Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Eating with Children

Getting out with two little ones can be difficult, and sometimes it's one of those things we avoid altogether. When we found 'Chicken and Fishhead' it was a little too exciting. So exciting that we started frequenting the place almost every weekend. We've since gone cold turkey, but sometimes we do go - even just for a coffee.

I found that Bitton in Erskineville is a pretty cool spot for the kiddies. It features an outdoor courtyard area, plus a playroom including toys and a TV. What more could small fry want? Well. The mama could want more, because we went there in December Noah was a little car-sick. The waitress was not very accommodating and made me feel embarrassed cleaning up while she watched (there was no one else in that particular dining room - thank goodness!). A good lesson in humility. We left there in a hurry having barely eaten anything.

Kam Fook in Chatswood is a BIG winner. The noise and general happenings are enough to detract from your own noise-makers, and there's enough going on around that Noah is entertained enough to keep him seated at least for dinner. We try to get there early on a Saturday so we get served quickly. The crabs and fish are also easy entertainment, and there's a great Borders right next door. Too easy.

Fish and chips at Balmoral is a winner with our whole family. It combines sand play, seagulls and great fish & chips. Especially on Sunday afternoons in summer, it's a great place to head and kick back, take a dip and then head off into the sunset.

Today's Good Living (SMH) features 'Meals and Squeals' uncovering Sydney's child-friendly restaurants. It's got a pretty good cross-section of places to discover without feeling like a social pariah, and without fearing putting child-less diners off their dinner.

It's certainly different to being relegated to cafes such as the one featured in Kids Central. Bad coffee, below-average food. Might be a novelty for a little while, but it's just not got a good vibe. It's just a shonky little cafe stuck in the middle of a kids shop.

Another family-friendly place is the little cafe in Rushcutter's Bay Park.. The same one where Todd McKenney was found passed out. Well, him aside, it's a good place for babies to go wild. There are loads of ride-on vehicles, toys, and boats in the harbour. Baby-cinos aplenty.. I haven't been there for some time, but it's a nice spot to meet friends.

Wouldn't it be great to compile an on-line list of child-friendly cafes? If you know of any, please leave in the comments below and I'll compile them into one big happy family list.

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