Saturday 2 March 2013

Kid friendly cafes - are they worth it?

If you'd suggested to me 10 years ago that I even set foot in the door of a "kid friendly" cafe, I would have run screaming for the horizon. Nowadays, I'm more likely to be standing at the door at 0759hrs with my kids waiting for the place to open.

Some time last year, a very kid-oriented cafe opened up in Wareemba called Hopscotch. I noticed it one day as I was riding down to the end of the Abbotsford peninsular, and then filed it away and forgot about it. You're probably wondering, "Where the hell is Wareemba"? The only reason I know how to find it is because I was riding through one day and saw these big blue signs that said, "Welcome to Wareemba". I think the whole suburb is about 4 streets by 4 streets - a 'pocket' suburb so to speak.

Today was the day when I got to give it a go. I've tried every cafe in Five Dock and the two other cafes in Wareemba. Frankly, none of them do anything for me. There's something about each and every one of them that gives me the shits. Mostly, it is the requirement that you have to be an Italian or Greek insider in order to get decent service in any of them. If you're not part of the local wog mafia, forget it. The food that a lot of them serve is pretty rubbish too. You might think that an area stuffed full of Italians would produce good food - and you'd be wrong.

Thankfully, Hopscotch is the odd one out. From what I can gather, the owners are from Chile, so they are definitely not part of the wog establishment. The place is very kid friendly - there are two primary schools within walking distance, so they definitely have the local mums lined up as their target market. As far as being kid friendly goes, I reckon they've hit the spot. However, it's not an overwhelmingly kid cafe - the food is very grown up, and you can safely eat there without sprogs.

First thing - I would definitely go back again. It has two big common tables - I like these, because when the place is half empty, they give me plenty of room to spread the newspapers out and eat in style. The food is also tasty and the omelette I had today would have stopped an elephant. It certainly stuffed a wet and hungry cyclist who needed stuffing.

Amazingly, the coffee is also first grade. When I got home, I googled some reviews and found that all the coffee snobs gave it very good marks. They use Paul Bassett beans - whatever they are.

If you're the sort of person that makes a fuss about organic this and home made that, then it ticks all the right boxes. I don't really care for any of that - I just care whether the end product is any good. Doesn't matter if you start with organic eggs from home raised chickens fed on organic corn - if you can't cook an egg for nuts, the ingredients are immaterial.

There were a few kids eating with mum and/or dad when I was there. Every now and then, something would go crashing to the floor - but the place was not overwhelmed with the noise of screaming, uncontrolled children. It struck me that the clientele of this place actually know how to discipline and manage their kids, which is something of a first.

The only downer was the price - it was nearly $20 for an omelette and a coffee. Sure, it was first grade stuff, and the service was good, but that's still a big hit for breakfast. Then again, it seems to be pretty hard to avoid having the wallet pounded anywhere these days.

Insert rant here:

Kid friendly cafes - a sure sign that society is on the decline. One of the primary functions of parents is to socialise their offspring - to teach the little buggers how to behave in private and in public. Kid friendly cafes are a cop out - they allow useless, degenerate, hopeless parents to inflict their undisciplined little brats on an unsuspecting public. Kids should be taught to sit down, shut up and quietly amuse themselves without interfering with any grown ups in the vicinity who are trying to concentrate on a newspaper and a good coffee. There is a place for hyperactive little monsters who need to be fed - it's called McDonalds.

End rant:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting point you make about useless parents, and their undisciplined children, being a pain in the backside in public places.

Our family eat out several times a week,and have done so for many years.

About 90% of the time, we patronise Chinese or Thai restaurants, (my wife is Chinese).

In all that time, I have only once seen a Chinese child screaming. That was excusable, as the child's finger was being gripped by a crab. Otherwise, never a problem