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A perfect kiddy platter

From healthy, fun desserts to ‘make-your-own-meal’ options, city eateries have taken to innovations to woo their little clients.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2011 02:10 IST
Shara Ashraf

Do you find yourself at the wit’s end when you have to take your kids along for dining out? Most parents complain that the super posh services and the ambience of their favourite eateries are a tad too uninspiring for the kids. The good news is that finally Delhi is managing to score when it comes to child friendly restaurants. Till some time back except for a few fast food hubs, choices remained scanty for a wholesome kids’ dining out experience.

A growing number of eateries are now realising that to get repeat clientele it’s important to cater to their little clients. And it's not only the five stars that are attempting to woo children. "Even standalones are waking up to the exclusive needs of those with kids. With joint families becoming a rarity, a large number of parents now bring the child along when they go to dine out and restaurants are all set to please this segment," says Sonia Mohinder, director, Under One Roof, a hospitality consultancy.

No wonder than eateries are going all out to befriend their newly acquired customer - one who decides if the family is coming back again to the restaurant or not.

Kids menus and buffets
At Le Café, The Suryaa, you have a separate kids menu that has fun fare with interesting names such as 'Little Stuart' hid from her mother (fish nuggets) and Pokemon's' Nibble (Crispy shoe string fries). Some restaurants have come up with 'make your own meal options' for kids.

Says chef Rakesh Talwar, F Grill & Lounge, "We have planned a buffet where kids can make their own pizza. We are also serving fun meals such potato smilies and curlies." Hotel Parkland Exotica has also planned a special kids buffet with a new theme every week such as Power Rangers and Batman. At Hell Pizza, there's a special kids menu called 'Little Devils' that features mini pizzas with names like 'Cheesy Grin' and 3-3-3. Even Courtyard by Marriott has a special menu for children.

Keeping them occupied
"It's a challenge to keep children busy as they wait for their orders to arrive. So we give them crayons and sheets to draw. Apart from fun high chairs, we are also getting fun cutlery for children soon," says Rohit Pandey, F&B Manager, The Aman Hotel. At Suryaa, children are given table puzzles to play. Forgetful Elephant has a wide collection of storybooks for children.

The 'at home' feel
Baby sitters in an eatery are a great relief for parents with younger children. "Our baby sitters entertain kids in a separate lounge as the parents finish their meals. We also have comfy high chairs for children who eat along with their parents," shares chef Devraj Halder, The Suryaa. Some standalone eateries are also training their service staff to be sensitive towards the needs of guest who come along with kids.

Says chef Shirish Singh, Mandarin Trail, "Our service staff has undergone special training to double up as baby sitters. It's not an uncommon sight to see a waiter singing a lullaby to a toddler who has fallen asleep as his parents wrap up their meal."

Some child friendly eateries in town:
Le Café, The Suryaa:
Provides kids with table puzzles, also has baby sitters and kids menu.
Olive Beach, Hotel Diplomat: The sunday brunch has special kids menu priced at Rs 895 plus tax.
Radisson MBD Noida: At S-18, the special kids menu for Sunday brunch is priced at Rs 1100.
Equinox, Parkland Exotica: There’s a special kids buffet with interesting theme priced at Rs 500 per child.

A little 'kidetiquette' never hurt anyone!
Teach children how to use a fork and knife to eat.
Tell them not to talk with their mouth full.
Don't let children disturb the service staff.
It's nice to hear a child say thank you on being served.
Teach children how to dab their mouth with napkins. But they must not blow their nose into it.