The Rainforest Cafe experience is highly kitschy, unique and appealing to the senses. I remember when the restaurant used to have multiple locations in  Toronto and my family often went when I was younger. I even attended a birthday party there which is an experience I’ll never forget. Unfortunately, the only two places left to experience it in Canada is either in the Niagara Falls area or at Yorkdale mall. On another shopping trip, my family decided to head over to Yorkdale mall which instinctively created a craving for both my sister and I to eat their famous dessert. With most franchised restaurants, the menu doesn’t have highly unusual food but it remains fairly consistent and hits the spot when you’re hungry.

Their menu changes from time to time to keep things new and innovative but one classic remains; the volcano. Their iconic volcano dessert never slips my mind and there are many days where I’m left craving the luscious dessert. I would have gladly just eaten the dessert but the family decided to make a meal out of the entire thing and see what was on the menu. A favourite of my parents had sadly disappeared on the menu so we decided on two other dishes. We shared the food so that we could save  room for the highly filling dessert.

This was the Rasta Pasta ($18.99). It was a little overpriced if you want my opinion. Penne pasta in a creamy pesto alfredo sauce with vegetables and chicken. It was fairly delicious. It was very creamy with a sufficient amount of sauce and seafood. The bread that came with it was perfect for picking up the last bits of sauce. It arrived at our table warm and was devoured pretty quickly. I’m not typically a fan of heavily sauced pasta as I prefer less dressed pasta but it’s nice to change things up every once in a while. It was definitely a heavy dish.

This was the Mojo Bones ($27.99). I believe it was the full rack but I always find that unless you’re at a dedicated rib restaurant, the portioning just isn’t enough. I have such a craving for ribs all the time. It’s one of those foods I can’t turn down and always want more of despite being rather unhealthy for you.  These  were tender and flavourful but not at as large as shown in the picture. Certainly overpriced in my opinion since I can similar ones at home for much less. They were a little greasy and fatty but I suppose you can’t expect much from ribs. The sauce wasn’t anything spectacular but still tasty. It came with fries and coleslaw which was also devoured quickly by everyone.

Since it wasn’t as much food as we’d typically get for the four of us (especially for a shopping escapade), we were more than ready for dessert. And what better dessert to get than the volcano.

As you can seen, it’s a rather expensive dessert. Is it worth it? When it’s exactly what you’re craving, getting it is priceless but typically probably not. Keep in mind it is a big dessert typically shared by multiple people. I recall that my family didn’t even get to finish it all in the end as it was just too much. Definitely not something you should get on a regular basis.

As mentioned on the menu, the volcano dessert consists of big brownie chunks surrounding big dollops of ice cream and whipped cream topped off with caramel and chocolate sauce. Total yum right? When they present it to you, it comes with a sparkler and they yell out loudly “volcaaaaaaanoooooo” to ensure that everyone knows you’re about to eat it. It’s nothing overly unique and easily replicated at home.

Service was acceptable. When our server was there, he was attentive and provided what we needed. However, it took a touch too long to get a hold of him when he wasn’t serving our food. There was a rather large child’s birthday party close by to us so that might have been the reason for the slight delay. They staff was certainly polite and friendly.

Atmosphere at the Rainforest cafe is unique as previously mentioned. You’re surrounded by robotic animals that make noise and come to live in timed intervals. The place is surrounded with plastic and some real plants. There are fish in large aquariums around the restaurant and in the centre of the ceiling there is a lighted night sky complete with shooting stars. Every half hour or so, a simulated thunderstorm occurs and the whole restaurant comes alive. Its fun and interesting and certainly a treat for the eyes. Outside of the main restaurant there is a gift shop where you can buy different items to commemorate your visit as most other touristic food stops include.

Overall, the Rainforest cafe is a pleasant experience for myself and my family. It’s certainly not something we often return to but every once in a while should the mood arise, it makes for a nostalgic and fun dining experience. If you get the opportunity, go experience it for yourself. Happy eating!

Yorkdale Mall
3401 Dufferin Street, Section B11
Toronto, ON  M6A 3A1

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