I may very well be a full grown food & drink blogger, approaching the big 3-0 much faster than my bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self had ever anticipated but I’m still as gutted about the demise of Turkey Twizzlers as the next 90’s kid. Fuck you, Jamie Oliver for slaying what was perhaps the most coveted canteen edible during my treasured school years. (Alongside school dinner sponge cake – you all know the one – and potato smileys).
Bitter I may still be but I have come to accept that we absolutely can’t keep pumping non-nutritious crap into the generations of tomorrow, no matter how bloody tasty it may be. So, with that in mind, and the school holidays just around the corner, I’ve put together a list of tip top eateries in Liverpool which serve up some good ‘n’ proper kids’ menus.
- TIGER ROCK:
A few weeks ago, I was invited to the launch party of Tiger Rock Hawker Food‘s brand spankin’ new Liverpool city centre venue. Me being me, I had obviously scoured the menu online beforehand to get my taste buds all warmed up and limber and I was pleasantly surprised to discover their Tiger Cubs Menu. I mean, how cute!
What I was particularly impressed by was that Tiger Rock’s children’s menu wasn’t the usual array of school dinner dishes and instead, swapped chicken nuggets, chips & beans for the authentic East Asian cuisine they serve up to us big kids. Admittedly, the plates on offer are from the more basic end of the hawker food spectrum to cater for fledgling palates but include Chicken Stir Fried Noodles, Barbecued Ribs and Pan Fried Sea Bass.
Gusto on the beautiful (but super windy) Albert Dock is another place that caters to kids in a stylish, sophisticated and modern way without sucking the fun out of dining out like some sort of 5-a-day Dementor. While they might not be prepped for a little ankle-biter to shout ‘Lamb Cacciatore please, waiter’ from its highchair, the make-your-own pizza offering has been super popular for as long as I can remember. Way back to when doodling a Crayola family portrait on the paper tablecloth was all the rage.
A pizza base arrives at the table, already smothered in fresh tomato sauce for the child to pile on up to 3 of their chosen toppings (before your waiter whisks it away for baking) all the while wearing a complimentary chef’s hat. If your little one doesn’t fancy pizza (you probably need to book them a doctors appointment because your kid is clearly malfunctioning), there are smaller versions of certain pasta and risotto dishes also available.
- TRATTORIA 51:
Now I’ve never actually sat down here for a meal but when I worked on Old Hall Street in Liverpool city centre, my work buddies and I were regularly on the blower ordering takeaway pizzas from here and let me tell ya, they were de-licious. I’ve heard great things about their pasta recipes and I know they also offer a super affordable Bambinos Menu which means your little one can faceplant a kids-size pizza or pasta dish and a bowl of gelato for less than 6 quid a pop.
Plus, it’s only over the road from One Fine Day so if you need somewhere to go and settle your food baby before having to wrestle your actual baby back into the car, this is the perfect wind down spot.
- SAPPORO TEPPANYAKI:
You all know by now how much of a Sapporo superfan I am (I even featured it in my ultimate restaurants for a special occasion) so I was pleased to find out they also regard mini humans highly when it comes to fine tuning their delectable Japanese menu. If you’ve been before, you’ll know all about the theatrical style of teppanyaki dining but if you haven’t, I won’t spoil it for you here.
Take this as your perfect excuse to drag your little ones along and sample the authentic children’s menu to see for yourself. On it you’ll find tasty dishes including Yakisoba Noodles, Vegetable Tempura and Salmon Teriyaki. Plus, it’s here that you can tuck into the famous Chocolate Spring Rolls with ice cream & crushed biscuits (pictured above). So, so good and if that ain’t an improvement on an out of date Fab from the depths of your freezer then well, I don’t know what is.
THE SMUGGLERS COVE:
Speaking of ice cream, The Smuggler’s Cove in the Albert Dock serves up buckets of ice cream with a choice of flavours and now I’m really wishing I could do a Benjamin Button and pass as a 5 year old… The awesome pud comes as part of their dedicated Kids’ Menu which donates 25p from every children’s meal to the Alder Hey Children’s hospital which I think is a bloomin’ lovely touch.
It is your more basic kid’s offering of dishes like Chicken Fingers & Chips, Mini Burgers & Chips, Scampi & Chips and Bangers & Mash but hey, I’m never one to knock a chicken nugget. However the menu does branch out into more mature plates including the Chicken, Pepper & Sweetcorn Kebab and even a Deli Board featuring houmous, crudités, roast ham and a selection of cheese. Jeez, these kids grow up fast don’t they.
Failing any of the above, you’re never going to go wrong with Pizza Hut or a cheeky Nando’s. Alternatively, if you can’t quite psych yourself up to facing the elements with your little rascals in tow, stay at home and give my super cute reindeer cupcake recipe a go instead!