For parents, we all know the drill at mealtimes – an orchestrated, highly multi-tasking endeavour where you try to gulp down as much as possible in between cutting food into tiny pieces for your toddler and trying to keep the cutlery on the table and not flung across the room. I've caught so many items in midair that I feel qualified to star in a kung fu movie!
Mealtimes out with the kids can be fun – but also stressful. You're trying to have a normal conversation while appeasing tantrums and demands, all while avoiding death stares from carefree childless adults who think you should be doing a better job managing the situation. Hong Kong restaurants are typically small, leaving even less room to manoeuvre around the demands of young children. Because of all of the above, we've put together a list of restaurants that offer more for the little ones to help you to keep your cool.
Kid-friendly factor: The venue's glass folding doors open up to a spacious square in Quarry Bay, where kids can play and zoom around on their bikes and scooters whilst parents relax and dine. There's also an indoor kids' corner with colourful floor mats and toys during weekends and public holidays. Kids' menu items range from mini beef burgers with fries ($98) to glazed mixed vegetables with bread ($98), and each meal comes with a soda and ice cream.
Deets: The kids' corner is available from 11am–6pm on weekends and public holidays.
Shop 514, G/F, Hing On Mansion, 5 Tai Yue Avenue, Tai Koo, 2446 1598
EDIT June, 2019: Sadly, Rhoda has closed it's doors. Another one bites the dust
Kid-friendly factor: Chef Nate Green, a father himself, understands the challenges parents face when it comes to feeding little ones. Alongside his delicious weekend brunch filled with tantalising items like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and salmon with sorrel sauce, he also offers a kids' menu packed with healthful yet delicious options such as grilled salmon and mash. The best part: kids under eight eat for free!
Deets: No restrictions on minimum spend for adults in order to get the kids-eat-free main and dessert.
345 Des Voeux Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, 2177 5050
208 Duecento Otto
Kid-friendly factor: There's a bambino menu ($38–78) with items such as sunny-side-up egg with pancetta and toast, pasta, pizza and baked mac 'n' cheese. Half-portions are also available for smaller tummies, as well as indulgences such as ice cream floats. There's also a play area and roomy baby-changing facilities.
Deets: The kids' play area is available during weekend brunch.
208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0208
Kid-friendly factor: The seaside location overlooking Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach makes this restaurant an ideal setting for little ones to wander and explore. Chef Jaakko Sorsa of FINDS, who is also a father himself, created the kids' menu to cater to the taste buds of tiny eaters. Scrumptious options include roast chicken with pumpkin, tomato and couscous salad ($68), margherita pizza ($68) and banana split ($68). There's also a range of games and colouring activities for rainy days.
Deets: Ideal for beach play dates and al fresco lounging.
1/F, Beach Commercial Complex, Park Island, Ma Wan, 3446 1226
Kid-friendly factor: Opened by Enoteca Group, it's the restaurant brand's first foray out of Hong Kong Island into Sai Kung. There's a tiffin tower for kids, where a three-layered lunchbox reveals small dishes of pasta, fried rice, steamed veggies and meatballs. Gluten-free chocolate cake and ice cream ($68–78) are also on the menu. The restaurant opens up to a small square where kids can whizz around on scooters or bikes.
Deets: The kids' menu is available at all times complete with crayons and interactive paper place mats for doodling.
26 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2792 1105
Kid-friendly factor: The weekend lunch buffet ($588 for kids aged 3–11) has plenty on offer that fits well in little hands, ranging from homemade vegetable chips, to mini beef burgers, to hedgehog-shaped BBQ pork buns. There are even snail-shaped tuna sandwiches, chocolate lollies, cupcakes shaped like pandas and an ice cream station. To accompany the buffet is a children's corner complete with photo booth and props.
Deets: The photo booth is available every Sunday alongside the kids' buffet.
1/F, The Peninsula, 22 Salisbury Road, TST, 2696 6766
Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill
Kid-friendly factor: The revamped kids' menu features American classic comforts such as grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs and fish fingers, all tucked away in a treasure-map-like folding menu with lots of puzzles and games to entertain the little ones. Children get to take home balloons, and there are plenty of crayons for doodling on the paper tablecloths.
Deets: The newly opened Dan Ryan's features a rolling train track on the ceiling as well as quirky stuffed animals on the walls.
Shop 311, 3/F, Phase 1, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo, 2845 4600