I have a new cafe crush in the Eastern Suburbs. It's the delightfully quirky Lion & Buffalo down in South Coogee. This cafe not only serves up excellent coffee and food, but is run by some of the friendliest people I've met working in a cafe, in a long time. And to top it all off, they create one of Sydney's best babycinos!
The Lion & Buffalo is named after the star signs of the owners and you will find this star of a cafe on a corner block on busy Malabar Rd. There is a reasonable amount of street parking around the cafe (well there was on a Sunday morning when we visited), and there's also a bus stop right at the front door. We dined at the Lion & Buffalo on the weekend of their 1st birthday, and the place was decked out in balloons and other decorations which impressed our little lads immensely. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and there is a nice patch of green grass in front of the cafe as well - so bring your fur babies along too.
The interior walls of the Lion & Buffalo are painted with fabulous big murals and it is furnished with recycled timber tables and chairs, which makes for a very eclectic atmosphere. The inside of the cafe is not really that pram friendly, so my advice to you is to leave the pram at home or in the car, and wear your bambino - high chairs are also available. Otherwise pull up a pew at one of the outside tables (blankets and heaters are available for cooler days). The morning we dined, two different sets of bleary eyed parents attempted to park their tractor sized prams inside (and the place was full). This resulted in a bit of mayhem, as no one could move (staff or fellow diners) as the mini tractors had blocked all of the routes to the front door. However the obliging staff did everything possible to accommodate them, which deserves a big tick.
The Lion & Buffalo has a sweet looking courtyard garden out the back, and they are currently waiting on council approval for diners to be able to use this space. When this comes through it will be the perfect spot for fambams to sit on a sunny day that's for sure. There are his and hers toilets at the back of the cafe near the kitchen, but they don't contain a baby change table as they are on the smallish side.
The baristas at the Lion & Buffalo create some of the most gorgeous babycinos we have seen in a long time. Each day the designs change according to the whim of the brilliant barista. Our boys received a cute little mushroom on top of theirs, and it was accompanied by a marshmallow and sprinkes. I've also seen the Loch Ness Monster, Dragons and all sorts of other creations on top. And the baristas are also well trained in the art of brewing coffee, as the flat whites we had were most definitely on the superior side! They use Single Origin Roasters beans and the cute little cookie on the side of the coffee is always a welcome gesture.
The All Day Menu at the Lion & Buffalo is full of many delicious items as well as one item specifically for kids - a poached egg on toast ($6). There is also toast with spreads on the main menu as well as some tasty looking baked goodies on the front counter for your babes to munch on. And if your kidlets have outgrown the babycino stage, there is a milo milk ($4.50) on the drinks menu as well as shakes and hot chocolates to keep them hydrated.
There is a bit of a Polish influence on the menu (so I'm presuming the owners hail from that part of the world). All of the meals are reasonably priced considering the size of the serves that came out of the kitchen. The good old bacon & eggs come with perfect crispy bacon and 3 slices of Iggy Sourdough toast. There's also avo smash, porridge, the big breakfast, granola and a BAE roll to kick start your day.
I'm normally a savoury kind of gal first thing in the morning, but for some reason I went with a sweet option for breakfast and gosh I'm glad I did! It was a combination of orange and cinnamon french toast served with caramelised bananas, coconut mascarpone and candied oranges and it was pure deliciousness - the boys even helped me out to eat it, so you could definitely order one to share between kids.
If you dine at lunch time there's a Wagyu steak sandwich and 15 hour braised lamb on offer for the carnivores, a roasted cauliflower salad for the vegetarians and a smoked salmon plate for the pescatarians. And for dessert I would definitely try the Baffagato - ice cream, coffee & a caramel biscuit!
The Lion & Buffalo is definitely a community cafe. All of the locals are known by name as are their orders. But even us "out of towners" were made to feel so very welcome - so much so we received a cute little birthday present from the owner for visiting the Lion & Buffalo on its birthday! So "Twoje zdrowie" Lion & Buffalo (which I hope means "cheers" in Polish, but I could be wrong), and may you have many more birthdays x
203 Malabar Rd, Coogee NSW
0447 685 466
Open 7 days: 7am - 3pm
Sydney has loads of family friendly pubs, especially out in my backyard of Sydney - the Hills District. However surprisingly, the Eastern Suburbs only have a handful. But there's a new kid on the block and I think you are all going to like it. Little Munchers please let me introduce you to the 'Backyard Italian' which has just recently swung open its doors in the old Glasshouse Hotel in Maroubra Junction.
The Backyard Italian is located on the very busy Anzac Parade, but don't worry, there is heaps of parking just around the corner in Green St. If you have a pram or are wearing ultra high heels, I recommend that you enter the Backyard Italian from the lifts in the carpark. There is a big set of stairs going down into the Backyard from the main entrance on Anzac Parade, which may be tricky to lugg a pram up and down, and those steps also pose some horizontal challenges for your Jimmy Choos!
Once you are inside the Backyard Italian you will be directed to the Family Room if you are dining with kidlets. The Backyard Italian is inspired by long meals in the backyard of your neighbours or nonna's house. A place where everyone turns up to relax, chew the fat over a beer or two, and enjoy good food whilst the kids play. And this is exactly what happens in the "Family Room" at the Backyard.
The Backyard Italian has a few different spaces. The Family Room is for those of us who are dining with kids. This area is seperated from the rest of the Backyard by big glass doors. It kind of reminds me of Christmas time, when all the extended fambam arrives and there is one table for the grown ups and the other for the kids. Out in the main part of the Backyard is where all of the grown ups (without kids) sit. There are bright stripey cane lounges, a backyard fence, faux grass and olive trees, as well as murals all over the walls depicting scenes of Sydney backyards, complete with the flying kangaroo in the sky. Dad even has his own shed out here, actually it's called the Tin Shed and it's a dining space for over 16's.
In the Family Dining Room there is a cute kids play area that has an ocean theme, complete with a pirate ship! There is also a TV in this room for children to watch. And there's a fish & chip shop out in the dining area too, where little ones can kick start their hospitality training! Coming in the near future will be face painting, an animal farm and also a disco just for kidlets - the disco ball is already in place and was spinning around when we dined at lunch time on a Sunday. So our little people are well looked after that's for sure.
Other family friendly amenities in the family room include excellent toilet facilites complete with a baby change table, high chairs, and plenty of space to park your pram. There's also a bar in here (which isn't always open) and there's a self help water station on the bar too. If the bar is closed you have to go out to the main bar to order your drinks, and then spearately to the main bistro area to order your food. The waitstaff will bring the food to your table in the Family Room when it is ready.
Ankle Biters have their very own menu which is great value at $10.00, as it includes the meal, a soft drink and a tub of gelato. The meals include Penne with Bolognaise or Boscaiola Sauce, Crumbed Chicken Tenders with Chips, or Battered Fish & Chips. Our lads sampled the Bolognaise and the Chicken Tenders. Firstly, the Bologniase is sublime. My spag bol made with a jar of Dolmio just doesn't compare, probably beacuse the Backyard's version is just how Nonna would make it - a beautiful slow cooked ragu oozing with tender pulled meat in a delicious rich tomato sauce. And the Tenders were seriously tender and crunchy, and most definitely weren't just pulled out of the deep freeze by the chef and thrown into the deep fryer, as so many pubs like to do.
The soft drink included in the price comes in a kid friendly melamine cup, and kidlets can choose between vanilla or chocolate gelato for their sweet treat at the end of the meal.
The day we dined at the Backyard Italian there was a huge Italian family also lunching and they ordered up big, especially loads of the share plates which included Bruschetta, Calamari, Arancini, Olives and Anchovies (that are served straight from the tin with crusty bread and sun dried tomatoes). They were obviously going to graze the afternoon away, and when we visit again that is exactly what we'll do, as all of the share plates looked amazing.
The rest of the menu at the Backyard Italian covers all of your Italian favourites with a few good old Aussie favourites thrown in for good measure. There are all sorts of Pastas and Pizzas (we can defintely recommend the Spaghetti Marinara and also the Supreme Pizza that has an extra crispy base) as well as healthy sounding Salads, Parmigianas and loads of different protein dishes - Lamb Shanks, Peroni Battered Fish & Chips, Slow Roasted Pork Belly, and Steaks. The main menu ranges in price from $15 - $28, and from Wed - Fri they have Express Lunches for $12.
So parents of the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, you now have another excellent family friendly joint to hang out with your fellow breeders. Mid week it's the perfect spot to catch up with your mums group for lunch and a sneaky vino, and on weekends you can gather the extended fambam together and have a long lazy lunch Italian style in someone else's backyard, that way no one needs to wash up!
So my dear Little Munchers, what's your favourite kid friendly pub in the East? Is there some hidden gem that we don't all know about??
832 Anzac pde, Maroubra NSW
02 9314 1800
Open 7 days from 12.00pm
Bookings recommended on weekends!
Danny's is an eastern suburbs institution! Pre- kidlets when we lived over that way, it was our go to restaurant when we wanted a decent feed of seafood. But since that time we haven't been back, so we decided to give it the Little Munch once over and headed east once again with the boys, for a Sunday lunch as we heard a snake man was lurking close by!
Danny's occupies a perfect position with views over the water at La Perouse. On the ground floor they have a casual cafe and take away fish & chippery, and on the first floor you will find their seafood restaurant. There is a car park specifically for restaurant patrons underneath the building too. Now there are a few stairs to be climbed to get up into the restaurant, so if you want to bring your pram along and need help to get it up the stairs, just ask one of the members of staff to come and help you. Once you are in the restaurant there is room to park your pram next to your table, and they also have high chairs available.
There is seating both inside and out at Dannys, with the outdoor tables being the most popular as they have the views. The tables have white sheets of paper on top of table cloths, so make sure you take along some pens and pencils so that your kidlets can doodle or play some tic tac toe, that way they will be entertained whilst you enjoy your lunch.
Kids have two options for their meal (there isn't an actual kids menu, the staff just told us what the options were). The first option was nuggets & chips which my boys chose. And as I was paying too much attention to the wine list (which is very decent by the way), I missed what the second option was - I'm thinking it was fish & chips. The portion sizes were decent and to finish off their meal, the lads had icecream. The friendly staff took them over to the gelato counter so that they could choose their very own flavour. The boys just drank table water whilst we were at Danny's, however there are both soft drinks and juices available for children.
The adults in our group ordered a seafood platter to share and it was fabulous - too much for all of us to eat. All of the seafood tasted so fresh, and the boys loved eating all of the fruit that was on the plate as well as the hot chippies - in hindsight we probably didn't need to order them their own meals! There was crab, lobster, prawnies, oysters, scallops and more to feast on. To accompany our platter we had a big bowl of zesty Greek salad, as well as some garlic bread and bruschetta. It was the perfect meal for a long and lazy Sunday lunch, that's for sure.
Now we didn't need dessert but the wait staff did too good a job of convincing us we did, so we went with Boozy Strawberries and Cream, as well as a slice of Malteser Cheesecake. And they had to practically roll us out of there! The desserts were luscious and calorific, and I was glad we only ordered them to share.
If you need to use the loos after your meal, you will find them inside the restaurant near the kitchen. They don't contain a baby change table and they are in need of a bit of a spruce up - but I am very fussy about my loos!
In case you haven't been to La Perouse before, I'll give you a quick run down on what there is to do after your meal at Danny's:
La Perouse provides a great day out for families (especially on Sundays), and is defintely worth the drive no matter where in Sydney you call home. And as you can see from the pic below, someone didn't want to go home...no matter how hard his big brother tried to convince him!!
Open 7 days from 11am til late
1605 Anzac Pde, La Perouse NSW
So many eateries these days do not take reservations which can make life difficult when dining out with children. There is nothing worse than waiting in a huge queue, when you have impatient little people with you. So when we decided to go out for a Sunday family lunch last weekend, I had three prerequisites:
1. The place had to take reservations
2. It had to be in a suburb that we hadn't reviewed before and near the beach so that we could go for a dip afterwards
3. It had to be kid friendly (obviously)
After a great deal of forensic investigation and analysis (watch out CSI...), I came up with Shuk. A cafe/bakery/deli that is located in North Bondi (which is about a 3 min drive from the iconic Bondi Beach). The cafe has a play area and best of all you can make an online booking - which is exactly what I did, the day before we wanted to dine, requesting a table near the play area out the back.
Shuk occupies a corner position in a lovely old art deco building, in the back suburban streets of North Bondi. Parking is at a premium here, especially on weekends so just be prepared to walk a bit if you arrive at peak dining time (a good opportunity to get those steps up!). There is also a bus stop right outside the cafe, with the number 389 bus to/from the city stopping there. When we arrived at midday, Shuk was packed to the rafters - this is one popular dining spot. After standing around for a while at the "please be wait to be seated" sign, a very relaxed young chappy came along to help us. I explained that we had a booking and asked if it was ok to be near the play area which is at the back of the cafe. When he stared blankly back at me, I realised that I had made the booking in vain. He knew of no such booking, but he still did his best to accommodate us.
Shuk's small play area/garden has a few tables in it, with one being right in the fenced off play area. These were all taken except for a small table in the sun (which we decided against as it was too hot) so luckily there was one table left on the outside of the cafe for our little fambam - which was fully shaded. The outside tables and the garden area all have space for prams and Shuk also has a decent number of high chairs available. The play area is a cute little space with a chalk board and toys suitable for smaller people like toddlers - it also has a sun sail over it. I'm also pleased to report that there is a baby change table available out here too. Also it is full table service so you don't have to leave the area at all. If you sit outside make sure you keep an eye on wandering kids as the streets surrounding Shuk are quite busy with traffic. There is indoor seating as well at Shuk, but there definitely isn't any space in here for prams when the place is full.
Leaving the first little arrival hiccup aside, I cannot fault the service at Shuk. The staff are young and lively, and the food and drinks came out really quickly from the kitchen despite the place being so full. There is a small menu for kids featuring a boiled egg with sourdough toast ($7); chicken schnitzel with chippies ($12); or chips & sauce ($7). The schnitzel & chips is a very decent size meal, so our boys just shared one serve between them. For drinks they have freshly squeezed orange juice for little people, that comes in a cute glass jar (although I did see juices being delivered to the play area which were in disposable cups). Babycinos are available, as is table water.
Now lets talk about us bigger people. The food is a fusion of Israeli and Mediterranean cuisines and I'm pretty sure your taste buds are going to like it! At lunch time you can have everything from Shakshuka (the house speciality) to beautiful fresh salads, to really interesting sandwiches - which is what we went for. My slow cooked lamb sandwich with pickled vegetables was just gorgeous (the lamb was incredible) and Mr Munch's chicken schnitzel sandwich on freshly baked Israeli bread was huge and tasty! These sandwiches were $14.00 and worth every cent considering their size. And as Shuk is fully licensed they were washed down with a Bloody Mary - the perfect Sunday drink I believe. Now Shuk are open for breakfast and dinner as well. And their sweet treats deserve a mention too - make sure you pop in to see what is on offer in the cake cabinet.
So my dear Little Munchers if you find yourself over Bondi way drop into Shuk to try out some of their tasty tucker, but perhaps go first thing in the morning (they open at 6am!!) when it isn't so busy, or telephone to make a booking so that you can nab a table out in the garden play area x
2 Mitchell St, North Bondi NSW
Sun - Wed: 6am - 5pm
Thu - Sat: 6am - 5pm; 6pm - 10pm
I get a massive buzz when I revisit a cafe after publishing a review to discover significant improvements to the cafe's overall "kid-friendliness" appeal, knowing that Little Munch has hopefully contributed to helping the Cafe build its reputation as a great place to eat with kids.
Little Munch first visited One Six Nine Cafe in Randwick in early 2013, so it's been a long time between coffees. This cafe was kid friendly back then, but now it is seriously kid friendly! On our first visit we had to sit inside as it was a really wet day and the boys busied themselves with colouring in provided by the cafe. On our recent visit however, the sun was shining, so we headed out the back of the cafe to the spacious courtyard. This is the best place to sit with kidlets who can't sit still. On your way out into the courtyard you will walk though a cute little kids toy area and my little mate adopted two dinosaurs from here, who stayed with us for our entire meal (breakfast).
The courtyard has loads of space for prams and can accommodate groups of people at each table - it would be a great place to hang out with a mother's group on a nice warm day. You can make a booking, so if there is a big number of you, perhaps ring ahead before you turn up just in case other mums and bubs have the same idea. Just inside from the outdoor area is a toilet which has both a baby change table and a toddler step for the wash basin - woo hoo! There are also high chairs available if you need them for your little ones.
Now if you have a pram you can enter through the front door of the cafe, but if the place is full or has some congestion with the non breeding take away coffee crowd, this could pose a problem for you. But don't worry as there is a back entrance into the cafe just around the corner in Bell Lane (off Belmore Rd) - it's right next to the Vision PT gym. This entrance takes you straight into the courtyard. Your closest parking is in either the Royal Randwick Shopping Centre's car park or in a small council operated car park on Silver St.
If you decide to sit outside, there is a little sign on the table that asks you pop into the front counter and place your order during the winter months. However at all other times the friendly staff come out and take your order. The staff are gorgeous young things who interacted really well with the boys the whole of our breakfast. Our orders came out really quickly from the kitchen which is always a bonus when dining with younger humans.
They now have an excellent little kids menu at One Six Nine Cafe, and it is so reasonably priced. 1 slice of toast with your kidlet's favourite spread is $2 or with sliced avocado it is $3; googy egg on toast (poached or scrambled) is $5; smoked salmony toast with avo is $5; a baba breakfast trifle is also $5! At lunch time there are home made sausage rolls, cheese toasties, a mini chicken wrap as well as beefy chipolatas & chippies on the menu for children and once again they are all reasonably priced. If your babe has a gluten intolerance, just let the staff know as they can can prepare most items gluten free. Another big woo hoo from me is that all of the kids cutlery and plates are plastic!
Babycinos (which used to be free and I still presume are free with any coffee purchase), kid size milkshakes, smoothies and juices are all available, and I love that they come in a disposable cup, without having to ask for it. Adults are just as well catered for in the refreshments stakes - their brew of Toby's Estate Coffee is exceptional and they also stock a decent range of Toby's Estate Teas too. Freshly squeezed juiced, ice cold frappes and smoothies are all on offer if you prefer a cooler drink.
On the adults menu at breakfast time you are spoilt for choice. Whether you prefer something light like fruit salad with muesli & yoghurt, or a full on eggs benny, there will be something to satisfy your growling belly. Coeliacs and vegetarians are also well catered for. My goats cheese and basil omelette was huge and delish and came with yummy grainy sourdough. Mr Munch's eggs & bacon was obviously delicious too, as he woofed it down before I could snap a shot of it. And just to let you know the most expensive item on the menu is $17 - there's none of those pesky $20+ breakfast items that are appearing on too many cafe menus these days (especially in my local 'hood). If you are stopping by One Six Nine Cafe at lunch time, they have an excellent range of salads, sandwiches and more substantial bites available and once again the lunch time menu is also reasonably priced.
After your sojourn at One Six Nine, you can grab a takeaway and head across the road to Alison Park. There is loads of space for kids to run around and chase the mating pigeons, as well as a very decent fully fenced playground for them to exhaust themselves in and quite a few park benches for you park yourselves on!
169 Alison Rd, Randwick NSW
02 9398 2007
Mon - Sat: 7am - 4pm
Sun: 8am - 3pm
Pre kidlets, I lived around the Clovelly area for a while and it was such a beautiful lifestyle.There was the perfect little beach, the pub and all the yummy cafes. Seasalt Cafe was my go to place when I wanted to take visitors to Sydney out somewhere a bit spesh, because of its stellar location. I also remember the food and service being top notch, so when we were in the area again recently I decided to pop in to give it the Little Munch once over.
When we arrived we easily found a car spot in the car park next to the surf life saving club (in summer this can be tricky as the beach is very popular) and we walked up to the cafe. If you have a pram with you, make sure you enter the cafe from the top pathway as their is ramp access for you to use. On the way you will pass the loos and in here your will find a baby change table. There is room for your pram next to your table, however it may be wise to ring ahead and book a table and advise them that you will have a pram with you or that you may need a high chair - just in case you turn up and the cafe is full.
As soon as we walked into Seasalt, we were warmly greeted and basically given the best table in the house! (This was probably because we were the first diners of the day). We had views right up to the beach on one side and right out to the ocean on the other. Luckily the sun was shining as this kept us warm. On bleak wintry days I suggest you rug up as the eating area is quite exposed and there seemed to be very little in the way of heating available. In the 6 years or so since I was last at Seasalt not much has changed with the cafe except for the staff. The interior actually looks a wee bit tired and weather worn which is not surprising considering its location.
According to Seasalt's website there is a drawer of toys available for kids - I couldn't spy that drawer anywhere, however the boys had lots of fun just wandering around in front of the cafe. The only problem with this is that they are water babies and the sight of the pool and beach was very tempting for them, so I was out of my seat more often than not, making sure that they didn't climb through the fence and attempt to dive in to the pool. So if you have young kids make sure you keep an eye on them as it is easy, very easy to get through that fence.
Kids have their very own menu at Seasalt. At breakfast time the menu item dedicated to them is 1 egg, a slice of bacon and toast for $8.50. If this doesn't take their fancy, there are options of the main menu such as toast ($7), banana bread ($6), french toast ($9.50) etc. I ordered the boys toast and chubbycinos ($2) as opposed to babycinos ($1.30). We kind of thought the chubbycino would be something impressive, but boy, were the boys disappointed! It was just a babycino on 'roids - there wasn't even a marshmallow. Lesson learnt - always ask what a menu item is before you waste money on it.
I was impressed with the kids lunch time menu that you can have a choice of chips or salad with each kids meal and also that you can just order a salad for you kids - haven't seen this before on a kids menu - so that receives a big tick from me.
The adults breakfast menu at Seasalt is surprisingly reasonable considering its location. The most expensive item is $17.90 and for that you receive eggs benedict with smoked salmon. I chose the mushrooms on sourdough toast with rocket and ricotta salata ($14.90) which was a very tasty, the other diners in our group weren't very adventurous and had poached eggs on toast ($10.50). Coffee is on the expensive side - $3.90 for a regular and it just an OK brew. At lunch time the standard cafe fare menu does get a wee bit more expensive (eg. $22.50 for fish and chips!) and you can also have a vino to wash lunch down with, as the cafe is fully licensed.
After our initial warm welcome, the service became less warm as more diners arrived at Seasalt - the staff didn't really seem to be trained that well in handling a full house - perhaps a manager on the floor would solve this? Anyway our dining experience didn't end up being as spesh as I remembered it being.
After the boys kept disappearing on me a few too many times, I left breakfast behind and took the boys for an explore. There is a small playground right at the top of Clovelly Beach, so a smart idea would be to grab a takeaway and head up there. Seasalt does have a kiosk so you can purchase snacks (toasties, muffins etc) and have a picnic in the park as well.
If you are after a cafe in a perfect beach side location, Seasalt Cafe in Clovelly is definitely one to add to your list. During the warmer months when you can make use of the pool and beach, you could very easily spend a whole day between them and the cafe.
Little Munchers, what is your favourite cafe to take visitors to Sydney to?
10 Donnellan Circuit, Cnr victory St & Clovelly Rd
Clovelly NSW 2031
Open 7 days
The Coogee Pavilion is uber cool, beautifully styled and a fabulous place to hang out in. It's the sort of place where you would think that kidlets would not be welcome just in case they disturbed the hipster set's morning brew. However it is the complete opposite - hipsters, ladies who lunch, surfers, kids and backpackers all seemlessly blend in together, and I think this is one of the reasons that the Coogee Pavilion is always so busy and also why it has just won Time Out's award for the Best Family Friendly Pub in 2015.
When we first walked through the doors of the Pavilion, I was a little overwhelmed to be honest. I remember visiting the venue in its previous incarnation (The Palace) in my single as a pringle days, but boy have things changed. I call it the Merivale Magic. Mr Hemmes and his team have seriously worked their wizardry on this place! The interior is quirky retro meets the beach. In the front half of the space there is a coffee cart, juice bar, flower stall, a huge bar, a seafood and a pizza kitchen as well as the restaurant seating area. But if you are at the Pavilion with kids, you need to head down the back to the fun parlour!
This area is packed full of all sorts of games and activities to keep kids (and adults) amused for hours. Ping pong tables as well as games on steroids (scrabble, connect four, quoits, draughts & tic tac toe) are placed between comfy areas to sit and there is even a table dedicated for colouring in. As it was school holidays when we visited, this area was heaving at 10.30am on a weekday with kids of all ages (there are special activities on from 11am - 1pm during the holidays as well). I dare say on a normal week day it may be a bit more low key with the mum and bub set.
We easily found a table down the back and the boys happily wandered between all of the games, making new friends as they went. It was only as we sat down that I realised I had no clue as to how we ordered our food and more importantly coffee. Just in case you are as vague as I am, this is what you do: the coffee cart at the front door is where you order sustenance from, prior to 11am in the morning. There is a stack of menus and the menu for this time of day is simple but suits most tastes and belly sizes. Once you have ordered you get a table number and then the staff try to find you amongst the chaos of the fun parlour!
And I have to give the staff of the Pavilion a huge round of applause because these guys and gals handle people from all walks of life with ease and friendliness. The morning we visited there were babies crawling around the floor, kids with developing eye hand coordination, throwing quoits and hitting ping pong balls in all sorts of weird directions (that would be my boys) all of which the young staff had to dodge in order not to spill the coffees and food that they were ferrying to tables. Not once did the staff grimace, roll their eyes or seem annoyed by the chaos in the kids section. Likewise when I ordered our coffee and food, the young chap who served me was full of the chats and was just as happy conversing to me, a middle aged Mumma, as he was to the cute little blonde backpacker who was being served at the same time!
Now for the kid friendly nitty gritty - there is a paid car park as well as paid street parking right next to the Pavilion. During the week scoring a spot is fairly easy but on weekends (especially in summer) this can be a wee bit tricky. Pram access is really easy into the Pavilion as there aren't any steps and the doors are nice and big. Once inside you can manoeuvre your pram but be aware that when the place is full you might need to smile sweetly and ask people to get out of your way. The morning we visited there were loads of prams parked down the back, so I'm sure you won't be the only person with one. There are high chairs and excellent loo facilities with a baby change table. You can even get your kidlet's hair cut at the in-house barber shop, but bring a bit of coin with you as they cost $30 +!
For their mid morning snack, my lads had pain au chocolats and table water (which you get from the self help stations at the bar). Babycinos, hot chocolates, soft drinks, juices as well as mocktails ($5) and kid size smoothies ($8.50) are all available for kids to slurp on. If you are dining at the Coogee Pavilion at either lunch or dinner time, kidlets have their very own menu which they can order from if you have scored a table in the "restaurant" section. In this section you can book a table in advance or try your chances by rocking up on the day (I would not advise that on a weekend, if you want proper table service).
If you are sitting elsewhere in the Pavilion you need to order from the bar menu (at the bar). This covers items such as the wood fired pizzas, burgers, salads and a few other items that I'm sure kids will happily munch on. To be honest I find all of these different places to order a bit confusing as there isn't any proper signage to tell you what to do. So to avoid finding yourself in a muddle, I suggest you grab a member of staff and ask them what the go is.
Whilst we were at the Pavilion we sampled their Will & Co coffee, which was simply outstanding, as well as the bacon & egg roll and the jaffle. The bacon & egg roll was jam packed full of bacon and aioli - it was actually too much aioli, which detracted from the whole roll. However the jaffle was delicious - it was really cheesy and when you tore off little pieces and dunked it into the pot of spicy tomato relish it was even better!
Just to let you know, there is a section of the Coogee Pavilion where kidlets are not welcome and that is the Roof Top Bar. This stunning spot is for date nights, girls nights or basically any time when you can escape from the kids. More of the Merivale Magic has been spun on this level as well, but nothing can really beat the view! And NO you cannot leave the kids downstairs whilst you enjoy yourself upstairs. Perhaps if you are a seriously free range parent, you could let your kids have a play on the beach whilst you are up there sipping on a cocktail, but I do not advise this as you might also find yourself in trouble with the authorities!
Actually, the only way we could drag the boys out of the Coogee Pavilion was by promising them a play on the beach (fully supervised of course). On a sunny day, in any season, Coogee Beach is just so darn tempting. How lucky are the families of Coogee to have access to two such stunning locations at the Pavilion and the beach?!
So I'm totally smitten with the Coogee Pavilion - I adore how inclusive they are of people who have bred and who haven't, or are yet to. Because this is such a fabulous place to visit, it can very busy during peak periods (weekends for example), so I do recommend that when you visit, you choose your arrival time wisely, as you may not feel the magic as much as we did.
p.s. the Merivale group are currently weaving some of their wizardry on another family friendly pub up north - the Newport Arms - so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the almost perfect Coogee Pavilion when it opens its doors next year.
169 Dolphin St Coogee, NSW 2034
02 9240 3000
Mon - Sun 7.30am - late
This new cafe opened it's doors last month in Randwick. It's called Duck Duck Goose and it's pretty cool. Their motto is Eat Drink Play, which my boys took literally as they thought everyone was in the cafe to play a game of duck, duck, goose! The interior of DDG is all exposed brick, cement floors and recycled timber crates with a few ceramic ducks scattered here and there in homage to the quacking bird. It's the kind of place that hipsters would love because their broken down old bikes have been upcycled to create some nifty light fixtures. Oh and with a name like DDG you just know that this place has to be kid friendly.
If you are like us and not very hipsterish and arrive in a car rather than on a bike, you might be lucky to score a car spot on the street, if not just park in the Royal Randwick shopping centre which is just a bit down the road from the cafe. The access for prams is easy into DDG, however if every diner had a pram there would be very little space to move around inside. There are high chairs available and an awesome toilet that has ramp access and loads of space in it. The loo has a ducky mural and a baby change table complete with wipes. There is also a dedicated nappy bin and after you have changed that nappy explosion up, you can wash your hands in lovely Aesop hand wash - so DDG get full marks for their loo!
DDG also get full marks for their cute kids play area. Simple in its design, it was the perfect spot to keep the boys occupied for the whole of our breakfast. Besides the chalk board there are also two buckets of toys for kids to play with as well as duck themed reading books - so if you have really little ones, grab something and take it to your table. DDG also get full marks for their awesome, healthy kids menu - it's just a shame we weren't shown it!
When we sat down at DDG a friendly waitress bought us menus and took our coffee orders. I had a quick flick through them and thought it was a bit weird that such a kid friendly cafe didn't have a kids menu. Anyway there were quite a few things on the menu that the boys would eat so I didn't think much more about it. I ordered them the muffin of the day which was banana and choc chip - they were straight out of the oven and they smelt divine. I think they might have been gluten free because they were really dense, but they were seriously yummy.
It wasn't until we left DDG that I spied the kids menu in the window. I'm not sure why we weren't shown it (perhaps it's early days and the staff aren't across all of the cafe's menus) but if we had seen it I would have definitely ordered the boys the banana berry smoothie and watermelon pizza for sure as these are some of their favourite foods. And look there isn't a chicken nugget anywhere on the menu - so well done DDG. I also love the idea that they serve kids a 3 course meal in the hope that may occupy them long enough for their parents to also enjoy a yummy cafe meal for once. Kid's drinks come in disposable cups and if you are after a babycino they are free and come with a baby biscuit.
The main menu has loads of delicious sounding menu items on it and seems to have a real health focus (quinoa, chia, goji feature). Interestingly the breakfast menu is more expensive than the lunch time menu. For breakfast you can be healthy (ish) like us and order the poached eggs on toast ($12), however I did spread the butter on my toasted sourdough because it was Pepe Sayer butter!! And I did sprinkle some salt on my eggs because it was pink and presumably Himalayan, so maybe they weren't so healthy but it all tasted seriously good. Or you can have something more extravagant like the black pudding, apple & radish salsa, fried toast, caramelised pear & a free range poached egg ($18).
At lunch time the menu covers salads, soup and burgers and it ranges in price from $8 - $15. Salads such as a beetroot, Milawa blue cheese, pear, bitter leaves, hazelnuts & a shiraz dressing ($14) are served with a slice of single origin sourdough toast. If you prefer something a bit heartier than go for a fancy burger like the cheeseburger ($15) that comes with dill pickle, Compte aged gruyere, Dijon mustard, tomato confit & lettuce. The burgers also come with a side of shoestring fries.
Parents in Randwick are very lucky to have another awesome kid friendly cafe in their hood! If Duck Duck Goose becomes seriously popular and you can't fit your brood in there, pop around the corner to Cafe 169 x
136 Avoca St, Randwick NSW 2031
Mon - Sat 7am - 4.30pm
Sun: 8am - 3pm
The thing about living in house full of boys is that sport figures hugely into your lifestyle. At the moment it is all about rugby, from Friday to Sunday our lives revolve around training, playing and watching this game that was meant to be made in heaven! However not being a sporty soul, I tend to spend my time trying to work out where my pre/post match coffee/wine will be, rather than watching Israel Folau earn his multi million dollar contract.
So last weekend when we found ourselves at the Footy Stadium in Moore Park I had a quick squizz on my go to site - Urbanspoon - to see what the best place to eat with kids would be in the local area. The many restaurants of the Entertainment Quarter Village kept popping up, so I chose one of those. When we got there it was closed and most of the others were full of post match revellers. As a result we ended up in RumFire - the restaurant that had the worst reviews on Urbanspoon! I'm not sure why all the reviews are so bad (and trust me they are VERY bad) because we had a great experience and I would happily go back next time we go to watch a footy game or visit one of the many family friendly places located in the EQ Village.
RumFire is a huge space that has a cafe on one side and restaurant/bar on the other. There is also loads of outdoor seating and the whole place is pram friendly. They have high chairs, a kids menu, friendly staff (who are mainly backpackers/overseas students so there is a bit of a language barrier at times) and clean toilet facilities. There isn't a baby change table but there is a unisex handicapped loo that has enough room for you and your pram. The parking station is close by as well, so you don't have to walk for ages when you have little feet in tow.
RumFire is a bit "self help". By this I mean you grab a menu as you walk in, find your own table and order your meal and drinks up at the front counter. The staff then bring your drinks and meals to where you are seated. I think we waited a maximum of 15 minutes for our order to arrive and the restaurant was quite busy, so I was quite impressed as this is exactly what you need when dining out with tired and hungry kids.
Children have their own menu - the Kid's Corner - and it is priced at $9.50. It contains your usual suspects - nuggets/calamari/fish with chips or penne napolitana. On weekdays at lunch time this menu is reduced in price to $6! The boys didn't eat from this menu, instead they shared the pizzas that we ordered. Pizzas come in two sizes - small ones are $15.50 and large ones are $22.50. Two large pizzas fed us easily. We had the Hawaiian and the Prosciutto pizzas and they are perfectly stone baked with thin and crispy bases. Being a bit of an olive fiend I would have loved for them to have thrown a few more on the prosciutto pizza, but that would be my only complaint.
If you prefer something other than pizza the menu is large and varied. It contains everything from burgers to barramundi and you can even have a seafood platter for two. There are both vegetarian and gluten free choices available. Most items on the menu range from $20 - $30 and if you need a vino to survive your dining out experience with kids, their wine list is quite reasonably priced! Monday - Friday RumFire also has a cheap "special" lunch menu that costs from $10.00 - $12.50, so this would be a perfect spot to stop in at after you have been to the movies or visited Monkey Mania both of which are located within the EQ precinct.
RumFire does have a dessert menu in the restaurant but we decided to pop next door to the cafe and have ice cream instead. There are stacks of sweet treats in the cake cabinet in here and they brew Campos beans, so if you are in the mood for coffee and cake this is the place to go. Breakfast is also available in the cafe and it ranges in price from $4.00 for toast up to $18.00 for their big breakfast. This would be perfect on a Wednesday or Saturday morning as you can then head to the family friendly EQ Village Markets afterwards.
So tell me Little Munchers, are you too scared to enter a restaurant that has so many bad reviews? Or do you act on your own instincts?
Shop 2151, 122 Lang Rd
Moore Park NSW 2021
02 9331 0008
Open 7 days
In an attempt to review ALL of Sydney, that is checking out kid friendly cafes in every single suburb, I have been clocking up some serious tolls and kilometres in my poor old Hyundai. I mean one minute we are in Quakers Hill and the next we are in Queens Park. And don't worry Queenscliff - you're are on my radar too! The wonderful thing is all of these suburbs actually have some awesome child friendly cafes and the best in Queens Park is undoubtedly the Queens Park Shed.
The Queens Park Shed ticks every single kid friendly box and then some. Firstly it is located right next to a huge enclosed playground and also on the edge of Queens Park, so there is loads of space for kidlets to run wild. There is seating outside so you can sit and watch your little wildlife have loads of fun whilst you enjoy your perfectly brewed Toby's Estate coffee or tea. Whether you choose to sit inside or out there is plenty of space and easy access for prams. They have a very tasty kids menu; they have high chairs; they do a lovely little babycino; they have great loo facilites that include a baby change table (actually once upon a time the whole building used to be a loo); and they have colouring in available for kidlets as well! Phew that's a lot of ticks! Actually I forgot about the parking - it's available on the street, we scored a spot out the front very easily on a Sunday morning at 8am but I do believe if weekend sport is on at Queens Park then you may need to venture further up the road or into a side street.
We decided to sit inside when we visited. The interior is quite industrial, lots of hard surfaces and exposed walls. There is a communal table in the central part of the dining area and then almost booth like seating in the nooks and crannies of the building. The kitchen is open so you can peek in to see what is being created by the chefs on duty. You order and pay at the counter and the friendly staff bring your food to your table and even though this is one busy cafe, we received our meals very quickly.
The boys busied themselves with the colouring in whilst they waited for their pain au chocolates and babycinos to arrive. The babycino costs a dollar and it was totally disposable - nothing can get broken. With loads of chocolate dust, a marshmallow and pure froth, this little baby was devoured in record time. As for that buttery pain au chocolate it too was devoured quickly as I think any of the baked goodies at the Queens Park Shed would be. There is a kids menu for lunch and dinner and at breakfast time kids have plenty of choices available from the main menu especially from the bakery counter. The lunch menu ranges in price from $7 - $15. At the cheaper end of the menu is a toastie and at the more expensive end is the very healthy sounding lunch box which has a bbq chicken & avocado or ham & cheese sandwich, salad, organic smoothie & a treat! The dinner menu is $13 and includes sliders, meatballs & spaghetti or flathead and chips. And just to let you know, kidlets dine free on Thursday nights and dinner is served from the very family friendly hour of 5pm!
Everything on the breakfast menu at the shed sounds divine. A few examples to tempt your taste buds are avocado toast with free range poached eggs, vine ripened tomato, goat’s cheese ($17); shed big breakfast: poached eggs, sourdough toast, bacon, avocado, roasted tomato, sauté spinach, cultured butter ($22); and my choice the very delicious bircher muesli: bio dynamic yoghurt, apple, poached pear & Centennial Park honey ($13). The only complaint came from Mr Munch in regards to the food. His eggs benedict (for 20 bucks) sans the hollandaise (his choice) wasn't up to scratch apparently. I think the salmon was the issue, it wasn't quite as fresh as it could have been - perhaps it just needed the hollandaise after all?
At lunch time you can have gourmet sandwiches, burgers, a ploughman's lunch or some seriously healthy sounding salads with the menu ranging from $10 - $20. The reasonably priced dinner menu has both share plates and individual meals. Examples are the vietnamese style pork sliders, fresh herbs, crunchy vegetable, mayo, house made sweet chilli jam ($18) to start and the pork ragu pappardelle, tarragon, lemon, rocket, parmesan ($22) as a main.
I'm amazed we got through breakfast without the boys disappearing into the playground, they were obviously too occupied colouring in and eating for once! Once we did make our way into the great outdoors, the boys loved the huge sandpit inside the playground, because it has every boy's favourite - the sand digger. There are also lots of logs to balance on and there are two playgrounds as well - a big one for big kids and a little one for little ones. I suggest that you grab a take away and score one of those stripey outdoors chairs pictured up the top, as it is very difficult to drag children away from this cool playground!
I think the Queens Park Shed would have to be the best child friendly cafe in the eastern suburbs of Sydney - am I correct locals?
So now that I can tick off Quakers Hill & Queens Park, I would love inside knowledge on what is the best kid friendly cafe in Queenscliff - anyone know?
31 Darley Rd, Queens Park NSW
02 9380 9350
Open 7 days: Mon - Wed 7am - 4pm; Thu - Sat 7am - late;
Sun/Pub Hols 7am - 5.30pm
I'm going to start this review with a rant about Coles. There is a fabulous new shopping centre in Zetland called the East Village. It is home to amazing independent fresh food shops, cafes, a gastro pub (The Village Crow) and a very flash Coles supermarket. Now not only are Coles trying to take over from the local butcher, baker, milkman, florist, fish monger, sushi maker, and con the fruiterer all over Australia, but they are now attempting to take over from the local cafe operator as well! They have their very own cafe smack bang in the middle of the bananas! Where will Mr Coles stop? And don't worry I know Mr Woollies is just as guilty. I'm actually quite surprised they haven't created crèches yet (actually maybe I wouldn't complain about that!). #supportsmallbusiness
OK my rant is over, so lets proceed with the review of The Village Crow. This is a cool gastro pub located on the exterior of the East Village. The first thing I notice when we wandered up was the number of families sitting outside with prams or with little ones sitting in high chairs, so a big tick straight away from me. As we walked through the front door we were warmly welcomed by a groovy chick who explained to us that you grab a menu from the bar, find a table, take in the cool surrounds and then come back to the bar and order our drinks and meals.
So this is exactly what we did. All of the families had taken the outside tables so we decided to sit inside and we plonked ourselves down next to another family. I'm a firm believer when dining at pubs/bars with kids that you should keep to your own tribe. For example I would not sit next to the hipsters having the hair of the dog or the glam besties bemoaning their boyfriends over bubbles. I don't want to inflict the antics of my kids on them and I also don't think it is fair that fellow patrons need to mind their "f bombs" etc just because I've decided to take my kids to the pub for lunch.
The interior of the Village Crow is what I would call cool inner city industrial meets day of the triffids. Exposed brick and cement walls, naked light bulbs, animal hair seats and loads of fake greenery hanging and growing everywhere. There is room to manoeuvre your pram and loads of high chairs for little ones to sit in. The cool unisex loos are decorated with old CD covers and it is quite fun to find the ones you used to or still have in your collection. There isn't a baby change table in here but there is a very decent parents room in the shopping centre that has all of the facilities that you need.
The Village Crow has a dedicated children's menu and it costs $8.00. Chicken Schnitzel & Chips, Grilled Chicken Tenderloins, Ham & Pineapple Pizza, Cheesy Pizza or Home Made Meatball Pasta are your choices. The cheesy pizza was delicious - the base was perfectly cooked and the Meatball Pasta was also yummy - fresh pasta, loads of meatballs and quite a spicy sauce. My babes aren't fans of chilli and there was a touch too much in the sauce, so sadly the pasta was left uneaten. If your kids can handle chilli then go for it, they will love it.
The adults menu has all of your typical pub fare but it's just a bit more "gastro" then your suburban watering hole bistro. So there are steaks, schnittys, burgers, ribs and pizzas plus loads of delicious salads all glammed up a bit. The spiced warm pumpkin, lentil and goats cheese salad is perfect for health nuts or those on a health kick and the grilled chicken salad was very yummy - perfectly cooked tenderloins with fetta, tomatoes and olives as well as loads of crunchy baby cos lettuce filled the large bowl, with a little dish of herby aioli on the side.
If you're not on a health kick and love your carbs, go for the pulled pork burger. Tender pork, slaw and a brioche type bun made up this bad boy and of course there was a side of excellent looking chunky fries. The fish & chips also looks excellent - big fillets of grilled barramundi come with a decent serving of the crunchy fries and I've heard that the pizzas are a winning choice as well.
Your kidlets may need a good run after their meal, as there is nothing much to keep them occupied in The Village Crow. So just across the road you will find Joynton Park, there is loads of green space for them to run around on and a cool water feature that they will probably want to muck about in. Afterwards pop back and check out how awesome the East Village is and do some shopping, you never know who you might run into - we spied the local member, Tanya Plibersek supporting a small business or two.
Shop 10, 2-4 Defries Ave, Zetland
02 9101 9800
Open 7 days: 11.30am - late
Mr Munch and I had dined at the Vaucluse Tearooms once before when it was time to "Meet the Fockers" - you know the time when your parents meet his parents for the first time?! The meeting was a great success (luckily my mother isn't a sex therapist) and I have fond memories of the experience - the food, the service, the ambience and most definitely the location. So ten years on when we returned with two kids, a mortgage and an Etag (because we have moved to the other side of Sydney) I had high expectations of our visit and I am very happy to say that they were all met, if not exceeded.
The Vaucluse Tearooms take up residence in an art deco building within the gardens of the stately Vaucluse House. Once you have parked your car within the ample car park, you wander up the lawns to the tearooms where you will be greeted by the friendly staff. For peak times such as lunch and high tea, I suggest you make a booking, however when we arrived for breakfast early on a Saturday morning (8am) we walked straight in and had no problem being seated as we were the only guests dining.
Out on the patio is the perfect space to sit when dining with kidlets as they can run around on the grassy area in front of where you are sitting. When their meal arrives you can holler for them to come and eat (actually maybe just politely signal to them instead, as hollering doesn't seem to fit the refined situation that you are dining in). There is seating inside but it is a white tablecloth kind of place and in my experience kidlets and white tablecloths don't mix too well. There is some room for prams on the patio and there is easy ramp access. There are also high chairs available for little bottoms to sit in.
There is a dedicated children's menu and at breakfast time little ones can have a boiled egg and soldiers for $8. If you kids don't dig eggs, there are also house baked muffins and toast with the most delicious house-made jam available. At lunch time a ham, cheese & tomato toastie ($8) is on the menu or they can have fish cocktails & chips ($12), but my personal favourite is the kids lunch box ($14). The box includes a chicken sambo, cheese stick, veg quiche, cupcake and a juice! The tearooms also serve babycinos, milkshakes, soft drinks and of course table water.
Little Marionette coffee is served at the tearooms and it was excellent and of course being tearooms they have a decent assortment of teas from Chamellia. I am unfamiliar with the Chamellia brand but apparently it is premium organic tea from Sri Lanka. This tea would be perfect with the Vaucluse Tearoom's famous High Tea. Their high tea costs $49 and includes so many little delights such as house made brioche doughnuts with lemon & lavender sugar and high tea isn't complete without a glass of fizz - Australian sparkling is served on arrival.
For breakfast adults can select from the "Up With The Birds" menu that is served until 12pm. I was quite shocked, considering the post code that we were dining in, that nothing on the breakfast menu cost more than $15!! And for $15 you can feast on buttermilk pancakes with tangelo and whipped ricotta or the very decadent sounding churros french toast. We went for healthier options (as our new year resolutions are still loosely in tact) and chose poached free range eggs on toast ($12) and the fig & maple granola with greek yoghurt and berry jelly. The eggs were perfectly poached and you can choose what type of Brickfields sourdough you want them to be served on. The granola was deliciously crunchy and full of nuts but I did find the berry jelly to be a tad too sweet for my liking.
At lunch time you can have something light like a gourmet sandwich or salad, or something a little heavier such as linguine, snapper, spatchcock or a beef rib and as the menu is seasonal their flavourings may change. The kitchen actually has a "garden to table" philosophy as they use produce that is grown in the grounds of Vaucluse House. The tearooms are fully licensed so you can have a stiff drink if the kidlets (or the Fockers) are getting on your nerves.
After your meal it is time for a wander around the stunning grounds. You can visit the gardens at any time and there is no charge. The gardens are expansive and the perfect spot to play hide and seek for kidlets. If you have little ones who enjoy wandering through old houses (mine don't) then you must check out Vaucluse House. It is open from Friday - Sunday between 11am and 4pm. There is an entrance fee ($17 family) and you can walk through yourself or join a guided tour. During school holidays there is a vacation care program run at the house and also school holiday activities that you and your kids can join in as part of the Sydney Living Museums program - click here for more details.
At the back of Vaculuse House your will find an animal enclosure and vegie patch. The enclosure has a couple of goats, some chooks and a duck or two. The vegie patch has heirloom vegetables growing and don't be afraid to go into it and have a wander (perhaps don't let your kids pick anything!). I just love the fact that we could wander all over these grounds without paying a cent and without anyone breathing down our neck making sure we didn't touch anything! If I had done my research better before we arrived I would have also known that you can wander further afield and see both a waterfall and the beach in the outer limits of the grounds. You are even allowed to bring your own picnic in and throw the rug down anywhere in the grounds. The walk around the gardens has reasonable access for a pram, however if you don't want to be limited in what you can see and do pop your poppet into a baby carrier.
If you and your family still need entertaining after all of this, then perhaps a visit to one of the gorgeous surrounding beaches would be in order - Nielsen Park, Parsley Bay & Vaucluse Bay are all within walking distance if little legs haven't lost all of their energy. If you need to use the facilities before you leave, there are toilets near the stables (with a baby change table) and also toilets back near the car park.
I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Vaucluse House Tearooms and its surrounds whether it be for a Meet the Fockers experience or just for a family meal in a special location. It's also the ideal place to take visitors from overseas, interstate or the country as it showcases how fabulous Sydney is! I'm sure it won't be ten years before we visit again....
Do tell Little Munchers, where would you take visitors to in this beautiful city of ours and where did your Meet the Fockers experience take place?
Wentworth Rd, Vaucluse NSW 2030
02 9388 8188
Open: Wed - Fri 10am - 4.30pm; Sat - Sun 8am - 4.30pm
Sometimes kids just don't need all of the bells and whistles of a full on child friendly cafe, they just need a cake cabinet to drool over! It's all about the baked goods and actually the damn fine breakfast at this place! And this place is St Honore Bakery in Edgecliff. There are two other St Honore Bakeries in Sydney - the original store is in Nth Sydney and the third is in Mosman. I was a regular of St Honore Bakery in North Sydney for many years when I worked down the road from the store. It was my go to place for a caffeine fix, a birthday cake for a member of staff or a sweet treat for Mr Munch when I was trying to impress him back in our courting days!
St Honore Bakery, as the name may suggest, is a bakery specialising in French bakery and patisserie items. The Edgecliff branch is located in the front of the Eastpoint Food Fair. There is loads of under cover parking and access to the shopping centre is via lift or escalators. When we arrived we were warmly greeted by the staff - I think they were glad to have someone to serve as there wasn't a soul in the place. You can choose to sit inside or out and as it was a warm day we chose the air conditioned interior. There was a toddler amongst us and when we asked for a high chair to restrain him from toddling off we were met with a blank stare - they don't have them and obviously haven't been asked for one before which I find quite strange.
So he did toddle off, with my boys following him closely and I think the three of them left their little paw prints over every glass fronted cake cabinet in the place, as they tried to decide what they were going to eat next! (Just to let you know, whilst the boys loved the look of the cake cabinets, I believe that they are no where as impressive as the ones in the North Sydney store). My boys rubbed their hands in glee when they discovered the plentiful pain au chocolats and they were quickly ordered along with kids size milkshakes (and of course they stole the sweet little bikkies that came with all of the adults coffees).
There isn't a dedicated kids menu but you won't have any issue finding something for your babes to munch on. Adults can obviously choose a divine baked good as well or if you are in need of something more hearty you can choose off the delicious breakfast menu. Some of the tempting items are corn fritters with chorizo, eggs benedict sliders, chorizo and goats cheese omelette, bacon and egg roll on a brioche bun and of course there is a croque monsieur! They were all simply divine and not too badly priced with most items hovering around the $15 mark.
If you find yourself at St Honore at lunch time, make sure you try one of their pies - they are to die for! The pastry is golden and flaky and the pie fillings cover everything from a basic beef to a gourmet beef bourguignon. The chunks of meat are beautifully cooked and there is loads of it. Quiches, salads and other tasty delights are also on offer. Obviously if you arrive mid morning or afternoon there are a large number of sweet treats available to have with your coffee - and the coffee is really good!
After your kidlets have drooled (literally) over all of the cake cabinets, you may find them becoming quite restless as there aren't any activities to keep them occupied. So make sure you pack some colouring in if you are planning on having a leisurely breakfast, otherwise your coffee will go cold as you find yourself chasing your little darlings all over the shopping centre. If you require the loo facilities you will also find these out in the shopping centre.
After breakfast we stocked on up on St Honore's delicious sourdough bread and a couple of sweet treats for the kidlets and toddled off after the toddler on an explore of the Eastpoint Food Fair. St Honore was still really quiet when we left but then again we arrived bright and early, so if you have early risers like we do, this is the perfect spot for breakfast as they open at 7am every day.
So tell me dear Little Munchers, what is your family's favourite bakery in Sydney and why?
Shop 1A, 203 - 233 New South Head Rd, Edgecliff
Open 7 days
Mon - Fri : 7am - 6pm
Sat: 7am - 5pm
Sun: 7am - 3pm
Well we've hit the jackpot with the discovery of Tama Cafe in Glamarama! This cafe is located in a park smack bang on the beach in Tamarama and make sure you pack the sunscreen and hats because it will be very difficult to drag your kidlets away from here, and probably yourself as well.
Tamarama is known as the beach were glamorous people go to sun bake as it is not overrun with tourists like it's neighbours Bondi & Coogee are. It's a small perfectly formed beach that doesn't actually have great swimming conditions for kids, but it does have beautiful clean sand that is perfect for digging in or playing some beach cricket on or even having a game of volleyball. And the boys and girls in "yellow and red" are there patrolling the beach just in case. Tamarama is also mid way along the stunning Bondi to Coogee Walk, so if you decide to do the walk with your kidlets, the Tama Cafe is a perfect pit stop to refuel the body.
The Tama Cafe is sheltered by a rock face on the southern side of Tamarama Beach. All of the seating is outside, so obviously this is a fine weather cafe. Market umbrellas provide some protection from the sun and if you've been a bit forgetful you can always purchase a hat from the stand outside the cafe. You order and pay at the counter, take a number and grab a seat with the best view. There is plenty of room for prams and if you need toilets for your yourself or your kidlets they are housed in the same building as they cafe but up the other end. There is a family/disabled loo that has a baby change table and shower in it.
We ordered our meals and coffee with the spunky South American server who had a wee bit of trouble understanding my Australian drawl which was quite amusing. He ended up calling in an interpreter who I believe may have been the owner and our order was processed successfully. We were told to help ourselves to table water around the corner and take a seat and our coffees and meals arrived with ten minutes. The service was friendly and efficient and the lovely waitress who bought out our food made a huge fuss over the boys.
Now whilst you are enjoying your brew your kidlets can do a couple of things, they can play on the beach and try and steal the volleyballers balls, they can play on the grass in front of the cafe (the playground is a bit too far away to play safely by themselves up there) or they can put on a performance on the rock ledge behind the seating area of the cafe, just like our boys did. Your kids will love scrambling up here and strutting their stuff!
The menu is quite healthy at the Tama Cafe. This is not your typical seaside kiosk that serves up fish and chips, just fresh and delicious sandwiches, salads and burgers. Whilst there isn't a specific kids menu we found quite a few options that the boys could eat, like a toasted double smoked ham and provolone cheese sandwiches, banana bread, toasted fruit bread, turkey and cranberry sandwiches etc. There are also loads of jars of cookies on the front counter as well as Emma & Tom's health bars, pythons, ice creams, packets of chips, smoothies, milkshakes and freshly squeezed juices for your little ones to indulge in.
For lunch we had the double smoked ham and salad sandwich with pickles served on soy and linseed bread ($10.50) as well as the Tama Chicken Burger ($12.50). The chicken breast in the burger had been marinated in lemon and garlic and came with roasted capsicum, rocket, tomato and a lime mayo, which was a very tasty combination. Some other menu items at lunch time are a smoked salmon bagel, a haloumi salad or tomato and basil bruschetta. The breakfast menu is simple and includes bacon and egg rolls, BLATS, granola and toasts. Make sure you order one of their coffees as they are expertly brewed.
After lunch we road tested the playground. The shaded area is set well back from the beach and has quite a few picnic shelters close by which are very popular for birthday parties. I suggest you grab a take away coffee from the Tama cafe and sit enjoy the view from one of the benches around the playground whilst your kidlets do their thing. After a couple of long lazy hours at Glamarama we headed back to the car totally relaxed and in love with this beautiful spot. In regards to parking, it's all on the street level, except for two disabled spots down near the beach. We didn't have a problem scoring a spot in the street but during the peak of summer you may have to find a side street to park in.
To me the best child friendly cafe is one where I can sit and enjoy my brew and meal in peace without my kidlets annoying me because they are bored, hungry or thirsty. And that is exactly what happened when we dined at the Tama Cafe. The boys hoovered down their lunch and then they were off prancing around on the rock ledge and seeing if they could dig through the sand to China. Mr Munch and I sat back and relaxed, taking in the beautiful surrounds of Glamarama and after knowing Mr Munch for 10 years I've only just discovered that he enjoys watching a game of beach volleyball - I wonder why!?
So tell me Little Munchers where is your favourite beachside cafe?
Pacific Drive, Tamarama NSW 2026
Open 7 days: 9am - 5.30pm
La Perouse is about as far east as you can go in this beautiful city of ours and it is a great place to explore with the kids. There is a museum, historical buildings, beautiful beaches (Frenchmans Bay is the best, the other beach, Little Coowong may have a few nudie rudies showing their bits and bobs off!) great walks, lovely views over Botany Bay and Lapa (as it's known to the locals) is also home to the Mission Impossible Bare Island. If you're not an Eastern suburbs local, to get to La Perouse, you basically drive to the very end of Anzac Parade. Once there, park the car, get out and use your legs to do the exploring.
After your explore of the environs of La Perouse you will need refreshments and the best place to get these are at the very child friendly Driftwood on the bay. You have the option of sitting inside or out at Driftwood. Outside has more room for your prams and great views but inside is where the toys are at. When you walk in the door turn left and in the far back corner near the drinks fridge you will find a bucket of toys and a table of kids books - just look for all of the kids art on the wall. We were lucky enough to snag a table down near here so our boys spent their entire meal road testing every single flippin toy in the box!
When you sit down you will see the large blackboard menu on the wall. Driftwood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you order and pay at the counter. They serve a decent Allpress coffee and the standard babycino. There are some seriously yummy looking baked treats that are made in-house on the front counter and they have some tasty sounding daily specials. The day we were at Driftwood you could have buttermilk pancakes with either berries or nutella for ten bucks! Some other items on the brekkie menu include omelettes, eggs benny, slow cooked boston beans and the 2036 big breakfast with absolutely everything for $22.00.
We dined at lunch time and the modern Italian/Australian menu covered all of our favourites for seaside dining. Fish and chips, fish burgers, pesto prawn pasta, calamari risotto and spaghetti marinara to name but a few. Prices range from $12 for a burger up to about $25 for seafood pasta. They don't have a kids menu but they are more than happy to do "half" a meal for kids. We just ordered our boys fish and chips and they shared it easily. The fish and awesome chips as well as our burgers were delicious and were very generously sized. Just be aware that you order your fries as a side ($3.50) - they don't come with your burger.
The fit out of Driftwood is quite industrial, think concrete, exposed light bulbs and subway tiling. There are large nutella bottles hanging from the ceiling - I wonder if they know there is a worldwide shortage looming, they potentially have a little gold mine on their roof! Just to let you know when the inside of the cafe is full it could be a bit tricky to manoeuvre your pram around as I noticed on the day we dined, a few parents struggling, so maybe leave the pram in the car (there are high chairs) or take a seat outside.
When we were at Driftwood it was seriously busy, but the coffee and meals were pumped out quickly. Service was brisk but attentive, the boys were given a big farewell as we left by the friendly the owner - you can tell they like their littlest customers at Driftwood. That was also obvious with the number of families (big and small) dining.
So next time you are in Lapa Little Munchers go for a little explore, avoid the nudie rudie beach and refresh yourself at Driftwood on the bay, it makes for such a nice morning or afternoon outing x
1/1599 Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW
Open tue - sun: 7.30am - 9.30pm
Last week I saw a photo of my cousins and their gorgeous little brood having breakfast at a very cool place in Randwick on FB. I saw high chairs, I saw happy little faces, I saw colouring sheets and crayons, I saw kids size milkshakes and I saw red and loads of it. They were at the Four Frogs Creperie in Randwick and I knew it needed to be on the pages of Little Munch. So last night en route to drop Mr Munch off at the airport we stopped in for an early dinner.
The original Four Frogs is in Mosman. Its doors were opened in 2012 by 4 Frenchmen (the four frogs). Basically they arrived in Sydney, loved it and didn't want to leave it, but they couldn't find a decent crepe anywhere. So they opened their own cafe. With the success of the Mosman cafe they decided to go across the bridge and open another cafe in Randwick (fingers crossed that they also decide to maybe one day come north west). Since being in Australia the four frogs also spawned and have 9 little tadpoles between them, so they understand the demands of eating out with kids and hence why their creperies are just so child friendly.
As soon as we walked in we were greeted by the most delightful French staff - with our boys in the hood receiving special attention (they have a thing about wearing their hoodies all the bleeping time which drives me nuts). We were seated at our table and "Little Froggy" menus, that are also colouring sheets, were bought immediately to the table along with a pot of crayons. The boys sat happily colouring in until their meals arrived. There are 3 savoury Galettes on the kids menu (ham & cheese; ham, cheese & egg; bacon, cheese & egg) that cost either $7.50 or $8.50. The sweet crepes on the kids menu are all $5.00 and come with toppings such as butter & sugar, strawberry jam, nutella, salted caramel or maple syrup. The boys had nutella crepes and I'm not going to go into the story as to why my children had nutella crepes for dinner, let's just say it was a complete parental failure on my part. The boys from the hood have never had a crepe before and were quite suspicious when they appeared on the table, but let me tell you they were wolfed down and they then wanted to share ours.
The adults menu bamboozled me a wee bit - there was so much choice and it all just sounded so delicious. I should point out that a galette is a savoury crepe that is made from buckwheat. Now buckwheat is a grain and not at all related to wheat, so for anyone who suffers from gluten intolerance, you can go forth and gorge yourself on galettes (as long as the filling is obviously gluten free as well). For example you could have had the delicious spinach and fetta galette that I had for dinner - so simple and so delicious - and if I do say so quite healthy and at $10.00 quite reasonably priced too! Just to let you know they mill their own buckwheat inhouse and every galette (and crepe) is made to order - you cannot get much fresher than that!
The galettes are whisper thin and crispy. You can have fairly plain fillings like I had or go all out and have smoked duck spring onion swiss cheese and hoisin sauce ($18). Mr Munch devoured his chicken, brie swiss cheese and avocado galette ($16) and declared he needed to road test a sweet crepe to see if it was just as good. Now the crepes do contain flour so if you are coeliac advise the helpful wait staff to see what they can concoct for you. As I had been so healthy with my savoury choice I decided to splurge a wee bit with my dessert.
I chose the white chocolate ice cream, salted caramel and grilled almond crepe ($12) and it is pure wickedness. I think it is one of the most sublime things I have eaten in a long time. Mr Munch chose the basic, yet still very delicious, butter, sugar and lemon crepe ($7.50). You can choose between a "la simple" or "la double" and let me tell you the single la simple portion is enough to feed a family of four!!
Four Frog's opening hours are very family friendly. It's the perfect spot for breakfast for a family. From Thursday - Sunday they open from 7am. Besides having a yummy galette or crepe, your little ones as well as yourself, can have one of their freshly baked pain au chocolat or croissants. So if you want to be oh so very French and oh so chic, why not dip your croissant into your coffee or hot chocolate? Monday - Wednesday, they open from 11am so you can have an early lunch 7 days a week, likewise with dinner you can eat out with your brood at 5pm like we did or even earlier if you want to avoid the witching hour. If you are dining during the witching hour and you need fortifying, Mummas make sure you treat yourself to a glass of Mumm ($11) because after all, it was named after us wasn't it?
The Randwick cafe has high chairs and also toilets. The toilets are upstairs and don't have a baby change table. The cafe isn't exactly pram friendly, probably more suited to a compact stroller. If you do have a beast of a pram maybe score an outside table. When we arrived, the cafe was fairly quiet but by the time we left it was full down stairs. Don't worry if you arrive and see this, as there is an additional dining room upstairs.
I haven't really mentioned much about the interior design - let's just say say it's very cool, very French and very red! The Randwick cafe is located in the busy dining precinct of The Spot and it is directly opposite from The Ritz Cinema - so it's the perfect place to take the family before or after a movie. I think the very child friendly Four Frogs Creperie is going to become a regular stop off for us on our frequent trips to the airport, so we might see you there!
Bon appetit mes cher parents x
30 St Pauls St, Randwick NSW 2031
02 9398 3818
Mon - Wed: 11am - 9pm
Thu - Sat: 7am - 10.30pm
Sun: 7am - 9pm
So I have found it - the best babycino in the world! I know that's a big call, but from my travels so far, this is the best I've seen. I found this little delight because of a tip off from another foodie Mumma and blogger - High Tea with Marie Antoinette, she shared with me a photo from Sorelle on Grand's facebook page and basically my long list of child friendly cafes was quickly forgotten about and I (and the boys) hot footed it to Brighton Le Sands as quick as we could.
The "Babycino Grande" comes in a sweet little cup full of froth with chocolate sprinkled on top. Adorned on the side are two colourful marshmallows and then the piste de la resistance is a baby icecream cone - freshly made on the premises! The lovely staff at Sorelle use chocolate gelato to fill the cone then it is covered in chocolate and 100 and 1000s are sprinkled on top - you should have seen all of the other customers oohing and aahing as it was made. Now this will set you back $4.50, but it is just too gorgeous not to order one! If you want a normal no fuss (insert boring) babycino, they are free with any coffee purchase.
So on to the coffee for Mummas and Pappas - it was nothing short of brilliant! They use the trendy Double Roasters beans from Marrickville and I'm now on the lookout for any cafe that serves their coffee - it is just so good. They come in sweet blue and white china cups that match Sorelle's logo on inside back wall of the cafe.
Now for the food. There isn't a kids menu but there are options on the breakfast menu that kids would love such as fruit salad, toast and muffins. The lunch time menu is a bit more limited for choice for children - chips with aioli (which can be substituted for tomato/bbq sauce) $5.00 is an option, however I'm sure if you asked the staff for a plain sandwich they would be more than happy to oblige as they just seem like that kind of people. (I have since learnt that after we dined at Sorelle on Grand a kids menu has been introduced - yay!). All of Sorelle's food is made fresh on premises - their muffins, cakes, tarts etc looked and smelt divine. Our lunch of a Sorelle Club ($15) and Steak Sandwich ($14) were HUGE and oozing in tastiness. They both came with a wee bowl of the most gorgeous aioli I have ever had!
Sorelle occupies a corner space down from the main drag of restaurants on the Grand Parade in Brighton Le Sands. If you are coming from the city end of the Parade, Sorelle can be easily missed as its shop front faces the southern end of the Grand Parade. The interior is fairly small with white washed furniture throughout the crystal blue and white space. The front counter is packed fully of home made sweet treats and there is also a gelato bar - a perfect refreshment after a hard day on the beach.
There are tables and chairs on the pavement outside the cafe, but just remember that the Grand Parade is one busy road, so you will need to keep and eye on wandering toddlers. Outside however is the perfect place to park your pram and sit and watch the world go by. Either before or after you dine at Sorelle, make sure you take a wander along the beach front - your kiddliwinks will love the view over to all of the huge cranes at Port Botany and there is a cool little pirate playground about 100m along the beach front, south of the cafe.
Sorelle is run by two gorgeous, effervescent and friendly sisters - we even met their very proud Mumma who just happened to be dining at the table next to us. The cafe was started earlier this year and let me tell you these girls know the art of hospitality. Nothing was too much trouble - they even told us that our youngest little bull could lie down and have a nap on one of their cushioned benches as he was a bit cranky tired. I believe one of their boyfriend's is out the back in the kitchen churning out the delicious meals. And how fabulous is their motto - Everything You See We Owe To Spaghetti!
So tell me dear parents, do you know of anywhere that serves a babycino grander than the one at Sorelle on Grand?
116 The Grand Parade, Brighton Le Sands NSW 2216
Before I "review" a cafe I do my due diligence and research the net and other media just to make sure that the cafe will be somewhat child friendly - no point in reviewing one that ain't. But now and then I just stumble on a little gem, and that is what happened yesterday morning when we stumbled into The North End Cafe in Maroubra.
I was actually wanting to review another cafe close by, but when we arrived it was full of both man and hounds so we decided to cross the road cause those hounds were lookin' hungry and my little bulls were lookin' nervous.
So basically we stumbled into the North End Cafe by chance and found a table smack bang in the middle of the cafe for the four of us. We were right next to the kitchen which is open plan so you can see everyone in action which I think adds to the theatre of dining out.
Now the interesting thing is that The North End Cafe felt as though it had been around for a long time.The staff were friendly and relaxed. The interior was really retro, quirky and comfy. And the food and coffee came out really quickly. So I couldn't figure out why I hadn't found it on the net when I was doing my research. The "aha" moment came when I got home and googled it - The North End Cafe only opened about a week ago! So top marks to management for creating the perfect cafe ambience so soon.
The North End Cafe is a bit bookish. They have a reading nook in the back corner with a bookshelf full of interesting reads. They have a basket out the front where you can donate your old books for charity and the best bit is that their menu is inside an old children's " A Little Golden Book" - remember those from when we were kids?? How cool is that! Once you finish ordering you can read your kids a story from your childhood! The menu I had still had it's price sticker on it for 29 cents!
So to the food. There isn't a kids menu but you won't have a problem finding something for your little ones to eat off the menu. The little bulls went for freshly baked berry muffins (still warm from the oven) at $3 each. They also had a milkshake ($4) and babycino ($2) - however there was a complaint from the littlest bull cause it lacked a marshmallow!
The counter was packed with loads of home baked goodies like the berry muffins and seriously good lookin' cakes. And how good does the Sunday Morning Hang Over Special sound!
The loo (sorry no baby change table) is out the back in a cute little courtyard where I noticed a big bbq was set up - I found out later that they are opening on Saturday nights for Brazilian BBQs - $35 all you can eat!
So I am really quite glad we avoided those hungry lookin' hounds across the road cause we probably wouldn't have tried The North End Cafe yesterday. The Mums and Dads of Maroubra have a real little winner here x
24 McKeon Street Maroubra NSW
Oh Clovelly, you are such a fab little suburb. You have a fab little beach, a fab little pub, fab little shops, fab little people (everyone is so skinny in Clovelly), fab little cafes and you have the very fab child friendly Clodeli.
All those fab Clovellians with their equally fab offspring know how lucky they are to have Clodeli. It is part cafe part delicatessen. It has such nice staff, it has such nice food and it has such nice cupcakes which you really need to avoid your fab little offspring from seeing as it is very difficult for them to eat anything else that is wholesome, like breakfast, until they get one!
I really wanted to take a photo of the cake cabinet so you could see the very nice cupcakes BUT there were so many grimey finger and slobber marks over it from the fab little ones who drool over said cupcakes! (I think the little bulls drooled over it several times during breakfast so I'm kinda to blame for that - apologies to the owners).
Back to breakfast - it is yum, substantial and quite reasonable for the Eastern suburbs. There isn't a separate menu for children but there are quite a few things to choose off the main menu that will feed them adequately. For example banana bread, toast, muffins, croissants and fruit salad - or cupcakes if you're that way inclined!
You could also purchase something from the grocery shelves for your fab little ones as they are stocked with yummy organic kid's products such as frooshies (pureed fruit & cereal) popcorn and rice cakes. Speaking of which if you want a day off from cooking grab something from the deli counter to take home for lunch and dinner!
They do a very sweet babycino for $2.00 and their kiddie's milkshake is $3.50. And Mumma's coffee was divine!
I can't believe that I haven't mentioned the toys before now....there are loads....puzzles, books, colouring pencils (with the best art works created being featured on Clodeli's website) so your little ones will be occupied for ages. Also it seems many Clovellians own very fab little pooches which they tie up outside the fab little cafes they frequent, so your fab little ones can also spend ages harassing them (except the little bulls decided to take on the great dane and not the pug - I sent Mr Munch to sort that one out).
Clodeli opens early (like 6.30am I think) so if you are early risers like us there is no drama in nabbing a table. But be warned, it does get very busy here especially when all of those fab little Clovellians without children arise and venture out for their morning caffeine fix. I think the best thing about the locals who frequent Clodeli is that they know it is a mecca for cafe fiends with kids so they ain't bothered by the noise and nonsense that children can create.
There is seating both inside and out and plenty of room for your fab little pram. Your fab little one's bum can be changed in their spacious bathroom that comes with a baby change table and their are loads of Ikea highchairs for your fab little one's derriere to sit in.
WARNING: that very nice cupcake cabinet is right next to where you pay, so if your little ones are with you at this point it will be fairly difficult for you to leave without purchasing a cupcake or other little treat like we did. Below are the mars bar men that the little bulls bellowed for ($2.50 each):
Oh Clodeli you are indeed a child friendly cafe and I envy all those fab Clovellians having you so close. By the way how do they stay so fabulously little? Genetics maybe x
210 Clovelly Rd Clovelly NSW 2034
02 9664 1885
open 7 days
It was time for the little bulls to catch up with one of their favourite Uncles. Most of their Uncles (they have 5) believe that we live at Broken Hill and not Baulkham Hills and hence they balk at coming to Baulko. So every now and then we make the pilgrimage back down the pesky M2 to visit them.
This particular Uncle lives at the Royal Hotel in Randwick, not literally, just when his thirst gets the better of him. So we made a rendezvous for Saturday lunch.
I had read during the week that the bistro had had a bit of a revamp of its menu and that it now had a classic pub feel and also that it offered great meals for kids. Which is sensible because of its close vicinity to the Sydney Children's Hospital. The great meals for kids were actually limited to your typical 3 standard choices!
The Royal is a beautiful old heritage pub that has been excellently maintained. Whilst the exterior is of another era, the interior is modern and spacious. You can sit outside near the busy road (not a sensible option Parents) or inside. There is also a lovely courtyard which would have been perfect for us except that it had been raining and all the chairs were sodden.
We opted for a quiet corner near the kitchen where the bulls wouldn't disturb anyone. Not that we should have worried cause the bistro was really quiet. We ordered some of the classic pub fare for ourselves - steak sandwiches ($14) which were huge and a kid's plate of fish and chips ($9) to share.
The food came really quickly and was devoured just as quickly.This left a wee problem - the little bulls were bored and the uncle hadn't arrived yet. The Royal has absolutely no kid friendly activities - so BYO! So another round of drinks were ordered for everyone and the kid's size lemonade comes in a middy glass ($2.30).
I also ordered some vanilla ice cream for the bulls to keep them entertained but this seemed to be a problem as it wasn't "on the menu". However after some persistence I was given a bowl of delicious vanilla bean ice cream for $3.00 and luckily they thought to give us 2 spoons. Then the Uncle arrived.
The other child friendly aspects of the pub is that it has a disabled loo that is fitted out with a baby change table and as the lounge bar and bistro are so spacious it is really pram friendly. Oh and they have a token Ikea high chair.
Because of it's close proximity to the Sydney Children's Hospital (something that is advertised on the Royal's website), I'm surprised that it hasn't made an attempt to be more family friendly. It has the potential - just in need of a few tweaks.
Also I wasn't really impressed with the staff at the Royal. They were to be frank, very unwelcoming. I'm sure the Uncle gets great service in the Sports Bar as he is a regular but the bistro and lounge bar staff could barely crack a smile.
Maybe I've been living in Broken Hill for too long and have forgotten that you need a good deal of attitude to live in the East x
2 Perouse Rd Randwick NSW 2031
02 9399 3006