With a name like Twisted Monkey you expect one of Watford's newest bars to offer something different.

Set on the parade, from the outside it looks similar to many other high street watering holes.

But inside, not only is it much larger than expected, but they also seem to have gone for an east London vibe and it is full of quirky, tongue in cheek decor and you'll have fun finding lots of monkeys all around. The wall behind the gigantic bar is made from old doors with cleverly stacked crates and red fairy lights holding liquor bottles of all shapes and sizes, there is a large alcove at the rear papered with old books and the corridor to the toilets is painted in Willy Wonka candy stripes. The furniture is pretty rough and ready but when your main clientele is people jigging around with sticky drinks in their hands that makes good sense.

We were there early evening on a Friday and ordered several rounds of cocktails and found the strength and taste, particularly on the Mojitos, varied greatly depending on who was making them so perhaps the staff need a bit more training on the ingredients. The Espresso Martini however was a winner as were the voodoo heads and icy cold brass mugs used to serve up some of the drinks.

The kitchen is housed in a tiny silver caravan to the side of the bar and I guess they don't have room, or time, for washing up as food is served up in cardboard takeaway boxes which is a cute touch... I just hope they recycle.

Bar food doesn't have the best reputation, and scanning the menu of light bits such as spring rolls (£3.50) and kids meals (£3.50) like chicken nuggets, I admit my expectations were low.

Mains (£6-7) all come with salad, chips or rice and include a choice of a deluxe beef, chicken breast, mint lamb or veggie burger and I was shocked to find all of them were extremely tasty. The meat and the salad trimmings all seemed fresh and the beef version was perfectly pink inside. The brioche buns were a bit too sweet for my liking but they are all the rage at the moment. My friend raved about the skinny golden French fries all evening saying they were some of the best he had tasted and I had to agree. The chicken and vegetable stir fries arrived next and were piping hot, fragrant and extremely moreish.

None of the food seemed greasy and it had been thoughtfully cooked and was presented nicely.

In fact the quality, compared to price, almost seemed too good to be true so I returned the next week during the daytime for a second taste and was pleased to be able to give it another thumbs up.

Details: twistedmonkeywatford.com