There seems to be a flurry of new cafes swinging open their doors in Sydney at the moment, perhaps it has something to do with spring and the season of new beginnings. Whatever it is, it's a boon for us parents, as they all seem to be seriously kid friendly. Take for example our latest find - Hide & Seek Cafe on the main drag of Leichhardt. This cafe has actually been set up with families in mind, and is being touted as Sydney's "ultimate kid friendly cafe" by the owners.
Hide & Seek has taken up residence in the space on Norton Street that used to be Bubbabar. The new owners have remodelled the cafe somewhat, and have put in place a very tasty and healthy menu. There is a fully enclosed play area outside at the back of the cafe, and there is also a room where you can hold a birthday party. The inside of the cafe has a cute little play area too. Their motto is "Eat Play Learn" and once they are up and running, they are also going to be holding developmental classes.
The play area out the back is great for younger kids as it has a cubbyhouse, tee pee with books to read, toys, puzzle table and a sand pit (although I wouldn't want to be the poor sucker who has the clean up the sand off the floor every day). There are also some tables and chairs inside this play area which are perfect for parents of toddlers. And the best bit is that you can book a table, so if you do have little humans in your life, request a table in there.
And if you have older kids there are board games for them to play - which got the tick from my toothless terrors who think they are getting a bit too old for play areas apparently!
There are excellent toilet facilites complete with baby change table, toddler step and wipes, inside the cafe. There's very easy access for prams and also space to park them near your table, as well as a designated pram parking area. There are high chairs for little bottoms to be plonked in, and there is an excellent and cheap kids menu - so yes kidlets are definitely well catered for at Hide & Seek Cafe.
When I first looked at the kids menu and saw that it had Vegemite toast for $2.00, my immediate thought was, about time! First of all it's a meal that a huge number of Aussie kids will eat, and secondly it's $2.00!! I think I can safely say, that I haven't seen something as cheap as that on a kids menu anywhere in my travels. And yes you only receive 1 slice of toast for that price, but that's what most small kids only eat anyway. If your kids need a bit more sustenance, then order them the boiled egg and toast for $4 or the chia pudding ($4). We also love that the kids meals are served on plastic plates!
The kids menu is served all day, and some options for lunch include grilled cheese on toast ($2), and it can also come with avo ($4); or a yummy sounding bento box with meatballs, carrot sticks, corn, peas, fruit and youghurt ($6); or meatballs with zucchini spaghetti and tomato sauce ($6). We're very impressed that the kids menu is healthy and cheap!
The adults menu at breakfast time covers all of your favourites. I especially recommend the avo stack with a poached egg ($17.50). This dish is huge and delicious and I just loved the garnish of seeds and grains. The eggs benny ($16) was pretty good too. You will also find granola, bircher and chia puddings on the menu, as well as the classic bacon and egg roll, corn fritters and of course the big brekkie, otherwise known as the Big Poppa ($22).
The $15.00 lunch time menu is full of some very healthy and delicious sounding items. First of all there's a great selection of salads, and then there's the panko puff chicken burger, beef burger and pulled pork roll for the carnivores. I like the sound of the falafel & cauliflower flatbread with tabbouleh and beetroot hummus. I also love that there's not one hot chip on either the kids or adults menu!
They serve an excellent brew of Five Senses Coffee at Hide and Seek and they also have babycinos, which I do believe are free (but don't quote me on that). There are milkshakes and freshly squeezed orange juice to satisfy thirsty little munchers. And for those of you who aren't caffeine addicts you can try the matcha latte, chai latte or the hot chocolate. Tea is by TeaEsk and apparently they offer a different assortment each day. And of course there is always table water which is served in plastic cups - tick!
Now it wasn't all beer and skittles (to quote my father) at Hide and Seek. We normally have a rule that we don't visit a cafe when it first opens, as we think it's hard to give it a fair review because it may have some teething problems. So I'm not sure why we decided to visit Hide and Seek on their second day of business, because we didn't really have the best experience. And that was all to do with service. The facilities, the food and the coffee were all absolutely fine. It's just that the staff (and there were quite a few of them) were very inexperienced and as a result our order was lost in the system and we waited WAY too long for our food (they did offer us a free coffee whilst we waited). We also had issues paying the bill, as our food and drinks had been allocated to different tables - and then we had to pay two seperate bills. Anyway, hopefully these are just teething issues, and we will remember for next time, to give a cafe a bit more of a breathing space before it gets Little Munched.
We will visit Hide & Seek again in a couple of months time to see if the service aspect has improved, and then we will give our lollipop score x
102 Norton St, Leichhardt NSW
02 9572 9673
Tue - Fri: 7.30am - 4.30pm
Sat: 8am - 4pm
Sun: 9am - 3pm