The Jungle Café, decked out in its Amazonian best.
Tel.: 527 31 216
Credit Cards: Yes
Recommended: Our favorite
Jungle Café, the newest addition to Bratislava's evening life, has just opened its doors. Owned by a Slovak woman and two men, one American and one Danish, the café is a welcome refuge from the Slovak capital's teenage crowd, which is deterred by the pricy menu and the absence of raucous music.
Yes, Jungle Café's owners have resolved never to vex their customers with loud rock music blaring from an inferior sound system. Instead, events like the live-band Jazz Mondays are becoming a hit with a clientele that enjoys hanging out in a café rather than a sweaty drinking hole (the types of places known poetically in Slovak as "pajzel").
No effort has been spared to make this place look like a tropical hideaway. The café consists of 3 rooms on 2 floors, with plenty of dark corners and sputtering candles. The owners were originally toying with a Caribbean motif, but opted at the last moment for a South American idiom, splashed recklessly over the walls by students of the Fine Arts Faculty in Bratislava. Tables, chairs and even the orange loo have been attacked by a bold paint brush, while little Amazonian totems and symbols bedeck the walls.
Jungle Café is great for a quick lunch - they have a special lunch offer that runs from 11.30am to 2pm. And in the late afternoons, North American customers may weep with nostalgia at the sound of Happy Hour, which lasts generously from 5pm to 7pm. The staff will be there to dry your tears and commiserate with you in English.
Excellent meal choices range from Tarza chips to Enchiladas (beef or chicken, sauteed with Mexican spices and served in a soft tortilla with refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and rice). The Chili Con Carne is a credible attempt at the real thing, and Jane's favorite Cajun Chicken Strips will convince you that Jane knows a thing or two about chicken. On the other hand, the Oriental Chicken salad bears a very slender relationship to Asian cuisine .
But overall, if you like gouda, roquefort, spicy peanut sauce, anchovies and mangoes diced in fiery Cajun sauces, if you like to be surrounded by a clientele which isn't gasping over its first cigarette or being coarse for the sake of coarseness, if you need to get away from syrupy Pop Hits announced by tedious DJ's and bracketed by deafening commercial trex, then this is the place for you.