Enzo, the French bulldog, won hearts and applause as photographs of her staycation in December with her pet parent Elli Sulfi got splashed around in the media. Enzo flew on VistaJet, a pet-friendly private jet company that trains its cabin attendants to help animals cope with the fear of flying. 2021 took pet-friendly vacations to another level—from luxury cushioned beds for pets to destressing pet tea made of chamomile-ginger-echinacea. While India has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to pet-friendly spaces, metro cities have made a good start.
Bengaluru seems to have taken the lead with spaces that you can go with your pets. The Pet People Café in HSR Layout that comes ensconced in a cool New York vibe has many offerings for pets. Chef Abhijit Saha, who has in the past created iconic restaurants such as Caperberry and Fava in Bengaluru and Saha in Singapore, has given the café his futuristic and sustainable food philosophy and an international feel.
The brainchild of couple Santhosh Pasupuleti and Ambika Ramachandran, both pet lovers who are passionate about creating a one-stop shop for a holistic pet experience, this café will make you want to get a pet if you already don’t have one! Done up in vibrant shades of purple and gold, with paws trailing on the ceiling, big pet portraits with their humans on the walls, a range of pet accessories, food and apparel for pets, the café is a natural de-stress zone.
The menu mostly comprises plant-forward, clean food that is grown without the usage of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Chef Saha takes pride in the special vegan menu for the pets. Extensive use of superfood and nutrient-rich ingredients (traditional and new age) such as hemp hearts, hemp protein powder, avocado besides almond and oat mylk. Mylk is milk made from nuts or plants rather than produced by an animal. The cafe also houses the retail area, the grooming stations, the play areas, and the dining space and one can see huskies, beagles and kittens running in the pet area.
The menu has Eva’s Secret Risotto (made of goat milk, pumpkins and vegetables), Snows Ambrosia (made of mango ice cream which has lactose-free Greek yoghurt) and Jimmy’s Pancake (made of goatmilk and butter) that use special ingredients that are healthy for the pets’ guts. In fact, Saha calls it the Petmas Menu as they launched it during Christmas, and it is being offered till the first week of January!
Hotels too have geared up to make pet staycations a norm. If you are planning to treat your furry pals on a staycation or at home, then Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road has the amenities. The chefs have introduced a menu that includes chicken salad, banana honey smoothie, organic veggies feast, protein meals, apple crunch cake, to name a few. That their menu has sections such as Petty Drinks and Smell Something Leafy and Sweet Bone, we know they are serious about their food.
One of the popular things is the Puppucino, a Rs 99 beverage made of cream, condensed milk and whipped cream. Toasted Paws is another Rs 249 speciality made of lightly toasted bread with butter and topped with boiled egg, shares Ganapathy Mallya, the food and beverage director.
It may take a few more years before Indian cafes and hotels offer catnips and scratch poles. For now, it’s mylk and bagels for our furry kids.