Since this review was written, Black Mocha has closed their kids play room due to parents not behaving themselves!
Obviously we eat out at loads of places with our kids - Little Munch wouldn't exist if we didn't. Now I'm not saying the boys are angels but they are reasonably well behaved when we dine out. That is mainly because Mr Munch and I are fanatical about manners. We make sure the boys are well behaved; we make sure they keep their voices down when we are in a cafe; we make sure they say please and thank you; we make sure they tidy up any mess that they may make (or we do); we never ever changed their nappies at the table or in a play area when they were younger; and if they have a tantrum, we get the hell out of there! We don't have shining halos on top of our heads, we just believe in respect. Respecting other diners, respecting cafe owners and respecting someone else's property.
So I think it is kind of sad when parents don't respect a small business that is trying to provide a child friendly service for families such as that provided by Black Mocha in Turramurra. See this cafe ticks all of the Little Munch boxes - they have a great kids menu, they have a excellent little play room, they have room for prams, loads of high chairs and even a baby change table in their loo. Alas some customers have chosen to not respect the fact that Black Mocha has provided these child friendly facilities and basically treated the cafe like they were having a meal in their own home, where kids can do whatever they want. As a result the owners of Black Mocha are taking a stance and asking diners with unruly kids to either curtail their behaviour or leave. And I say - good on them!
Black Mocha is located on the seriously busy Pacific Highway at Turramurra. The best place to park if you don't live nearby is the Coles car park in Ray St, right behind the cafe. If you don't have a pram you can walk up the stairs from the car park into the cafe (just look for the Black Mocha sign). If you do have a pram, it is a reasonably easy walk around to the front entrance. The cafe has quite a homely feel to it, there are comfortable tables and chairs as well as some lounges down the back next to the play room, there is enough room to park your pram, but if all the other diners have their big prams to, the space may get congested. High chairs are also readily available. There are pretty botanical prints lining the walls and the tables have little posies of flowers on them - it reminds a bit of a comfortable lounge room that you would find in a country home.
We road-tested Black Mocha's menu at lunchtime. They have an excellent kids menu, and guess what? There isn't a chicken nugget in sight or a hot chip for that matter! And the most expensive item on the menu is $7 - bonus! Each menu item has a quirky name such as Gooey Snot Worms (cheese sandwich); Gold Snow (yoghurt & honey); Tiny Tasty Tree Top Monkey (bacon & fried egg on toast). Even the beverages have cool names so if you have an avid little reader like I do, they will be giggling their pants off at some of them. A babycino ($1.50) is otherwise known as a Mini Masterpiece and as I didn't have my babycino connoisseur with me, we didn't try it out. Instead my big boy had an Upside Down Polar Bear ($4) which was basically a hot chocolate with a marshmallow.
Now my 6 year old bambino is recovering from having his tonsils removed not so long ago. Some food tastes good to him and some tastes yuk, so I let him order the Sparkle Sky (aka fairy bread) presuming that it would taste more yum than yuk. Unfortunately he couldn't stomach it. Noticing that he had no sparkle after trying to eat his fairy bread, a lovely lady (I think she was the owner) came to see if there was a problem. As soon as she found out what was wrong with him, she looked at me and said "your son needs ice cream!" and before I knew it, he had a bowl of ice cream and topping in front of him and yep it tasted yum and not yuk. And the best bit was that the ice cream was gratis - that my friends, is hospitality at its best.
I was equally impressed with the adult's menu. If you suffer from gluten intolerance this is the cafe for you. I think two pages of the menu are dedicated to those with coeliac disease. Luckily for me I don't have any dietary problems (maybe if I did I wouldn't be so amply proportioned) so I chose off the "Delectable Lunch" menu. My Tahitian Lime Smashed Avocado, Tomato, Fetta & Mint on toasted sourdough was delicious ($15) as was my dining partner's Sparkling Clean Atlantic Water Norwegian Smoked Salmon Salad ($14). Both dishes looked beautiful and were delicious and I think a wee bit healthy. Some other examples on the menu are BLTs, bruschetta and quiches. If you are dining at breakfast the menu includes croissants, banana bread, scones, bircher muesli and scrambled eggs to name but a few. This menu ranges in price from $5 - $16.
At the end of lunch, my little man went and checked out the toy room whilst I inhaled a fix of caffeine. The Delano brew was excellent and it would have been perfect with one of the many sweet treats in Black Mocha's cake cabinet, however I showed restraint and didn't indulge. Meanwhile the 6 year old inspected all of the toys, announcing to me that they were for much younger kids than he, but for some funny reason he didn't want to leave - I don't think he is as grown up as he thinks he is! Just to let you know that at the entrance to the toy room there are signs asking parents to make sure they and their children respect the facilities that have been provided and also advise if children's bad behaviour upsets other diners then they will be asked to either quieten down or leave. It also states that there is a baby change table in the loo downstairs and to please not change a nappy anywhere in the cafe (apparently quite a few people have changed their babes nappies either in the toy room or on the lounges outside the room and actually left the nappies behind.....seriously parents?!).
My purpose in creating Little Munch was to find child friendly cafes such as Black Mocha for all of us to go to. I don't want Maccas to be the only place that I can go to get a caffeine fix and for the kids to have a play (BTW we should still act respectfully in the golden arches too). I know it is totally natural for all kids to be unruly (and yes my kids have had serious meltdowns in cafes and opened quite a few sugar packets over the years and then tried to inhale them), but it is our responsibility as parents to make sure our kids learn respect from an early age - if we don't, we all will end up in the park pushing those bloody swings with takeaways x
1305 Pacific Highway Turramurra
Open 7 days - from 7.30am weekdays & 8am w/ends