Stepping into the Monkey’s den.
Founded by the Barkati family, The Monkey’s Lounge has been one of the family’s many business endeavors throughout the years. With a strong background in music, Faouze Barkati, the oldest brother in the family, has been working with musicians since the 70s, introducing funk music to France. Their label back in France were the ones that signed Lucenzo, the Portuguese singer most famous for his international hit song “Danza Kuduro” which was then picked up by the movie “Fast and Furious” making it the top hit song for quite a long time.
After visiting a few lounges in Jeddah, they realized that opening their lounge is the right way to be integrated within the community. Therefore, The Monkey’s Lounge was born. Through their strong connections in the music world, they are hoping to make The Monkey’s Lounge a hub for all visiting international artists coming to Jeddah for a show or on a personal trip.
Stepping into The Monkey’s lounge complex, you are greeted with an intimate seating area on the ground floor with an authentic crepe station served by a french crepe chef, with a variety of toppings of your choice, and a coffee station, making you feel like you’re at a small cafe in the streets of Paris. This section is for the people that want to spend some quality time with their families or friends and enjoy a cup of coffee with an authentic French crepe.
When you head up to the second floor, you enter the real monkey’s den. The lounge is spacious and has a jungle-like theme with greenery dominating the look of the space, with a hint of off-yellow to match the color palette. It is decorated with gorilla figures and many monkey figures hanging from the ceiling to give you the true jungle vibe. The organic interior makes you feel comfortable and allows you to act in whatever way you feel appropriate.
The lounge is equipped with an open kitchen that allows you to see the food being prepared for aesthetics and transparency. The staff is very welcoming and can communicate with you in three languages: French, English, and Arabic. The owners spend most of their time in the lounge and are bound to visit your table to make sure everything is going alright. It is also equipped with a terrace and a private room for special occasions including weddings, to private dinners and so on.
The food is prepared by a French chef providing a variety of dishes that incorporate intricately chosen ingredients. We tried their salmon and shrimp salad decorated with some avocado to add a rich texture. This quinoa-based salad gives you a continental mix of flavors, and most importantly, a movable cooking cart that works as a steak station where you get to see your food cooked right before your eyes. Desserts vary from creme brulee and an amazing chocolate fondant prepared by a professional French pastry chef to give you the true taste of French desserts. Finally, they have a great selection of non-alcoholic international cocktails, wines, and champagne, making you feel like you’re on vacation overseas.
The opening event of the lounge was on Monday 3rd of January. The place was packed with people enjoying their time at the Monkey’s lounge. When you arrive, you are welcomed with a non-alcoholic champagne glass with a floating raspberry and are then served a three-course meal including a light appetizer, a beautiful salad, and a tender steak over mashed potatoes. The dinner is topped with a freshly made crepe by the french crepe chef and an amazing chocolate fondant.
The night was bustling with entertaining music by DJ MaxL coming from France to play his favorite beats, as well as the talented Luyanna aka ‘The Bomba Latina’, with her exciting performance of Spanish songs that will get you dancing. Finally, a performance by Castro Najm, a Saudi singer that gave us an exciting version of Danza Kuduro in Arabic, which got the crowd on their feet and dancing to the famous beat.
The overall experience at The Monkey’s Lounge was a truly special one. From amazing service to the phenomenal music, as well as the delicious food and desserts, you will leave feeling joyous and with a night to remember. So pass by The Monkey’s Lounge and enjoy the experience; you won’t be disappointed.