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Born Wild

As far as the city’s culinary map goes,themes in restaurants have been restricted to the menu only.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Published: September 25, 2011 3:05:48 am

The city’s first jungle-themed restaurant,Rainforest,is high on ambience but a tad low on menu

As far as the city’s culinary map goes,themes in restaurants have been restricted to the menu only. But when it comes to the ambience,not many have been adventurous. Mandarin lamps at Chinese restaurants,sleeping Buddha curios at Oriental diners and modern art on the walls in restaurants offering Continental fare has been the norm. In that sense,Rainforest,Hotel Shivalik View’s new restaurant and bar,makes quite a statement.

With a clear aim to attract young diners and private parties,Rainforest is a theme-based eatery that truly lives up to its name. Walk past the wooden doors and sounds of birds and animals,coupled with a waterfall,greet you. There’s a tree (not a real one though) right in the middle of the stone-floored restaurant with a huge snake,the Anaconda,(thankfully,not real) menacingly wrapped around a branch.

Once you’ve walked past the Anaconda and a seven-foot crocodile,you begin to start liking the effort. It’s definitely a place that four-year-olds will love,but for grown-ups,the real thrill is in the view from the sixth floor and the fact that all the animals are in a restaurant and not the city museum.

Adding to the flora and fauna of Rainforest are trees and bushes in the corners all teaming with faux wildlife — we spotted macaws,meerkats,langurs and a giant-size gorilla seated on a bench,and we feel he will do what Ronald does on McDonalds benches — posing with people. There’s also a huge aquarium alongside a more private seating area for those looking to throw a Tarzan and Jane-themed luncheon. The bar at one end with elephant heads as bar stools completes the look. The animals actually come close to looking like the real thing. Also sticking to the theme,all the upholstery in the restaurant is in tiger print.

The menu,however,is snacky at the moment and there’s a lot of emphasis on seafood. Try the Crawling Crabs seasoned with mint sauce or the Chef’s speciality — the Murgh Banarsi Bhinda. It’s essentially a chicken kebab marinated in betel leaves and cooked in a clay oven. A vegetarian version with cottage cheese is also available.

As you admire the brilliantly coloured Macau under the spotlight,you can dig into fiery Bharwan Chillies that come stuffed with khumani and are out from the tandoor.

Considering there will be children who will drag their parents here,french fries and mini burgers can be future additions on the menu. And yes,all the stewards are dressed like animals too. That could have been avoided. But then getting a bear to serve you beer can be quite a novelty.

Meal for two: Rs 1,000 (with alcohol)

Location: Hotel Shivalik View,

Sector 17,Chandigarh

Contact: 0172- 2700001

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