DIN­NER TIME

From food sa­faris in faux jun­gles through to Brazil­ian fine din­ing, there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one in Dubai – here’s Fri­day’s top six restaurants

Friday - - Travel -

Mon­keys chat­ter, a lion roars while an ele­phant trum­pets, mak­ing my lit­tle girl jump. As her eyes grow wider, light­ning thun­ders through the rain­for­est caus­ing fiveyear-old Anais to cling to her 11-yearold brother be­fore col­laps­ing into a fit of gig­gles. “Are they real wild an­i­mals?” she asks.

It’s hard to break the news that no, we’re not in the Ama­zo­nian jun­gle but rather in the Rain­for­est Café, deep in the heart of The Dubai Mall. We’re sur­rounded by walls of lush green veg­e­ta­tion and trop­i­cal flora and fauna, ceil­ings made of wind­ing creep­ers, and a ca­coph­ony of for­est sounds. It’s the ta­bles and chairs that re­mind us we’re in a restau­rant.

For the unini­ti­ated, the Rain­for­est Café is as fam­ily friendly as it gets with apes, snakes, and myr­iad jun­gle dwellers ap­pear­ing ev­ery time there’s a rain storm in the for­est, which is ev­ery 15 min­utes or so.

Al­though it’s the am­bi­ence that makes up much of the great ex­pe­ri­ence, it in no way over­shad­ows the vast menu that of­fers an ar­ray of frivolously named dishes like the Juras­sic chicken tit­bits, and Python pasta. Fol­low­ing the cus­tom of most Amer­i­can and Tex-Mex cui­sine ca­sual din­ing out­lets of its ilk, the Rain­for­est Café’s por­tion sizes are enor­mous, but they don’t skimp on the qual­ity.

There’s a wide choice of salad, soups and ap­pe­tiz­ers, sand­wiches and burg­ers to pick from but my kids es­pe­cially loved the Rag­ing Thun­der Buf­falo Wings with home­made blue cheese dress­ing (it counters the heat of the spices) from the en­trées. The Texas Style T-Bone served with sides of grilled veg­gies, sa­fari fries and bar­be­cue sauce is an en­tire course in it­self!

Since shar­ing is car­ing, we ended our meal on a sweet note by shar­ing the café’s leg­endary Sparkling Vol­cano desert among the fam­ily. It was a mas­sive mouth-wa­ter­ing ex­plo­sion of choco­late brown­ies loaded with ice cream and a sparkler on top, which the chil­dren dived into.

The Rain­for­est Café’s ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion – nes­tled right next to the aquar­ium – and per­fect mélange of en­ter­tain­ment and good food makes it the ideal place to end a fam­ily out­ing to the mall.

It’s a lit­tle pricey, but we de­cided that it’s as good as its Down­town Dis­ney coun­ter­part.

RAIN­FOR­EST CAFÉ

The Dubai Mall

CHILD FRIENDLY

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