Frazzled parents out for dinner with your kids, this list should give you some peace of mind. Here's what we deem the best when it comes to filling your kids' stomachs (and yours too).
This Bangsar South eatery– with its high ceilings, wood panelling and indoor greenery – makes for a very cool breakfast, brunch and lunch venue. There’s lots of space (ideal for manoeuvring strollers), and the concept of indoor park dining is at work here with a Ficus tree encircled by a picnic table. The self-service menu is healthy and hearty – sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and coffee.
There’s outdoor seating as well, which is ideal for a family brunch if the weather permits. Sandwiches are made with doorstop slices of house-baked sourdough bread with the roast beef (medium-rare, caramelised onions, mustard) being the popular choice. Sandwich and soup options are regularly changed to keep it interesting.
Crafted salads are also available, and the salad bar gets top marks where you can create your own from their medley of fresh ingredients including beetroot, quinoa, cous cous, asparagus, tuna chunks, lean chicken, chickpeas, mushroom, spinach; topped with a selection of homemade dressings to make a very substantial meal.
Popular online dessert store The Accidental Bakers have opened their first brick-and-mortar outlet in Pavilion Elite. Decked in polish black and white marble bar, Brownies Bar by The Accidental Bakers is founded by friends and self-professed foodies Ee-Lyn Tan and Hazwan Yazit.
Dubbed the first specialist brownies bar in Malaysia, it offers 15 of The Accidental Bakers’ best-selling dark chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondies. We bet you and your little ones would love their signature dark chocolate brownie which is very moist and fudgy. Other standouts include salted caramel, sea salt almond, Nutella and gula Melaka cheesecake. Apart from its delectable brownies, it also offers a selection of sauces and toppings such as chocolate chips, gula melaka sauce, crushed oreo and hazenuts for you to choose to go with your brownie or blondie.
If brownies won’t hold your kids' attention, opt for their latest offering; brownies topped with vanilla ice cream and let your kids choose their own toppings. Head here for a teatime treat and some dose of brownies goodness.
This minimalist café is the latest addition to the La Juiceria chain and focuses not only on their trademark juices, but expands on the menu by adding smoothie bowls, dips, soups and an extensive salad bar catering to health-conscious ladies who lunch and mums slinging sleeping babies.
And while salads and kids aren’t necessarily a good combination, there are options like the GG Spinach Dip, which is a creamy spinach and mozzarella dip served with baguette slices that will appeal to the little ones. The Super Soups are another option and come in delicious flavours like pumpkin, mushroom and rosemary carrot.
Smoothie bowls, wraps, brown rice bowls and an extensive selection of their famous juices are all available; and the kids’ play corner is a very welcome addition to the café.
Vegetarian restaurants aren’t at the top of the list for family dining, but there are some very interesting venues popping up, which even the most carnivorous child will succumb to. The uniquely named RGB & The Bean Hive is one of these and being in a house with ample parking means strollers, bags and kids can be easily brought into cafe.
You’ll be greeted by the aroma of coffee and a counter of cakes; it almost feels like walking into a friend’s house especially the kids’ play area, reading corner and a selection of board games. With an emphasis on ‘vegetarian food for meat eaters’, this is a terrific way to introduce your child to meat-free dishes like the eggplant pesto pasta or the McBroccoli, a burger patty made with cheese and broccoli.
There isn’t a dedicated kid’s menu at the moment but portions are decent enough to share. End the meal with their signature coffee while the kids hang out at the play area.
This is a restaurant which prides itself in offering wholesome, delicious comfort food while making a great effort to be health without sacrificing taste. Brown rice, organic soya sauce (also available for sale), free-range chicken, chia seeds, good cuts of beef and homemade bread feature prominently on the menu with chef/owner emphasising how he prepares food he would feed his own family. There’s a kids’ play corner and space where you can have a party. It’s all very family-orientated and friendly; and a great place for hearty weekend breakfasts.
Right in the middle of Bukit Jelutong area, this café has done a roaring trade from the moment it opened late last year. The rustic setting – featuring bamboo-style seats and wooden tables – is a big part of its draw, but the food is also appealing. Wholesome crowd-pleasers like pasta, pizza, nasi lemak, nasi goreng kampung and mee goreng mamak keep the diners returning. There’s a kids’ menu too, but what they’ll really want are the milkshakes (made with homemade ice cream; we say go for them yourself). Coffees and dessert here are always a treat, as the coffee beans are imported and their cakes are supplied by the famous Cake Jalan Tiung. There’s plenty of room to park strollers inside and you can sit outside when the weather’s fine.
Simple and unpretentious, with its menu handwritten on the chalkboard wall of the café, 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.
With stroller parking, an ample number of highchairs and a cute kids' playground adjoining, Benbino is a welcome addition to KL's selection of family-friendly cafes. Look for the giant yellow giraffe and head up the spiral staircase to this compact and comfy spot. If you can get the kids past the magical display of sweets, there's a whole menu of meals, created and portioned for small tummies.
The menu is just what you'd expect from the BIG Group and it includes crowd pleasers like mac 'n' cheese, pizzas, salads and pastas. We were happy to see that many dishes sneak in a few healthy vegetables, such as the cauliflower tater tots and the cauliflower base margherita pizza.
We even tried the build-your-own tacos and were surprised to find that the accompanying chicken tenders were crumbed with quinoa, which gives a satisfying crunch. If you’re not into the tapas style portions for yourself, some dishes are also available in adult portions.
It’s a shame that KL doesn’t have more alfresco eateries such as Green Tomato Café. Located in a lush green compound in the heart of KL, Green Tomato isn’t immediately visible to the naked eye, but it’s easy enough to locate. The free parking and ample space for strollers are a huge plus!
On weekends, families trickle into Green Tomato for simple but reliably delicious brunches. Order favourites the likes of perfectly poached eggs Benedict, freshly baked muffins, espresso beverages and refreshing fruit juices. A kids’ playground was recently set up on the lawn so encourage your little ones to play barefoot. The café can even tailor its latte art classes to suit children by swapping coffee for hot chocolate.
Decked in bright and playful colours, Instagram cake shop Gula Cakery has opened their brick and mortar store in Kota Kemuning. The atmosphere is cheerful and family-friendly; the kids’ play area takes up more than a quarter of the café situated on the first floor.
The ground floor is a roomy space equipped for baking workshops. Founder Arieni Ritzal combined her degree in early childhood education and her love for baking and turned it into a family business. Her parents help out with the daily operations and her brother, Adrien Kent (known for his designs for Feeka, Sitka and Inside Scoop), designed the café.
The desserts taste as good as they look especially the Nutella-stuffed chocolate chip cookies. We even went back the following week for their salted caramel chocolate tart and their generous serving of crème brûlée. There’s also simple home-cooked fare from Arieni’s parents like nasi kerabu and nasi tomato with ayam masak merah. Baking classes are open to kids aged three and up.
Huckleberry Food & Fare take great pride in preparing their food well. Their breakfast and brunch items including the ham and cheese omelette, banana French toast and Eggs Benedict (for the older kids) are all delicious and will go down a treat; and their attractive kid-friendly pastry and cake counter has a great selection too. A lunchtime favourite is the mac ‘n’ cheese, which isn’t one of those chuck-some-grated-cheese-on-top-of-pasta jobs, but a creamy, cheesy affair even the grownups will want a taste of.
Juices are made-to-order and served in glass bottles in a miniature ice bucket to ensure they remain chilled, and there’s an option of almond milk if anyone is lactose intolerant. Milkshakes, mocktails and the hot chocolate have all passed the taste test too.
All their pastries and cakes are baked onsite in their open concept bakery and this is something kids love watching – all that kneading of dough and tossing of ingredients will keep little minds occupied for enough time for you to sip that latte in peace. The staff are extremely friendly and more than happy to pull up a high chair for your toddler, or a funny face to entertain them.
The kids’ menu here won’t win any awards for healthy eating but Out of Africa is a favourite for their simple, uncomplicated kiddy fare, great atmosphere and their playground. Dining at Out of Africa is like stepping into a tribal chief’s home and you’d almost expect to see giraffes and a lion or two outside. Sample South African originals like lamb bobotie and tongue Kalahari or go for the braaied boerewors, all washed down with your favourite pint. From the kids’ menu, options like homemade chicken breast nuggets, lamb chops and the 100g sirloin steak all come with sides (chips, rice, etc.).
The restaurant has a jungle playground, responsibly tiled to prevent boo-boos and as it’s situated next to a swimming pool, kids can purchase swimming bands and take a dip. As if not family-fit enough, the bathrooms come equipped with baby changing facilities.
Over the past year, KL has seen a burst of eateries that include dining options for kids. Gone are the days when parents were subjected to fast food joints because of happy meals that pleased tiny tummies. Nowadays, there are healthier and yummier menu options. Parents, we've done your homework and shortlisted the best for your ankle-biters. You're welcome.