I’ve known about Where the Monkey Sleeps for a while and always intended to go, however I never found myself in the direct proximity of either of the two premises at a suitable time. However, working on Blythswood Square has given me the perfect opportunity to visit the West Regent Street location, and I’ve had lunch from there three times over the last few weeks.
The menu is pretty extensive, but lunch number one became an easy choice when I spotted the Loggins Panini with its fillings of goat cheese, peppers, olives, pine nuts and sundried tomato. You do have to wait a few minutes as the food is made fresh (always good) but soon I was back in the office with a lovely, non-traditional panini. The soft goat cheese was crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth, and it’s naturally tangy flavour was offset by sweet tomatos and peppers. The minute I finished I knew I would be heading back to Where the Monkey Sleeps to sample more of their goodies.
Lunch number two was the Witchfynder – a freshly toasted bagel filled with chorizo, smoked cheese, spring onion and chilli mayo. The bagel was a very decent size, if a bit oily from the combination of cheese and chorizo. The spring onions were a very welcome touch – I really enjoyed the crunch they added. Personally, I can’t get super excited by warm mayonnaise and though this was a reasonable lunch it definitely didn’t beat the Loggins to the top spot.
So, I had decided on one final visit to Where the Monkey Sleeps to order the Thar She Blows Bagel, which I had had my eye on since I first saw the menu. Filled with a hefty portion of haggis, red onion marmalade and mature cheddar, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with the end result. Another choice that turned out to be rather oily and greasy, the haggis, which should have a strong peppery kick, was mild and a little bland. This was a particular shame as the red onion marmalade was far too sweet without the heat of the haggis to contend with. Feeling a little let down by my final choice, I remained hopeful for the traybake I had purchased. Since this would be my last visit, I had bought a Caramel Malteser Slice which had caught my attention on all my previous visits. Sadly, this fell short of my expectations as well. The shortbread base was a bit peely-wally and didn’t make the sturdiest base for topping. The caramel was nice enough, however the maltesers were very strange. I’ve yet to decide if they were a) way past their use-by date or b) some awful, cheap knockoff, but the texture inside certainly wasn’t like any Malteser I’ve ever tasted (nor like one I want to try again).
So, overall, Where the Monkey Sleeps got off to a good start but seemed to slip with every order. If I was ever to go back I’d probably head for the tried and tested Loggins, and I certainly wouldn’t be ordering a cake again.