If, like us, you’re a bit tired of the same old family-friendly food stops on heavy rotation then I hope this new blog series will be helpful! In this new monthly* kids dining column, I’ll be lining up three eateries – some new to the scene, some trusty old faves – that not only allow, but positively encourage you to visit with little people in tow.
(*subject to day job commitments, kid commitments and all-round life commitments).
Now, much as I’d love to test-drive each and every one of these in person, naptimes, bathroom disasters and full-blown tantrums mean it’s not always possible to get as far as booking, never mind showing up to, a restaurant in one piece with both kids, and so this is meant as a guide to what’s what, rather than a definitive review of the restaurants featured.
If you visit any of these places with your tribe, I’d love to know what you think, and please feel free to share this post with anyone you feel needs respite from YET ANOTHER plate of chips.
Here goes for June…
(Highchairs, baby changing facilities, kids’ menu)
Is there a child in the world that DOESN’T love pasta? I’ve yet to come across one, so this first restaurant is a shoe-in.
It’s not new, but Linguini Fini has been a solid option for those looking for casual, kid-friendly Italian dining since its original incarnation over at the L Place. Now in a prime spot on Elgin, within handy pushchair-dragging distance of the escalator, Linguini Fini have just launched an all-new happy hour with a tiny twist.
From Monday to Friday between 4-7pm, carb-loving kiddos under 12 chow down on the restaurant’s signatures for free when accompanied by an adult ordering from the à la carte menu. Dishes include tomato soup with mini grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese with a choice of all-beef hotdog or homemade chicken nuggets… and that classic kid-appeaser, spag bol.
Given that my kids rarely fuss with their food UNLESS I’VE PAID GOOD MONEY FOR IT, the fact that they’re eating for zip surely means clean plates all round. #wishfulthinking
49 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong; +2387 6338
HOME – Eat To Live
(Highchairs, kids’ menu)
If you try to steer the smalls towards veggies when eating out then HOME – Eat To Live might be up your street. This newly-launched restaurant has hopped on board the clean eating train (currently calling at all stations west of Wan Chai), and is pretty unusual in that the management have sensibly embraced families as part of an increasingly health-conscious target demographic – rather than simply assuming they’ll cause mayhem and bray for chips.
The Little Homies menu features baked sweet potatoes, vegan calzone (packed with nut cheese and veggies) and flat bread nachos, served with lemonade and a healthy sweet treat for afters. On first glance, the choices seem to have been well thought out, with enough familiarity on the menu that even picky eaters should be happy to give it a go.
(Big thanks to the gorgeous Green Queen ladies for letting me know about this fab kids’ menu!)
G/F, Nexxus Building, 77 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong; +852 2777 4777
(High chairs, kids’ menu, baby changing (select venues), play area)
Another oldie-but-goodie, Concept Creations has recently decided to focus solely on its flagship restaurant chain, Frites (I’m still mourning the loss of Chicha and THOSE SCALLOPS), offering huge spaces that are extremely well-suited to families looking for somewhere to relax over their meal, in particular at the weekend.
Every Saturday and Sunday, all four Frites branches roll out “Frites Cafe”, a soft-play space with enough to distract them for just long enough for you to finish your beer and moules in peace. Extra points for baby changing facilities at the Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay venues (not Quarry Bay).
Central: 1/F The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; 2217 6671
Wan Chai: Shop 6, 1/F Causeway Centre, 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2877 2422
Causeway Bay: G/F Park Haven, 38 Haven Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; 2142 5233
Quarry Bay: G/F Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Hong Kong; 2251 5188