Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mums & Bubs was brilliant, but not just for Mums with Bubs!!

Mums & Bubs (MnB cafe)
Stanley Street Plaza
Little Stanley Street
Southbank,  Brisbane,  4101.
Just near where the Southbank Markets are held and opposite the Aquativity Centre.

Rating out of 5:    4.5 child friendly forks - an excellent option for a mid-week stop for Mum with the kids, or a whole family weekend outing.

Clean highchairs available? Yes and plenty available.
Pram access? Yes.
Kids' menu? Yes
Play area? Yes.  Not a playground, but a lovely area for children to play, read or watch a movie.
Activities at the table? Don't need it, as the lovely play area is very closeby.
Room for kids to move around? Yes.
Child friendly atmosphere? Absolutely
Prices? Very reasonable.

Open only 6 weeks, this is an absolute gem of a place.  The owner has thought of everything!  Located just near the Aquativity Centre at Southbank, it is great to give your kids a play and then head into Mums & Bubs for lunch or morning/afternoon tea.  The food is prepared by chefs, and a decent menu is available for both adults and kids.  The cafe environment is gorgeous with ottomans scattered in the play zone and beautiful comfy chairs and lounges in the cafe area.  The kids play area is not a playground as such, but a beautiful chill out zone with a library of books and toys and a large flat screen television playing movies.  So it cleverly caters to a mix of ages.

The coffee was divine and it is licensed, so it would be a nice and relaxing option for dinner on a Friday night.  Not only that, but they do kids birthday parties too.  They can either provide the catering to you near the Aquativity centre, or anywhere in the parklands; or you can have the party in the cafe.  You can even have the cafe all to yourself after a certain time, and play your own choice of dvds and music etc. 

The only drawback is the parking at Southbank, but you can generally get a paid park underneath or perhaps catch a Citycat straight to the Parklands.

I really love this cafe and would highly recommend it for Mums catching up during the week, but also for families wanting a night or morning out.  Definitely not just a Mothers Group meeting place.  Personally I think it would be great for a Sunday morning brekky, followed by a bike ride through Southbank Parklands.  With the Spring weather on its way, what a perfect way to have a family morning out and about.  We will definitely be back there soon.

Check out our Interview page, to see the latest interview with a busy Mum; talking about favourite child friendly restaurants and cafes in Brisbane / South East Queensland.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's all about Soul.....

Soul Bistro
5/16 Baroona Road
Milton,  Qld,  4064
T:  3367 8188

Rating out of 5:     4 child friendly forks - an adult dining experience that easily accommodates kids.

Clean highchairs available? Yes
Pram access? Yes.
Kids' menu? No, but tapas meals at dinner and light options for brekky and lunch.
Play area? No.
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? Yes.
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes.
Prices? Very reasonable.

Soul Bistro is an adult dining experience that has enough space (when dining outside) and a menu that easily adapts to dining with children.  We have been there for dinner previously and the food and service was impeccable.  BYO any alcohol with a tiny $2 corkage per person, and the wait staff come and top up your wine - which you would expect in a high end, high priced restaurant.  But the tapas banquet menus start at only $16 per head!!  For kids you can order the specific tapas plates - our kids love the grilled haloumi as one option!

More recently it has become a regular stop for us for Saturday brunch.  The colder evening weather and "triplet toilet training" have restricted our dinner outings temporarily. 

Soul Bistro does not have a specific kid's menu but there are many options for the children including honey, date and walnut loaf, french toast or simply toast with rose whipped butter.  There are also sweet options in their window.  Our children love the homemade lemonade and the milkshakes, and I love the coffee. 

No provided activities for kids, but there is enough space for them to run around after they have eaten and toilets right nearby - which has been very handy for us of late!  You just have to be careful as the road is quite close as is the TAB.  They can very quickly wander off to the road or sneak in through the auto doors of the TAB if you are not watching.

I love this place and would highly recommend it to families.  Might see you there on a Saturday morning!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Gap has it down-pat....

The Gap Tavern
21 Glenquarie Place,
The Gap,  Brisbane.
T:  3366 6090

Rating out of 5:        4.5 child friendly forks - Loved it for a family.

Clean highchairs available? Yes
Pram access? Yes, could potentially be a bit squishy.
Kids' menu? Yes.
Play area? Yes.
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? Yes.
Child friendly atmosphere? Definitely.
Prices? Reasonable and the kids ate free.
I have not been to The Gap Tavern for a while, but recently decided to have dinner there for a mid-week catch up with friends.  It was great!  We arrived and ordered immediately and the kids meals came out in a flash.  We were perfectly postioned near the heaters and in full view of both the playground and the computer room.  So once the children had eaten it was so easy for them to go and have a play, while we enjoyed our meals.  The kids ate free which was fantastic and our meals were reasonably priced for "pub food".  Most at the table had steak and I had the Chicken Supreme (it sounds like a pizza but was actually a very tasty chicken breast dish). 

All the children of varying ages had a ball.  The playground is probably not suited for children under 2 years unless you plan to stand by their side 100% of the time.  For our children the playground and the computer room were perfect especially mixing with some of the older kids in our group of friends.  I would recommend that when you book you ask for a table close to the playground and computer room, as it would be tricky to relax if you were sitting away from this area and the children were not in view.

It did get cold quickly, especially in the playground, but all our children were well rugged up.  It is probably more appropriate for night time family dining when it warms up a bit. 

We will definitely be back there when the warmer weather arrives - a great family option.  We were able to relax and the kids had a ball - everyone enjoyed themselves!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ribs and Rumps was not on my return list...

Ribs and Rumps
Marina Mirage

Shop 16/74 Seaworld Drive
Main Beach, QLD 4217
T: 5591 1677

Rating out of 5:      2.5 child friendly forks (maybe 3 as it was a nice location)

Clean highchairs available? Yes
Pram access? Yes.
Kids' menu? Yes.
Play area? No.
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? No.
Child friendly atmosphere? Okay, but not ideal.
Prices? Expensive but the children ate free.

We were holidaying down at the Gold Coast and decided we wanted to check out the new restaurants at upmarket Marina Mirage shopping centre.  Ribs and Rumps seemed to be the most child friendly on paper.  From the entrance it looked to be more like a wine bar, so we were worried when we arrived that we might be out of place carting 4 children in there.  But once we went into the restaurant there were a couple of other families there too.

The waitress looked at us strangely when we asked for three highchairs (which we had asked for when we booked as well), but when she saw the triplets toddling behind, she fetched the chairs with haste!

The children's drinks and meals came out very quickly.  The kids meals were huge and in fact I could have ordered two meals to feed all four children.  Plus the children's meals were free.  How do I keep stumbling on this??!!  Again, I don't know if this was a short term promotion, so ask the question when booking.  The kids menu was very much deep fried options.

Our meals were extremely slow, as were our drinks.  So by the time we received them, the kids were getting very restless and were keen to go.  It is hard to entice 3 x 2 year olds to sit in their highchairs for over two and a half hours in total!  So we really scoffed our meals which was a bit disappointing.

I felt the adult meals were fairly high priced when looking at the menu.  But when they came out they were viking sized servings!!  We also could have ordered one meal to feed the two of us.  The menu was very meaty, which I probably should have anticiapted from the name "Ribs and Rumps" but there were not many light options.  My meal was okay, but not great.  This could be partly due to the fact that I was a bit stressed by that stage as our meals had taken so long and the children were tired.

We had a lovely new mum come up to us and compliment how well behaved our children were.  Her comment was quite funny "...two against four...I don't know how you do it.  I struggle taking one out to dinner."  Seasoned diners at the ages of two and five!

It is a beautiful location and it was an enjoyable night, but we won't be rushing back there.  It was too disorganised and when dining out with children we need a lot more structure than that.

A trip to the Pacific...

Pacific Golf Club
430 Pine Mountain Rd
Mansfield  (near Carindale)
T:  3343 0888

Pic copied from their website, as my camera ran out of batteries. but our food did look like this!!.

Rating out of 5:        4 child friendly forks

Clean highchairs available? Yes
Pram access? Yes.
Kids' menu? Yes.
Play area? Yes - indoor playroom.
Activities at the table? No
Room for kids to move around? Yes.
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes
Prices? Very reasonable.

We have been to Pacific Golf Club a few times, but recently we had a friend's birthday gathering there.  I think this is an excellent child friendly option.  There is a kids' room where they can play, and although this is out of view, we sat close to the playroom entry so we could check on them regularly and hear what was going on.  The kids' menu has several options besides the standard chicken nuggets, and the adult menu is excellent and very reasonably priced.  You would expect the standard of food to be "clubish", but it isn't.  The children had spaghetti bolognaise, I had the salmon and Mike had the steak, and we were all suitably impressed.  Prices are very reasonable too.  The only trap with a place like this where there is a kids playroom available, is that some people just let their children go in there and not see them for the night.  This did cause some issues, with having to intervene and advise some of the bigger kids to slow down with the young ones.  But otherwise I would highly recommend this venue as a great family option, catering to children of varying ages.  We will definitely be back there.