Feb 3 2011 By Ben Spencer
The Wise Monkey
Address: 508 Great Western Road; Tell: 334 5125.
THE WISE MONKEY might be familiar to many as west end institution Hubbards - a favourite of students and older visitors alike.
But the bar, which sits in Great Western Road next to favourites such as Viper and Coopers, has had a make-over and reopened as The Wise Monkey.
The transformation has left it feeling at once fresh and familiar. Gone is the dark, ageing interior, replaced by a brighter, buzzing atmosphere.
However, this is not just another student hangout.
When I visited with my partner on a midweek evening I was pleased to see a good selection of beers, real ales, spirits and soft drinks at competitive prices.
I ordered a pint of tangy Spitfire (s2.90) and my partner a pint of Coke (s1.30) to sip as we browsed the menu.
There was a comprehensive selection of traditional pub grub with all dishes well described and very reasonably priced.
I started things off with a hearty soup to heat me up. The soup of the day was a thick leek and potato (s2.95) and it Makeover .. The inviting interior of the pub proved a delicious and ample sized starter.
My partner decided to go for the chicken and chorizo skewers (s3.95) as a starter and this was definitely a meatlover's delight. Two skewers arrived with huge chunks of meat, served with sour cream and sweet chilli dips as well as a side salad.
For my main course, I chose the pub staple of fish and chips (s6.95).
This was accompanied by mushy peas and a fresh tartare sauce and, as the menu warned, the fish had been "battered to death"by beer.
This translated to a fresh and crisp batter, which complemented the fish well.
The burger with cheese and bacon (s6.50) was the dish to lure my guest.
The beef was thick -cut and well cooked and served with a mound of wedge-style chips and relish.
We both also ordered a side of fresh onion rings (s2).
Due to the size of the portions, we couldn't find space for a dessert. This was unfortunate as the selection looked particularly tempting.
But, to steal a quote from a famous wise movie star: "I'll be back!"