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It’s A Dog’s Life

If you’re a Bangalorean dog, life couldn’t get any better, what with five-star hotels creating special buffets… only for you.

Every dog has its day. And it seems like one day just isn’t enough. So back by popular demand (a few loud bow-wows, most likely), the Canine Brunch was back this Sunday, July 7 at Taj Vivanta.

GM Vinod Valson, a pet owner and daddy to Viskey (who was at the luncheon, naturally), says, “Bangaloreans love their pets. This is the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon and enjoy brunch with our pets.”

While the first edition of Canine Brunch saw a few more furry guests, this time, there were thirteen dogs and their owners. The hotel is the only one in Bangalore that allows pets, although there are a few restaurants that let you bring your four-legged companions, when you’re out eating.

It was Surabhi Ganguly’s first time at the Canine Brunch and she seemed to be having a terrific time. So was her pet Collie. “Vivanta’s pet-friendly policy is a good initiative. I hate to go out without my pets. This gives my dog a chance to come to a five-star hotel and enjoy a delicious buffet.”

Besides socialising with other pet owners, guests also gained some expert tips on grooming, as the hotel brought in the expertise of Paw and Claw -The Canine Club. It is Bangalore’s only pet club. Guests were briefed on diet, exercise, grooming and training for their pets. Paw and Claw was responsible for crafting the menu and maintaining control of the animals, in case the animals decided they didn’t like each other after all.

The doggie menu was carefully formulated by a canine dietician, with a healthy spread including steamed vegetarian balls (with carrot, green beans, cabbage and spinach), regular sausages, lamb and sweet potato patties with rice crispies, semolina and potato gnocchi with vegetables and milk sauce, veal bones and clear leek broth with garlic croute and many more dishes.
The four-legged guests were also treated to any array of dishes from osso bucco with cous-cous and parsley, a sausage medley with tomatoes and caramelised onions and paella.

Byravi Padmaraju, another guest, mentioned that she and her cocker spaniel, were there for the second time. “Vivanta was launched as a pet friendly hotel. They had their first edition of this exclusive Canine Brunch eight months back. I had a wonderful afternoon the last time and Taj Vivanta hasn’t disappointed this time around either. It gives our dogs a chance to socialise with the added perk of a buffet spread at a five star hotel. Not many dogs get to enjoy that luxury.”

Praveena Sake, another guest was delighted too. “It’s the perfect brunch for dog-lovers. I get a buffet and so does Tuk Tuk. We’re coming back for sure. They should have it more often, perhaps as a monthly event. A few other restaurants do allow dogs. But Vivanta’s initiative is innovative. Our dogs are groomed, they get to socialise, and as owners, we can exchange tips and ideas in taking care of our pets while we enjoy a spread of quality.”

Meghana Mathur, the wife of chef Siddhartha, who works at the Taj, a first time guest along with her pet Crusoe, agreed. “There aren’t many places where you can go with your pet to have a meal. What strikes me the most is the thought behind the event. It is evident that a lot of effort has gone into this brunch, from the menu to the activities.”

Did she worry about the dogs attacking each other, we wondered. “Dogs are social beings. Ordinarily, they do not get into any trouble.”

Despite a lower turn out this time, Valson is positive and optimistic about the initiative. He says, “It’s not common that one would find a chef-made menu for pets. It’s back because of popular demand and its something worth repeating.”