Child friendly restaurant: The Austrian Australian Club

The Austrian Australian Club
Ph: 02 6286 5793
Heard St
Mawson ACT

I first went to the restaurant with my Mothers’ Group mums for our first dinner get-together sans kids. It was such an awesome night and I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. I wasn’t sure whether the food was good because I had loads of fun or because the food really was good. I did remember that the chips were amazing though.

Anyway, hearty German/Austrian food is definitely up to Mr E’s alley so I had to take him there and reconfirmed its awesomeness And I did, a fortnight after ๐Ÿ˜‰ with Little E in tow, hungry and ready at the door at 6pm (their opening time).

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The decor is a little tired and could do with a bit of refreshment, but it did bring us back to the lovely restaurant we went to in Austria

I had the chicken schnitzel with chips, bread dumpling and pepper sauce on the first visit. On my second one, I ordered the pork schnitzel, again with the amazing chips and mixed vegies (had to order this because Little E was there and I wanted him to have vegies). Oh, and a side of gravy.

A little side note, am I the only mum who ordered healthier food when the little one is around, just so that he eats better too? That just by having him around is actually good for me? Heh.

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Yummy golden freshly deep fried chips...

I digress. Mr E ordered the lamb schnitzel with red cabbage, sauerkraut and an extra side of spetzels (which is noodley pasta thingies). The serving size is very generous, with us three sharing the two orders and we had more than enough. Little E would have eaten almost the entire serve of red cabbage, preferring it on top of everything else, so weird!

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Digging for red cabbage

Just as I remembered from the first visit, the chips were amazing. I would just go back again and again for it. I didn’t like the pepper sauce nor the gravy, but I thought the schnitzels were really yummy. As per the order of prices, the lamb was the best, with the pork coming last.

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The cake was moist and rich and was just delicious!

Though we were really full already, I couldn’t resist not getting dessert as I didn’t get any the first time I was there. We shared a black forrest cake with ice cream, Little E eating and scooping faster than I’ve seen him done before. We think he liked it lol

It took a little longer for our meals to arrive the first time I went, but I would imagine it was because there were 7 orders on our table. The second time around, our meals didn’t take long at all to arrive. I had the same waitress on both occasions and she was really friendly. She was patient with Little E, waiting for his response when she asked him if she could take his plate away. Which he didn’t give for almost a whole minute, out of shyness. When he finally did, she just laughed and didn’t seem to be rushed at all.

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Austrian and German beers are available

We were the first people there, but the place did fill up as the night progressed, mostly with families. The mum friend who suggested the place did tell us that we should book as they get pretty busy. I would recommend the same, most especially if you need a highchair as I could only see one available. Mr E said to me as we left that we’re definitely going back there for their other meals and I have to agree with him ๐Ÿ™‚

Child friendly restaurant: Baitong Laos & Thai Cuisine

Woo hoo! A long weekend! For my non-Aussie readers, we celebrate the Australia Day on Monday, making this weekend a 3-day weekend. Hooray!

Anyway, with some time on my hands, I thought I’d post about a restaurant we tried recently. One of the things I looked forward to the most about moving houses was the excuse of trying the “locals”. Be it a restaurant, a cafe, or a playground/park.

We chose Baitong as it is a Thai (and Laos) restaurant, and Thai is one of my inlaws’ favourite cuisine. I was a little worried when we first entered the place as it was rather empty. Being 6.30pm on a Saturday, I had expected a few more people. An empty restaurant on a Saturday night? Uh oh.

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Unbreakable dining set

As soon as our waitress saw we had Little E, she gave us a booster seat and a pile of kids dining set. What a nice touch ๐Ÿ™‚ After a whole day of painting (on Mr E and my inlaws’ part), we were starving, so we almost over-ordered.

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Crying Tiger Beef, Duck red curry with lychee, prawn salad and sticky rice

I would have to say that we liked every.single.dish we ordered. Oh, except for the weird steamed bamboo dish which was our attempt at having “vegetables”. My dad inlaw liked the restaurant so much, he said repeatedly that we definitely have to go back to try them again “just to be sure” ๐Ÿ˜‰ My favourite was the Crying Tiger beef. While, Little E’s was definitely the duck red curry with lychee. A few reviews suggested that portion size was on the smaller side, perhaps they were when the review was written but we definitely had enough. However, we did order a dish each plus some entree.

I am extremely pleased also that as we ate, the place started filling up. Even better, most of the patrons were Thais. At least, they spoke a language that sounded like Thai and the waitresses understood them. Yummy and authentic ๐Ÿ™‚

Just as we left, we eagerly took one of their takeaway menus. It is almost dangerous knowing that they do free delivery to our suburb ๐Ÿ˜‰

Baitong Laos & Thai Cuisine
Ph: 02 6287 7735
Shop 13, Cooleman Court Shopping Centre
Brierly Street
Weston Creek
Baitong Laos & Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Flip Out!!!

Flip Out
Sawmill Circuit
Hume
http://flipout.net.au/hume.php

I am soooo happy that Canberra finally got its own trampoline world! After seeing lots of fun photos online, I have always wanted to go.

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We went to Flip Out on the weekend and the place was busy! There were children of all ages and sizes, their parents milling around, some drinking coffee, some watching intently on the side. I am glad that Flip Out has a “7 years and under” area, complete with its own foam pit. After signing an indemnity form (they take this seriously), we plonked Little E on the trampoline.

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He wasn’t sure at first. He had been on a trampoline before, a friend has a big one in her backyard. For some reason, he didn’t like hers though, so we were relief to see that he liked the trampoline at Flip Out. There were a few older boys bouncing around, very close to Little E, sometimes getting too close that he’d fall. After watching them very intently for a few minutes, he loosened up a bit and did some sort of jumping motion (he is still working on jumping).

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He followed a couple of them around the area, falling at almost every step but then got up again. Grinning the whole time ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t want to miss out, so I did small mini jumps here and there, understanding the fact that I am way over the weight limit.  It was fun!

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The queue at the big people foam pit

I tried putting him into the foam pit, but he didn’t like it. Instead preferring using one of the foam cubes as a ball and throwing it around. He also liked gathering all the escaped foams and returning them into the pit. I have to mention the person manning the foam pit, he was so gentle and patient with all the kids there. He made sure they all queued up and wait for their turns, then interact with the kid once in the pit. It’s probably not the “coolest” job for a teenager, but he was great at it ๐Ÿ™‚

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Little E’s love affair with hills still continues, so this ramp is perhaps his most favourite out of the whole place. He ran up and down this ramp, clutching one of the foams, quite a few times. I think Mr E needs to build a ramp for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

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The big people area

After about 40 minutes, we packed ourselves up and go home. Little E didn’t even make half way the drive when he fell asleep. As Mr E’s boss once said, Flip Out is way cheaper than paying a baby sitter ๐Ÿ˜‰ Another great activity idea on a cold, rainy Canberra day for the kids!

P.s. I had been warned about the need for pelvic floor muscle strength by a friend who went when the place was first opened. She isn’t a mum and she said she realised that she needed to work on hers. I am now passing this warning on ๐Ÿ˜‰

Child friendly food joint: Common Grounds Cafe

The Common Ground
4/1 Jeffries St
Gowrie Shops
Common Grounds on Urbanspoon
Another exciting found I did last week. It was so good, I went twice within a week! My friend said that her coffee was the best she has had in Canberra. I have to say that it is one of the best I’ve had ๐Ÿ™‚

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The first time I went, they didn’t have what I wanted, so I ordered their beef burger. It was SO GOOD. Juicy patty, caramelised onions and chutney all balanced up with gerkins and beetroot. Add to all that, a strong tasting swiss cheese and a brioche bun. The bun was slightly too sweet for my liking but it was delicious nevertheless. The chips were crunchy and fluffy, but not overly salted. One of the best burger I’ve had yet.

Little E shared a smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese toasted sandwich with his “twin”. Both kids were very well behaved, sitting next to each other in matching high seats. Adorable! They both seemed to like their meal, with Little E polishing his share in no time at all. He is such a boy, at least in comparison to his “twin” who has the most elegant way of eating ๐Ÿ™‚ I love watching them together, it really does feel like I have a set of twins, without doubling the work ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Along with my coffee and burger, Little E and I shared the tastiest banana smoothie ever. Spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, it was creamy and sweet. Little E would have thought that Christmas came early for him, when I kept pouring his share into his own glass. I didn’t get to eat the biscuit that came with the coffee because my son was stealthy and ate it before I knew what was happening.

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French toasts with cinnamon mascarpone, maple syrup and mixed berries

The second time we went (I had to take Mr E there), we were too early for lunch (it doesn’t start until 1pm on weekends, so late!). So we had to order from the breakfast menu – not a difficult thing to do as the menu sounded really nice as well. Mr E ordered the Mediterranean Omelette, while I had the chorizo, basil, chili, and goat cheese on bread (can’t remember the name, sorry). We also ordered the French Toast for us three to share.

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I looooooove the french toasts! The cinnamon mascarpone was really really good, and the flavours of all the condiments combined work really well together. (Un)fortunately, Little E didn’t like it, so Mr E and I were left to finish the dish. We both thought that the omelette and the chorizo dishes were nice, however, they weren’t spectacular. Not for the price that they charge, at least. However, the smoothie was still good and Mr E is still gushing over his (VERY) thick caramel shake.

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I like Common Grounds, I will definitely go back there! The food is good (at least the lunch menu) and the service top notch. None of the waitresses gave any bad vibe over the kids’ mess or noise. The orders didn’t take long to arrive at the table (important when dining with children) and there is something for everyone in the menu. I do recommend that you don’t bring a giant pram in though, as the inside area is rather squishy. I reckon the place would be great in summer, with loads of seating outside. It isn’t the cheapest cafe around, however, you do get good quality meals, drinks and service.

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Like our firstย visit, we finished off our lunch on the weekend with some play at the playground across the street. Another plus to the place! ๐Ÿ™‚

Child friendly restaurant: Outback Jack’s

Outback Jack’s
Westfield Shopping Centre
Belconnen
Outback Jacks on Urbanspoon

I have been meaning to try Outback Jack’s for a very long time. One, because I am obsessed with ribs. Two, they have ribs.

We went in for a late lunch on the weekend, so the place wasn’t too crowded. We were served promptly, a highchair provided and our orders taken. We were impressed by the effort they took to cater for children, Little E was given his own menu which doubled up as an activity book. He was also provided with a small bucket of crayons. When we looked around the place, we saw that they also have a children’s corner! It’s amazing.

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Yep, they have xbox!

We were a quite nervous about the waiting time as there were a few tables still waiting for their meals and Little E started to act up. Understandable, as I was about two hours late giving him his lunch #mummyfail Luckily, our orders came within 20-30 minutes (which isn’t too bad).

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I had their ribs and wings combo with medium and “ass burner” sauce. Mr E had a medium rare porterhouse steak with spicy Jack’s sauce. We gave Little E a bits of our meals, which he enjoyed. I think he liked the wings best, with carrots next. He also shared Mr E’s banana milkshake, served in a cool boot-shaped mug.

I liked my meal, the ribs were all tender and the wings crunchy and moist. I didn’t think that the chilli sauce was particularly hot, and weirdly, the “medium” sauce had more of a lasting heat. The serving size was too big though, with it almost defeating me. Mr E had to help me eat all of it, and towards the end, I didn’t think it was good anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sadly, my tummy has shrunk but my eyes haven’t followed suit.

I tried a little bit of Mr E’s steak and I liked it. It had a nice red meat taste without being too strong, though it was too rare for me. Mr E thought it was delicious and said that he had made the right order. Yay.

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I like how the restaurant pays a lot of attention towards families with children. They offer “children eat free” deals on some days, and if you look at the menu on the photo above, children’s meals are $3! Amazing!

If you’re a big eater, you could attempt the 1kg challenge and have your name on the board with the other champions. Mr E said that you’d also win something with it. Or, go there every Mondays to Wednesdays for all-you-can-eat wings and ribs!

Other than it being slightly too pricey, Mr E said you are also being subjected to listening bad country music the whole time ๐Ÿ™‚ However, the fact that they obviously cared about their younger patrons, I would go back there for special occasions where I can have Little E preoccupied while I enjoy the event.

Anyway, ater all that food, we hopped next door and had dessert. As the Japanese would say, I have a betsubara. Behold………

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Yogurtland: plain and dragon passion fruit froyo with cinnamon donut, choc brownie, choc fudge, oreo biscuit and mini mochi

We then rolled our way through the mall to our car…

Child friendly restaurant: BentSpoke Brewery

BentSpoke Brewery
Ph: 02 6257 5220
38 Mort St
Braddon
Websiteย here
Bentspoke Brewing Co on Urbanspoon

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After a whole week being cooped upย inside, we decided to go out for lunch last Sunday. Mr E wanted to try a new place so we went to BentSpoke Brewery. We arrived just as they opened (11am FYI) and were served straight away. It was their 5th weekend since they opened on the weekend and you could feel it too. The restaurant is decorated in a “warehouse” style, it’s open and airy, with cool decor using old bike parts. Mr E said that apparently the owner’s wife did the welding herself! So cool.

I really want to recreate that vertical herb garden on my top right picture.

image The menu isn’t extensive but I think it caters for a lot of people. I couldn’t go past the ribs and wings so that’s what I ordered. Mr E went for the Ploughman and I was glad that he did, because I wanted it too. We were able to give Little E bits of our food for lunch so he was happy too. There is also Kids’ menu if you prefer, which I think are reasonably priced at $8 each.

I liked my meals, though there were things that I think they could have done better:

  • heat up the sauce that came with the meals, as it was weird having hot things with cold sauces
  • or even better, marinade the ribs with the sauce
  • the Ploughman needed a bit of “something” like chutney, salsa, cranberry jam or even just a knob of butter, as it was a littleย dry

In saying that, I think Bentspoke Brewery has way better food than the owner’s last gig. I will go back to try their other meals, definitely. It’s also in a cool area, so I need to hang around there more often ๐Ÿ˜‰

image I didn’t mind the beer that Mr E ordered but as I’m not really a beer connoisseur I couldn’t say anything other than that I liked the fruity beers that the owner’s old joint did. Mr E liked it though, so I guess that is good. They seem to have a number of selections, which they of course brew in-house, so for any beer-people, do check it out.image The menu for last weekend, the place isn’t cheap but as I said above, it is located in a hip area so I guess we have to allow for that. I like that they have a highchair available – though they have only 1 that we could see, so you may need to mention when booking a table. The beverage menu indicated that they’ll have a bigger range of beer as they go, so I can foresee Mr E wanting to visit loads in the future.

Child friendly restaurant: Vietnam House, Woden

Vietnam House
Ph: 02 6282 0288
Westfield Woden Shopping Centre
Woden

Vietnam House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve been to the restaurant quite a bit, our Vietnamese restaurant of choice, but never with Little E, until very recently. I actually didn’t know the name of the place, as we’ve always referred to it as “the Vietnamese place in Woden” ๐Ÿ™‚ย I love Vietnamese food, I find them very fresh and light, quite different to most cuisine. I have yet to have a bad dish from Vietnam House, every single one I have had has been delicious, of generous serving size, reasonably priced and like most Asian restaurants, served quite quickly.

This past visit was not different. We ordered four different dishes, all coming at around the same time and were yummy. Little E was able to sample every single dish and loved it. He was seated in his own high chair, and was given his own cutleries and bowl. The waitresses were friendly and left us to our food.

One interesting info: when we first went to the restaurant, we were served by a little girl, whom I assume is the owner’s daughter. On this visit, we were served by the same girl, but this time, she’s so grown up! I feel so so old!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, you could always tell when I enjoyed my experience at a restaurant when I have no photos whatsoever to post ๐Ÿ™‚ I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Vietnam House and recommend it for families with young children.

On a separate note, day 33 of 100: my outfit today makes me happy, featuring my new jumper. I love prints and mixing them with each other ๐Ÿ™‚

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I have to thank Mr E for not saying anything other than “all your purchases are lovely” when I showed him what I had spent our money on recently ๐Ÿ™‚