. My suggestion would be to offer the dish with a choice of chocolate. That way, the one flavour could be fully enjoyed and the restaurant could use a larger vessel to serve it in.
The Pride Pancake Tacos consisted of banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, and strawberry jam in a banana pancake topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and white chocolate drizzle in the colour of the trans flag. (sorry if I missed anything that was in here as I forgot to note down everything and since it was a specialty item, it is no longer on their menu for me to cross check). A portion of the proceeds goes towards supporting Calgary Pride (if I’m remembering correctly). The only reason I shied away from this dish was because I will only eat bananas at a particular ripeness. Between that and how many bananas we ended up with at our table, I’m glad I didn’t go for it.
I was torn between ordering a Benny, the Monki Perogies, Pancake Breakfast Tacos, and the Not-So-Classic Huevos Rancheros, but since the Benny was one of the first things I was drawn to, I went with my heart. The Brisket Bene consisted of braised brisket, mushrooms and truffle ricotta. The eggs are served on a crostini/slice of baguette. While this is new and I haven’t ever seen it done this way, it was so small that there wasn’t much space to fit on the brisket, mushrooms, and egg and left me wanting more. I didn’t realize that there was a choice between the classic hollandaise and a pink prosecco hollandaise. Next time, if I have the chance, I will definitely try the prosecco hollandaise. The hashbrowns were well seasoned and though they’re better than a lot of hashbrowns I’ve had elsewhere, they weren’t mind-blowingly delicious. The hot sauce, Monki tears, on the other hand might’ve possibly blow up my tastebuds. I typically am good with spicy…unless it’s habanero…which it was. That said, I purchased a bottle because I really need some hot sauce at home and even though this is quite spicy, it was delicious. Next time I’m going to also get a bottle of the Monki Vampire Slayer Hot Sauce because garlic is always a good idea.
I’m glad we chose to sit outside as inside the restaurant is quite small and cramped and now I can better understand how the waitlist can get up to a 3 hour wait so quickly. If you intend on coming, either come early or add yourself to the waitlist as soon as you possibly can.
I was worried since someone else who had been here had been sorely disappointed and having waiting to come here for so long I didn’t want to be met with disappointment either. I’m pleased to report that both food and service here were amazing. I would definitely come back for the perogies, breakfast tacos, and huevos rancheros. I would rate this place 3.75/5.