A look inside Selva, the Entertainment District’s new jungle-themed neon dream with a menu by chef Nuit Regular
Name: Selva Toronto
Contact: 221 Richmond St. W., 416-979-3000, selvatoronto.com, @selvatoronto
Neighbourhood: Entertainment District
Owner: Oliver Geddes (The Fifth Social Club, RendezViews)
Executive chef: Nuit Regular (PAI, Kiin, By Chef Nuit, Sabai Sabai, and Sukhothai)
Seating: 100 (but can accommodate 520 for events); 100 more on their streetside and laneway patios
Covid-19 safety measures: Frequent sanitization, mask policy, hand sanitizer station at the door, proof of vaccination required and contact tracing.
Accessibility: There is a flight of stairs down to the basement space
The super-colourful space aims to transport diners and drinkers from the concrete jungle to something approximating the actual jungle. “Not everyone can escape to Costa Rica or afford to buy a cottage or vacation property,” said Geddes. “So, I started to work with this idea of escapism—being transported to a different dimension and having all of your senses overwhelmed.” The dining entire room—the floors, the walls, the ceiling—was treated as a canvas and covered with fluorescent murals, spray-painted by visual artists Clandestinos Art, the same team behind the artwork at RendezViews. The blacklight (everything old is new again) really makes it all pop. Selva opens Nov. 4, but they’re now taking reservations.
Share-friendly dishes that—thanks to a colourful riot of veggies, fruit salsas and edible flowers—are as visually captivating as the space they’re served in. The current menu includes various ceviches, grilled whole fish, Wagyu beef skewers, DIY taco plates, and vegan and keto-friendly dip platters. For dessert, there’s a sweet corn and butterfly pea flower gelato made in collaboration with Death in Venice Gelato. It’s not the Thai fare Regular is known for, but her own takes on South American dishes—with the odd Thai ingredient or cooking technique tossed in for good measure.
Nine cocktails on tap, including some classic creations and a few signature ones, like the Espresso Lion’s Mane made with Ketel One vodka, Galliano and PowerPlant Superfoods THINK coffee infused with lion’s mane mushrooms (no, not those kinds of mushrooms). There’s also a selection of beer on tap and in bottles, including a bunch of other stuff (boozy seltzers and gin-based sodas) from Collective Arts.