After the excitement of a visit to the 1600 Pandas at a sweltering PMQ last week (in short: lots and lots of papier-mâché pandas. Not sure what else I can say, really), our gang of four intrepid adventurers were in need of a drink and some aircon, stat.
Having been not-so-subtly rejected entry by one of PMQ’s swankiest, and most social-media’d new eateries (hint: it’s kind of stupid to say that you’re not yet open when we can plainly see two other tables enjoying their coffee – just man up and own the fact that you don’t welcome kids if that’s the case), we trudged back up Aberdeen Street to Caine Road and the welcome sanctuary of Rosie Jean’s Café.
Self-styled as “Hong Kong’s first child-friendly café”, this cute little eatery is all for letting kids be kids, and the number of strollers parked outside on the day we visited confirmed it as a hit with Mid Levels mums looking for somewhere to relax with a coffee while their sprogs let loose.
Rosie Jean’s features a whole host of little person-pleasing features that parents will appreciate too, including:
- an indoor play area well-stocked with sturdy wooden toys and books
- a huge outdoor terrace (that was sadly a bit too hot for us to take advantage of during our visit)
- colouring placemats and crayons
- a little loo that toddlers can easily manage (extra brownie points for that very thoughtful touch)
- a fold-down changing table
- a menu that appeals to both adults and kids, with sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast items alongside small snacks like mini raisin boxes, teeny cupcakes, veggie sticks with hummus and yoghurt
- a phone charging station, along with 20 minutes of free wi-fi
- best of all – pay a mere $20 to use the adjoining Woodlands preschool playground each weekday after 4.45pm or throughout the weekend, thereby considerably extending your cappuccino-sipping time. Sheer genius.
The quirky vintage decor is casual and welcoming and there’s ample seating, especially when you take the vast terrace into account. The staff were extremely friendly and happy to chat to the kids, who by that time were risking life and limb with wooden kitchen implements. It’s pretty apparent that this place was conceived by a parent, as it’s basically your favourite local coffee shop, but child-proofed.
Being en route to a steak-frites lunch at La Vache! (meat sweats adding to our sweat-sweats), we stuck to cold drinks only and so I wasn’t able to fully review the food, but my sneaky peeks at a bagel and a quiche on the next table looked very promising, so I’ll be leaving space for lunch next time.
So thumbs up Rosie Jean’s. Other than Wong Chuk Hang’s Choice Cooperative, I’ve never seen anything quite this kid-friendly in Hong Kong, and certainly not in space-conscious Mid Levels. Come the cooler weather this place will be absolutely spot on for a leisurely afternoon without “I’m bored” cutting short your catch-up.
Opening hours: daily, 7.30am – 6pm
Rosie Jean’s Café, G/F 119 Caine Road, Central, Hong Kong; 2549 9718
Please note that we happily paid for our own drinks!
My question: how do they keep those paper mache pandas from mildewing in Hong Kong?
A very good question! I can only assume they’re well-varnished, especially as you can actually ‘adopt’ them after the event. Would be quite a downer if your kids’ favourite new toy turned to mulch once you got it home!
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