It’s never fun watching your best friends enjoy themselves while you sit patiently waiting for them to call it a day. Teetotallers and designated drivers will totally get this and depending of the length of their tether, they will let you know as their patience wears thin.
However, furry and feathered buddies are either far too dignified to respond or are the reason pet parents do not step out with their wards. While there is a noticeable increase in the number of pet-friendly cafes, restaurants and pubs, only a handful have a pet-specific bill of fare. There is also a tendency to guise pet tolerance as pet friendliness, which means your four-legged friend is welcome but not catered to.
According to Krishnapriya B, head of marketing, URU Bistro Park, the ingredients in their pet menu were cleared by a veterinarian. “We wanted to serve fresh and nutritious dishes; at the same time we didn’t want to inadvertently serve something that could be harmful,” she says, adding that their ‘bark bowls’ are a wholesome mix of rice and vegetables.
Since ‘you can’t take a goldfish for a walk’ or a cat for that matter, most pet-friendly places cater to a dog’s palate. Even so, Gold Rush Brews has the Fishy Fishy on their menu — steamed rice served with fish broth and fish balls with broccoli, beans and carrots — which should have most hard-to-please felines purring with delight.
As the Pet People Café is based on a plant-forward model, their menu for their four-footed guests also enjoy cruelty free dining with a range of mock meat dishes. “We have taken human-grade quality ingredients and made them safe for animal consumption after curating them for a pet palate, following a couple of trials. It’s true the ingredients might be few, but they are completely safe,” says Ambika Ramachandran, founder, Pet People Café.
While The Pet People Café has a special risotto and a fish-based dish, URU’s special is ‘pet beers’, chicken broth cooked with malt, frozen and served chill.
Wherever there is a pet-specific menu, there is a good mix of protein and fibre in these dishes. Boiled eggs, ground meat and vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin, spinach and peas, are served with rice or quinoa. Strawberries and blueberries are the most common fruits on pet menus.
At places such as Reservoire, Gawky Goose and Green Theory (on Residency Road), though there is no set menu for pets, the tried and tested options of boiled rice, chicken and assorted vegetables are available on request. “A few pet parents are particular about avoiding outside food as far as possible, which is why we don’t have a pre-set menu. However, we do provide a few pet-friendly staples of boiled chicken and vegetables, if customers require it,” says Robinson Lazar, general manager at Gawky Goose.
Just as hoomans relish dessert time, so do their four-legged friends. Gold Rush Brews hasFrosty Paws – a concoction of customised ice cream, apple, bacon and blueberries – to round off their meal with something sweet. Similarly, Pet People Café offers blueberry or mango ice cream made with Greek yoghurt.