Rainforest Cafes are now world famous; a brand that has positioned itself as a theme restaurant – with a focus on fun rather than serving fine cuisine. Imagine eating in a restaurant surrounded by animatronic animals from every corner of the planet, including a life size crocodile at the entrance. Throughout your meal there will be thunderstorms, bird calls, cricket noises to really make you feel you’ve stumbled into the Amazon Rainforest in the world’s largest mall. The Rainforest Cafe is a joint to entertain the family, not for valentines day with the other half.
The location of the cafe is perfect in Dubai; right behind the massive aquarium, the only real wildlife you’ll see. There is a large merchandise shop as you walk through to the jungle themed restaurant, complete with bamboo chairs and tables for that Swiss Family Robinson effect. Kids are further catered for with a large colouring/activity book and colouring pencils.
The menu is your usual American style grill food, with some creamy pasta dishes thrown into the mix. As you’d expect it’s not a place to visit when you’re on a diet; even though many of the dishes have a natural sounding description. I decided to skip a starter, having eyed up a large chocolate ice cream cake combination on the desert menu, and went straight for the Fajitas. The beef was well cooked, and quite amazingly tender – melted in the mouth once you’ve filled the warm tortillas. You may think that food quality would be sacrificed with the surroundings, but that’s not the case.
Feeling already full, I was determined to try out the signature desert. The Volcano arrived; it was huge and had sparklers topping off a combination of chocolate brownies, ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce, whipped cream and probably some other sugar filled sauce that I couldn’t identify. The brownies were fresh and warm; the ice cream of good quality.
The drinks menu, as with all restaurants in the mall; dry, was again jungle themed. Creatively named mocktails, a full range of soda and warm drinks make for a complete menu. In combination with professional, informal yet a little distant service makes Rainforest Cafe a ‘must visit’ for the family in Dubai.