selva toronto

Toronto is getting a multi-sensory restaurant that's going to be really trippy

Toronto has lots of great restaurants to tantalize your sense of taste, but a new concept wants to engage all your senses so you feel transported out of this world.

Selva, which translates to "jungle," is opening for public service next month at 221 Richmond Street West, and is supposed to be not only a restobar but also an immersive art experience.

The concept comes to us from the same people at The Fifth behind the vibrant technicolour RendezViews patio, and piggybacks off its success.

The same artists who created the trippy rainbow installion at the massive parking lot patio, Clandestinos Art (Bruno Smoky + Shalak Attack), brought their talents inside to create a blacklight fantasy world that's as colourful at night as it is during the day.

The large space has a jungle theme with all kinds of tropical plants and animals will make you feel like you're dining in some kind of psychedelic poster.

You'll feel even more transported when what you're dining on is some of Toronto's best Thai food whipped up by local star chef Nuit Regular of Pai and Sukhothai, who's also collaborated with The Fifth before on RendezViews menus.

"There was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to showcase food as art, and we were thrilled when Chef Nuit and her team embraced that direction and made it their own," says Oliver Geddes, owner of Selva and The Fifth and co-founder of RendezViews.

"From the beginning she understood this idea of having an environment that feels as though you've been transported to another world, one where all of your senses are awoken."

The menu at Selva is intended to draw inspiration from the restaurant's tropical artwork and the cuisines of South America, which Regular explored during lockdown.

Options wills include ceviche, tacos, Wagyu beef skewers and whole fish that should be as artfully presented as the space, and there will be vegan, vegetarian and keto-friendly items.

"Growing up in northern Thailand, I was also surrounded by jungles and nature, so I wanted to find a connection between the cuisines of South American and Thai cuisine," says Regular.

"I wanted the menu to bring the two cultures together and connect people through food and art. Most of the dishes are small plates that are meant to be shared with the whole table."

Reservations for public service for dates starting Nov. 3 will go online on Oct. 24.

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