It’s 5:30pm, and the kids are in front of the TV singing along to Frozen at the top of their lungs for the fifth time this week. But after your last family outing to the Indian restaurant down the road, you’re scared to even order takeaway from them anymore. That incident with the flying papadum will not be forgotten.
Instead of facing a nightmare cleanup job in the kitchen (and the dining room, the lounge room and the kids themselves – how do they get food in their ears anyway?), take the whole family out to spot where the kids menu involves more than just fish and chips, there’s entertainment that doesn’t involve throwing food and you won’t have to settle for a bad chicken parma.
And the bad memory of your last dinner adventure? Let it go.
The Pineapple Hotel | Kangaroo Point
The Pineapple Hotel’s children’s menu will have you wishing (more than usual) that you met the ‘Under 12 years’ requirement. With perfectly sized portions of crumbed fish and chips with salad, premium MSA steaks and spaghetti bolognaise to choose from, your little ones will be in a food coma in no time at all, while you get your fill of chilli and garlic mussels and beef short ribs. Bonus, kids eat free on Wednesdays!
The Chelsea Bistro | Paddington
If your brood is just a little too noisy to be indoors, take a table on the patio at The Chelsea Bistro and let them be distracted by the fairy lit trees. Need some incentive (read: bribery) to convince them to stay seated and finish their dinner? If they finish their roast lamb with carrot puree and peas, they’ll get 2 scoops of ice cream for free.
Nantucket | Indooroopilly
If fine dining is your game, Nantucket’s casual vibes are a perfect excuse to introduce the kids to the real favourite in your life – crab cakes. Enjoy having the space to maneuver a pram in without taking out a waitress and tuck into bacon wrapped meatloaf and bottomless iced tea (with a little something extra if it’s been one of those days) while the kids are entertained by colouring in pads and games.
South Side Diner | South Bank
If the young’uns aren’t quite old enough to appreciate Grease (better check those lyrics out before the CD gets put on repeat), begin their introduction to Americana with the nostalgic eats at South Side Diner. Fried chicken with fries, mac ‘n’ cheese and battered corn dogs all come with a side of sweet retro cool. Just make sure you claim your bite of parent tax from their choc fudge sundae dessert.
Garden Grille | Eight Mile Plains
The Glen Hotel’s Garden Grille not only has a hugely varied children’s menu (with plenty for under $10, may we add), they also have a kids room for hours of entertainment. Your bundles of joy can dine on lasagna, a BBQ chicken salad wrap, BBQ riblets or even steak, before you tell them to go and play and then sneakily order a triple choc brownie for dessert.
Chapter IV | Paddington
As you enjoy a scrumptious dinner and BYO wine at this cute Paddington spot, feel free to let the kids out of your sight in the dedicated playroom with toys for the children. After they’ve finished their dino nuggets and chips of course. Then you can sneak in an espresso crème brulee while they’re not looking.
Jamie’s Italian | CBD
Take the kids for a train ride adventure to the city, settle them in a booth at Jamie’s and let them choose their dinner from the viewmaster kids menu. They’ll have as much fun ordering as they will eating, with chicken lollipops, mini sliders and curly wurly pasta bake on offer. Then, before they start asking ‘can I have some of your dinner?’ put a colouring pad in front of them and finish off your antipasti platter and lamb and ricotta ravioli.
So turn off Peppa Pig and get out the car seat. It’s dinner time.
Words by Rebecca Grady