A few weeks ago on Instagram, I posted a pic of my kids at the Sp*r and I said something like you have to drag me there.
There's two things: 1) the quality of food at that place has gone down dramatically over the years and yet the price has increased as dramatically
To be fair, my closest one is one of the best Sp*rs I have ever been at...and I will happily have a breakfast there on a Sat after gym (I say this but the last time was probably a year ago if not longer!).
2) and this is where people think I'm crazy... I really want to engage with my children, not have them off somewhere playing. I actually enjoy talking to the kids - they're funny, have interesting insights and observations and as far as I'm concerned, I don't get enough of them :)
I feel if we're paying good money (and a cheap meal for us these days runs at least R300 with 3 of us drinking water) then I want to have a good experience.
I want to not have to raise my voice just to be heard above the screaming kids and I want a hot, tasty meal, not something slapped together.
That was the first incident.
Then we went to Panar*tti about a week and a half later. I've since learned that they are part of the same group...aha!
Granted, it was G-stone which for me is practically hell on earth. That is the Sp*r I swore I would not go back to 5 years ago and I've kept to it.
The food was less than average and I may be cheap but it KILLS me to spend R90 on a pasta that is horrible. I could make it at home, and much nicer.
So that was incident two, and I declared that was that.
I refuse to go to restaurants just for the kids anymore. If I go to a place with a kiddies play area, they have to have decent food (like Bambanani).
My favourite Indian place, Thava in Norwood, sent us a Happy Anniversary email. I was DELIGHTED and so we made a booking and went for Mother's Day.
And it was lovely.
There were real tablecloths and not a crayon or colouring page in sight (that we didn't bring :)) We took a few things with us - one had a plain notebook and the other had a colouring book, with a few pencil crayons, and that was that. But mostly we chatted.
Connor tasted quite a few dishes but Kendra stuck to her Chicken Korma. I always get Chicken Biryani and D had two different tappas dishes.
I was/ am very happy.
This wasn't the first time - we've been there 4 times in total, 3 times with kids in tow. A few months ago we went to To Thai For which was also lovely and the kids behaved well.
I might sound like a fuddy-duddy but I believe that if you require more of children, they'll live up to that potential you see in them. Obviously we won't go out at 8pm when it's time for bed, or when they're crazy hungry - we set them up for success.
And now that we've had such great experiences, I'm not going back to the old way... unless it's for a quick Sat morning breakfast.
How do you feel about kiddies' restaurants?
PS D has none of my issues....when I did the jozimeetup talk, he happily took them for lunch at the Sp*r. He says he needs some peace and quiet from the Talkative Twins :)