Recommendations for kid-friendly places to eat in the city

emd 21 August 2009 39

Right hive-mind, I need some recommendations!
A bunch of my feral hippie friends are coming to Canberra for the mega homebirth rally on Monday 7 September at Parliament House.
We’re looking for places to eat with our kids on Sunday and Monday night, right in the city centre (not general inner north, I need true CBD).
Now, despite being a Canberran with small children, I don’t normally take the kids with me to dinner parties in the CBD. Sammy’s will be too crowded, McDonalds too disgusting, and Hog’s Breath too meaty.
I wonder if Flavours of India could accommodate a large group including kids? Or if the CIT restaurant would be open? Woodstock or Mamma’s Trattoria would have been ideal, but sadly they’ve both closed down.

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39 Responses to Recommendations for kid-friendly places to eat in the city
emd emd 10:33 am 24 Aug 09

astrojax, will definitely post a rally notice on Riot-ACT next week, and a review after the event. It’s going to be huge!

franzipami, have noticed Mawson Club changed their rules a while back. I don’t go there as much now, too hard to arrange meetings with friends who don’t want to join a club they might not visit again for years.

astrojax astrojax 8:29 pm 23 Aug 09

don’t let genie organise your life or you’ll end up in the bottle…

good luck with the rally, too, emd – a review of that, as well as the more important dining experience, please, if i might make so bold as to ask…?

franzipami franzipami 7:51 pm 23 Aug 09

We went to the Mawson Club a few months back with our kids and another couple (it is a great place for young kids!!), however, found that they had just changed their policy and that you had to be a member to get into the club. My husband and our friends are not members and living on the other side of town felt it didn’t justify for all of us to join ($6 I think) just for a meal (which are not the cheapest!!). Headed over to the Hellenic Club which is great for the kids.

I was told that the new policy came into place because people were getting others to sign them in and then playing the pokies, mmm, me thinks that the there would be more revenue raised with the poker machines than the chance of pissing people off and going to another club!! Not sure of their business logic there!!

emd emd 4:03 pm 23 Aug 09

No I don’t own a telephone, and yes I would like you personally to organise my life for me.
Actually, I just thought other people might have personal experience with taking large groups or kids to some of these places and might like to share their views. Which is a different perspective than one gets from phoning a restaurant to check their hours and make a booking.

Genie Genie 1:17 pm 23 Aug 09

I wonder if Flavours of India could accommodate a large group including kids? Or if the CIT restaurant would be open?

Do you not own a telephone ? Can you not call and ask ? Or do you expect everyone else to do the hard work.

szeretetta szeretetta 11:50 am 23 Aug 09

Just a note: Mamas in Civic has not closed down – I ate there last night.

emd emd 9:22 pm 22 Aug 09

Will post a review of the place after the event, if that suits you Moonie.

MOONIE MOONIE 9:34 pm 21 Aug 09

Hi Emd, you decided on a place after all the recommendations but didn’t tell us where, that’s OK but it would be good to find out if it works for you and what restaurant it ended up being and if it was suitable. It would also be good to know what age group you where catering for, thanks MOONIE

emd emd 5:33 pm 21 Aug 09

GnT said :

Why does it need to be in the city? My favourite kid friendly haunt is the Mawson Club, which has an indoor playroom, and the food is not bad too. Any club usually has lots of room, kids menu and reasonable prices.

Because it’s for a group of interstate visitors who don’t have cars with them and don’t know Canberra that well.

Thanks sepi, had forgotten about Cafe Pronto.

sepi sepi 4:27 pm 21 Aug 09

Cafe Pronto is the one In braddon I was trying to remember.

Have fun!

emd emd 4:17 pm 21 Aug 09

Thanks for all the recommendations. I think we’ve found the right place for us now.
For those suggesting a picnic, great idea for daytime – we just don’t fancy it for a bunch of interstate visitors at night.

GnT GnT 3:54 pm 21 Aug 09

Why does it need to be in the city? My favourite kid friendly haunt is the Mawson Club, which has an indoor playroom, and the food is not bad too. Any club usually has lots of room, kids menu and reasonable prices.

sepi sepi 3:08 pm 21 Aug 09

I’ve remembered a cheap pasta place in Braddon that was good for kids. It is usually half empty which helps. I forget the name – it is green and red outside and I think begins with P.

Last time we went there service was a bit confused, but it is definitely in the ‘family restaurant’ category.

Danman Danman 3:02 pm 21 Aug 09

I went to Flavours of India recently in a group of five. We were charged $22.45 for rice. Plain, boiled rice.

I assume you sighted the menu before ordering your plain boiled rice at $4.50 a head ?

So what did you expect ?

$4.50 x 5 people is $22.50..At what point do you need clarification ?

elizard elizard 2:44 pm 21 Aug 09

I can recommend wagamama’s, they have a kids menu and can provide high chairs, they also don’t mind if people share at all and are not that expensive. Take some pencils and they will provide coloring in books.

dvaey dvaey 1:41 pm 21 Aug 09

barking toad said :

Prepare your own and feed them.

Wouldn’t this fit in with the home birthy hippie feeling?

While I understand the whole point of this homebirth rally thing, is to be as ‘in your face’ as possible (why do some parents feel this urge?), to extend what others have suggeseted why not make up a picnic style meal and goto Glebe park or Haig park?

This has advantages the kids are eatting healthy food (as healthy as you make it), you wont be forking out a fortune for kids meals that will only be half eatten, and you also wont be subjecting other patrons of a restaurant to herds of ‘feral hippy’ kids.

byt2007 byt2007 1:40 pm 21 Aug 09

Flavours of India make truly delicious food, but it is expensive, service is slow and reluctant and they have a ridiculous minimum charge per person. I do not know if they would dare attempt to extend this minimum charge per person to children, but their attitude of “deserving” money for every customer who dines in really rubs me the wrong way. If they want to charge a set fee per seat, they should run a buffet!

I also don’t think the atmosphere would be conducive to your gathering, as the times I’ve been there, there has been the opposite of a warm, friendly atmosphere.

byt2007 byt2007 1:33 pm 21 Aug 09

APK made the most disgusting food I’ve ever had the misfortune to pay for (as takeaway), with the added insult of it being quite expensive. Their cardboard pizza bases are obviously frozen, and the overall quality of the two pizzas I ordered was worse than a $5 frozen Lean Cuisine pizza. I say Lean Cuisine pizza quite deliberately as I don’t actually mind ordinary frozen pizza — but the Lean Cuisine kind tastes like a woolly cardboard disc topped with mushy, under-seasoned veggies.

The false advertising it just crazy, as it doesn’t matter if the oven is “wood-fired” if the pizza bases are frozen commercial discs!

Their “potato skins smothered with crisp bacon and mozzarella, topped with sour cream and guacamole” turned out to be soggy frozen potato wedges (barely even warm), topped with pre-chopped manufactured ham, and pre-grated semi-melted cheddar cheese which tasted vaguely mouldy. The most disgusting dish I’ve ever purchased, quite frankly. I complained that the dish was nothing whatsoever as described but received no response.

It’s a shame, because although the potato skins dish sounded like a heart attack in bowl, it also sounded absolutely delicious and just the right thing to soak up some alcohol.

kaydo kaydo 1:23 pm 21 Aug 09

I saw a large school group go in to Three Mothers Thai last night, seemed to work

peterh peterh 1:19 pm 21 Aug 09

I am probably amongst the majority of parents that wouldn’t dream of taking the kids out to a restaurant until they can speak coherently, understand that cutlery isn’t for stabbing their siblings with, and the waiter isn’t really ours to keep; There really aren’t many restaurants that cater well for groups with children in the city, and if you can excursion them out to the hellenic club, it would be well worth the trip.

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