Since E was very young we’ve never shied away from taking her to restaurants – both her dad and I are real food lovers, and we’re hoping it will rub off. We want her to get used to trying new tastes and to feel comfortable in restaurants – meaning that we can enjoy the experience all together as a family.
The first time we took E out for a meal, she was only around 6 week old and she just happily snoozed away in her car seat under the table! Now she’s older and eating real food, I really enjoy being able to pop her in her high chair and let her experience the same things that we do.
Now we’re not a huge fan of chain restaurants and generally prefer to eat at more local, independent places, however for the purposes of this blog, the larger restaurant chains are going to be more well known to the majority of people, as opposed to the little cafe round the corner from our house so we will be trying a few more out – and as I’ve found many of them are very well equipped for families so are ideal for introducing baby to eating out, without too much stress!
Wagamama is actually one chain that I’ve never had an issue with. We have an abundance of chinese restaurants and a handful of decent thai places but that’s really as far as oriental cuisine goes round here – so having a wagamama on our doorstep is actually very welcome.
We decided to head here with a couple of friends (also with baby in tow) on a Sunday lunchtime – due to the location we knew it would be busy so called to book, forgetting their policy of no bookings for tables under 8 people. However, when we told them we had two young babies with us, they waived their usual rules and were happy to book us in. So far so good!
On arrival, we were shown to a table at the back of the restaurant – I had completely forgotten about the layout of the tables (long benches) in Wagamamas and had a mild panic about where they were going to fit us in with two highchairs! No need to worry, they give you ones that clip to the table!
Have you ever used a Phil and Ted highchair? They’re pretty cool!
When we’ve taken E to restaurants previously, we’ve always either taken our own food – particularly when we were just beginning weaning, or she’s eaten off our plates, but we decided to try something off the kids menu this time.
The staff in the restaurant were brilliant and really friendly with the babies – we’re familiar with the adult menu but they were happy to go through the children’s dishes with us explaining what each one consisted of, so we could make an easy decision.
My all time favourite dish at Wagamamas is the classic Katsu Curry and I was so excited to see that they did a mini version of it too – including a vegetarian option of Yasai (Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato). I ordered the latter for E – she’s not a massive fan of chicken (or any meat for that matter) so we thought this would go down well. The dish arrived very well presented – with a small portion of sticky white rice, a decent size portion of the Yasai, plus a salad of grated carrot, cucumber and sweetcorn. The curry itself came in a separate dish which meant E wouldn’t have to eat it if she didn’t like it.
For around £4, it was pretty good value for money, and it seemed like a pretty healthy option. The portion size was probably more suited to a slightly older child but it wasn’t overwhelming for a baby or toddler, particularly if you are used to baby-led weaning. And of course any left over, was obviously going to be polished off by me or her dad anyway!
All round I’d highly recommend it – it’s nice to see a kids menu that’s not all burgers and fish fingers – and as E seemed to love it we’ll definitely go back.
Food: 5/5 tasty and fresh, miniature portions of the adult menu
Service: 4/5 – friendly, smily staff – happy to explain the menu
Baby-friendly: 4/5 great menu, cool highchairs – not much space for large prams – we put our umbrella fold under the table, but if we’d had the larger buggy we’d be a bit stuck. Take your sling!
Toilets/baby-change: 4/5 spotlessly clean – I didn’t use the babychange here but my friend said it was fine!