Welcome to the Rainforest where everything is green, fresh and exciting! Located on the Ground floor of the Dubai Mall, right next to the Aquarium is this beautiful cafe that takes you through a wild journey of eating and shopping!
I am quite new to Dubai and though I am not a tourist I definitely feel like one most of the times. There is just so much to see and so many things to do and I am still adapting to this city as my own. We met with friends who were over for just a day in Dubai as a layover for their next flight. I could not think of a better place to invite them for dinner with beautiful views of the Dubai fountain against the backdrop of Burj Khalifa followed by a walk through the busiest mall here. As we made plans to eat, we decided to stroll around looking for options. No sooner had we reached the Aquarium than we were drawn in to check out the cafe that’s just a hop, skip and jump away from it. Take a stroll through the Aquarium and you are excitedly beckoned to your childhood fascination for viewing these underwater creatures. The cafe continues to build the mood with their jungle theme.
We were given a small piece of paper with our name and the number of people to be seated at the table. As you enter, there is a gift shop to pick up soft toys and action figures for the kids. There are little paw prints on the floor that you follow to get to the cafe inside. Make sure that you keep your eyes and ears open for it is thrilling to walk in and discover the surroundings for the first time. They have many elements that help build the theme with ancient jungle ruins and plant growth. With a snake hanging right above your head rattling to greet you as you enter the restaurant to leopard perched on a high tree, a group of gorillas crouched on various tree tops to elephants standing in the jungle, there are many animals around for you to discover. The whole cafe has definitely nailed the rain forest theme and have a beautifully lit ceiling to resemble a starry night sky. Not only this, but the place is interactive as well where the animals come to life every 15-20 mins. Its exciting to catch their movements with supporting sounds and lights as they move and make interesting noises that makes for a fun watch for children and adults alike. you also get a small view of the aquarium inside as well and the place is definitely a feast for your eyes.
They have wooden themed interiors with a spacious interior filled with seating options. We managed to get ourselves a circular booth and settled in. The seating was a little tight as we all tried to squeeze in with our little tummies around the table. The servers are dressed in complete jungle wear attire with khaki shirts and pants. They are energetic in their demeanor and serve you with a smile. Not only this but I had atleast 2-3 of them stopping over to check up on us during the meal which was nice.
Get Set Gobble:
First things first, we went with the drinks and got a couple of options. My mum and her friend ordered the Blue Nile that was a mix of Blue Curacao syrup, lemon juice and sprite with a cherry. Mum’s friends daughter went for the Raspberry Lemonade freeze which looked quite good. However after a few sips she found it a little too sweet. She admit to having a sweet tooth but even then the drink was on the sweeter side for her. I ordered myself the Mocha Java freeze that was a rich blend of chocolate with fresh cream and premium espresso. It was quite delicious and pretty filling as well.
They have an array of dishes with a good menu selection. We took quite a while to narrow down our final choices as we kept selecting every dish we read over the last one :-P. So my mom and me decided to share and ordered the Tomato Basil soup and the Awesome Appetizer Adventure. The soup was slightly thick in texture and had great flavours of basil through it. It was served with a large slice of bread that my mum almost mistook for cake :-P. The platter was quite huge and four small portions of the Chimi-cha-chas that were like little chicken filled burritos, Chicken tender that were strips of chicken which had been crumbed and deep fried, Cheese sticks that were golden fried cheese croquettes and the Spinach and Artichoke dip that was baked with cheese and served with tri-coloured tortilla chips. this came with some guacamole, marinara and coconut curry sauce. The curry sauce was absolutely divine!
Mum’s friend and her two kids all went for the Caribbean Coconut Shrimp! The shrimp is rolled in coconut and fried to a golden brown perfection. It is a served with a coleslaw, mango sauce and side of your choice. they got all the three options which was the mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and french fries.
There was just too much to eat and I really struggled trying to finish everything on my plate. Well the platter did say it was ideal for two or more :-D. I decided to get the remaining stuff to go but when I opened the box later on, I was sad to see that they had not packed any of the spinach dip along with the nachos.
Overall the portion sizes are quite good but I did feel it was a pricey meal for the food we ate. Definitely worth a one time and visit and if you have kids, they are gonna have a ball here! I saw lots of kids running around as the animals came to life or others celebrating their birthdays. the servers walk in a group with musical instruments and a cake to the table and played a non-traditional happy birthday tune that was catchy and we all clapped to it. Definitely made me think twice about venue choices for my next birthday 😛