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Simple and unpretentious, with its menu handwritten on the chalkboard wall of the café (this particular feature has its good points and bad), Antipodean serves up delicious food with a touch of home. Choose from the mains or the luscious cakes or indulge in their all-day breakfast menu. Despite not having a children’s menu, the café does have a range of items that should appeal to kids: The porridge with honey and banana and the banana pancakes will definitely please finicky young palates. If the portions are too big, just talk to the staff and they will shrink them accordingly. The café has recently grown to include four outlets (with new premises at Mid Valley and Atria Damansara) but we’re confining our recommendation to the Bangsar and Menara Tan & Tan outlets. These have cosy kiddie areas, equipped with toys, little tables and a television showing cartoons. At the Bangsar café, even Fido is welcome to join the family’s brunch.
Gobo Chit Chat
Gobo Chit Chat at Traders Hotel offers stylish all-day dining with a Thai appetiser buffet, sushi bar, open noodle kitchen and bakery. A kaleidoscope illuminates a curved, 10m-high ceiling, creating a distinctive urban experience. Little ones will also be spoiled for choice with a comprehensive kids’ menu that offers goodies like vegetable crisps, spaghetti and meatballs, ginger beef and roasted pumpkin soup. The final point in favour of family dining? Tiny gluttons can join Mum and Dad at the buffet for half price and they will love the luscious chocolate fountain.
Hard Rock Cafe
No visit to a foreign country would be complete without a meal at this worldwide institution. Scratch that. No local can call themselves one until they’ve dined at their own Hard Rock Café. With rock ’n’ roll memorabilia on practically every surface, this renowned restaurant not only has a great atmosphere but pretty good food too. All kiddie meals come complete with a drink and little ones can choose from items such as the Mac-Daddy Mac & Cheese and Buddy’s Bangin Burger with Cheese or, for the more health conscious kids, a grilled chicken breast salad known as Skiddley’s Not-So-Diddly Chicken Breast Salad. Kids on their best behaviour should also be treated to the Sinful Hot Fudge Sundae – its name says it all.
Jarrod & Rawlins Damansara
Malaysia’s only true gastropub, J&R (as it’s affectionately known) dishes up hearty pub grub alongside its pints. It might surprise you to hear that it’s also the perfect spot for a relaxed meal with the family. Non-halal of course, the full English breakfast is on par with any in the country. They also have an excellent roast dinner (beef, chicken, lamb or pork), renowned pork knuckles, tender steaks, salads and pasta dishes. Where do kids fit into all of this? Their menu is a scaled-down version of some of the pub’s most popular dishes: the Sunday Roast, fish and chips as well as sausage, beans and chips for example. They’re not exactly healthy but they are incredibly popular. The Ampang outlet also boasts a play area for children, with games, toys and kids’ movies playing, ensuring J&R remains as popular as ever with both youngsters and grownups.
From the flavourful food to the colourful décor, rambunctious music and dancing, it’s one big fiesta that welcomes the little ones. Feast on traditional Mexican grub like enchiladas, quesadillas and chilli con carne, or perhaps sample their grilled steaks or charbroiled ribs. Kiddies can order from the El Gauchito kids’ menu with options like El General (deep fried chicken nuggets), Speedy Gonzales (grilled chicken breast with mushroom sauce) and El Bandito (grilled beef steak). Catering to the lil’ diners, the restaurant provides colouring kits and cartoons are constantly being shown on the TV screens.
Upgrades to the main and kids’ menus in recent years have made Marmalade an even better choice for families. Still succinct and still centred on comfort food, the menu here trades in simple, delicious dishes that are healthy but certainly not bland or joyless. We heartily recommend the chicken rice, served with oriental vegetable soup, and the macaroni and cheese, sneakily threaded with tender shreds of carrot for that extra healthy kick. Kids’ menus come with activities for the little ones to enjoy while they wait for their meals but there are also indoor and outdoor play areas with recently upgraded toys. Occasionally you’ll find fun workshops for the kids too. New mums will be pleased to hear that the café offers Lilie Pilie nursing aprons so that they can breastfeed in comfort.
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