MNKY HSE is a restaurant I’ve heard people mention before but I thought it was just one of those hyped places. But I came across it again and this time I actually had a look at the menu. I was already intrigued when I saw it is Latin American, but the tricky part was to actually have a look at the menu and hope I find something on there. Luckily there were more than enough dishes for me to have. I was so excited. I booked it and then told Amen we were going to MNKY HSE on Friday.
MNKY HSE is on Dover Street in Mayfair, just a few doors up from Mahiki nightclub. It’s all blacked out that you could almost miss it if it wasn’t for the MNK HSE Logo and the stoic doorman. As we approach he asks if we have a reservation, we told him we do and he gestures for us to enter and says “just down the stairs”. We got down to the restaurant and its fairly loud and quiet dark.
The host greeted us with a genuine smile and she takes my name to check us in. While she does this I had a look at the restaurant and I noticed they had a DJ playing, and at 7pm it’s still fairly empty. Which she then gave us the choice on where to sit – the cage or the restaurant. Amen chooses the cage for us. She led us to our table, which mimics a cave with a cage and at our table we have some little monkey toys waiting for us. I love this. They were too cute. Our waiter and a few other waiters who came over to us were superb. They were friendly, chatty and very informative about the menu. One of the best services we’ve received, so thank you MNKY HSE team!
What We ordered
For our starters, we ordered the Chipotle chicken taco, chorizo octopus tostada, courgettes flowers and rock shrimp tempura. Amen had the MNKY Black Cod for his main, and for mine I had the glazed baby chicken with tenderstem broccoli.
At first I had the Datterino tostada as well as the chipotle chicken taco but our waiter suggested that it would be too much food. So, I chose the chipotle chicken taco. It tasted really nice and the chicken was perfectly seasoned. However, I would’ve preferred the tostada as its crispy where as the taco was soft. Amen’s chorizo octopus tostada was all his and he absolutely loved every bit of it. He loved the balance of the chorizo and octopus on the crispy tostada.
Next was one of Amen’s favourites, he loves courgette flowers from his visits at Barrafina, and he thought these were just as good and definitely did not disappoint. I had some and it was delicious. The size at MNKY HSE was a lot bigger than the other places, which is always a plus especially for £18. The rock shrimp tempura almost passed the test for me; it was slightly on the fishier side than all the others I’ve had but the spicy mayo it was coated in was tasty. I left it for Amen to enjoy but he couldn’t finish it. SHOCK!
For the main, Amen almost never got the black cod because of the price and the only place he’s willing to pay that much is at Nobu as it’s always perfect. But he gave it a go. When it came he was pleasantly surprised that the cod was quite big but after one bite he was even more surprised as there were bones left in the fish. Not many but enough to make you extra cautious when eating. Despite this he still enjoyed it. He thought it was a perfect combination of sweet and spice but without the chillies it would’ve been too sweet. For my main I obviously I went for the glazed baby chicken with spicy soy and shishito peppers. It was amazing. The chicken was succulent, spicy and sweet. All three elements to make the perfect dish, and it certainly was.
Did someone say dessert!? OH YEAH. My favourite part of any meal, plus it’s even better when the restaurant has amazing desserts. Our waiter was kind enough to ask whether there was a reason we were not drinking, I told him I was Muslim and don’t drink. He then told me not to order the Dulce de Dulce dessert as it has a lot of alcohol in it. Again, thank you as I was going to order it. He recommended the pumpkin brulee and smoked chocolate fondant, which we trusted and went with those. They were both amazing. Chocolate fondant was perfect, oozing chocolate and worked perfectly with the cherry ice cream. Amen really enjoyed his pumpkin brulee… and my fondant of course.
MNKY HSE is still very much hyped but I can understand why. The food was delicious, the vibe was awesome and the service was perfect. Our waiter even suggested that on a Friday and Saturday we should have a later dinner as the music gets louder and turns into something like a club. So that’s great for people who love that and we would definitely give that go. But if you still want to go for a date or with friends without having loud music blaring then its perfect for that too. It is quite pricey so unless you don’t really want to spend that much on casual dining I would save this for special occasions.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Cuisine: Latin American
Amen’s Star Dish: chorizo octopus tostada
Shiima’s Star Dish: glazed baby chicken
Price: £50+ each (excluding alcohol drinks)
Rating: 4.3 out of 5