Friday night saw the opening of the third Rainforest resto-bar at Veera Desai Road in Andheri West. While the interiors are pretty nicely done-up with an abundance of false foliage, a few waterfalls, huge rocks, creeping vines and a few strategically placed wild animals like a gigantic python, the tiger that greeted you at the entrance was a misfit simply because tigers don’t live in the rainforests.
However, there was more than enough feline presence to titillate the senses as designer Vikram Phadnis was hired to put up a fashion showing to mark the launch.
Some of Mumbai’s best-known top-models like Candice Pinto, Anchal Kumar, Sanea Sheikh and Megha Kawale, snaked their way through the crowd on a catwalk which had pug-marks on it, making for a super effect. We liked!
A number of the dresses Vikram showed were seen before at the launch of the new Audi cars last month at the Audi showroom, which was not even a few blocks away.
Of course, a number of celebrities were invited for the launch but strangely, most of them were senior people (not the types to hang-out at a Rainforest resto-bar) and many others, who have been out of the limelight for quite a while. One guest also rudely quipped, “Looks like a lot of antiques have been brought out for an airing!”
Singer Jagjit Singh bonded with Anoop Jalota…
….actor Shekhar Suman hung-out with politico Asif Bhamla….
comedian Raju Srivastava scared us with his freaky t’shirt and hairy arms – like what was he thinking…??
Actress Salma Aga was all smiles…. sometimes, a bit too smiley….
….and actor Chandrachur Singh came in with his brother Abhimanyu.
The actor then sat in the first row and got an up-close and personal look at all the luscious ladies walking the ramp.
Also among the senior-set were Shilpa Shetty’s parents, both of whom sat demurely in a corner and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible. We loved her mother’s saree and natural elegance.
The younger and more hip crowd of Alexx Oneil, Shama Sikandar, Hanif Hilal, Sonal Rawat and TV baddie Akashdeep Sehgal came in only after the fashion showing got over, which was rather late into the evening.
They didn’t hang out too long either because the place was over-crowded and had only one functional bar. If it wasn’t for the helpfulness of Kartik Jobanputra (who managed the event) in getting the celebrities and select media quick refreshments, it would have been a bit too chaotic to get a drink for ones-self from the bar.
Also spotted in the crowd were Ashok Datwani (of Shatranj Napoli fame) and his wife Payal, (who is incidentally the sister of model Anchal Kumar) and ex-Miss India Shriya Saran.
We particularly loved Shriya’s pretty pink sandals which she bought on a recent trip to Dubai.
Our verdict: While the Rainforest resto-bar is a great place to hang-out in terms of the ambience, we feel they need to brush up on the taste-factor of the food. The nibbles doing the rounds were too oily and the chicken tikkas were too burnt.
And please guys, try to avoid calling everybody and their mother-in-law for the opening night. It’s best to have a separate look-see evening for close family and friends rather than trying to cram hundreds of people in a small space along with media and celebrities. We know that they want to “rub shoulders” with the stars, but if the space is not sufficient it’s simply suffocating and impractical.