I’ve not been hacked, no.
I’m taking E, my firstborn, to the theatre in Soho this weekend, and then for lunch afterwards. A few minutes ago I asked Twitter for ideas on places to eat and the suggestions that came back were so good that I thought they were worth compiling and posting somewhere public. Apologies if you could care less.
(Update: and then a bunch of suggestions came in from Facebook, so I felt a comprehensive edit was in order, and I’ve added in the recommendations from the comments and some quotes too, and credit where due, and stuff.)
- Ed’s Easy Diner (12 Moor Street and 19 Rupert Street by the Trocadero): ‘naughty but delicious’ (Hannah Actual Flynn); ‘the Piccadilly one has booths which are more practical than stools’ (Chris Locke); also recommended by Arran Ross-Paterson
- Yo Sushi (52 Poland Street): ‘conveyor belts and bouncy music’ (Russell Davies)
- Rainforest Cafe (20 Shaftesbury Avenue): ‘you’ll hate it, they’ll love it’ (Chris Locke); ‘fun, but was £15 for a kids meal back in 2009′ (Mac Morrison); also recommended by David Hughes
- Belgo Centraal (50 Earlham Street): ‘our three year old loved Belgo Centraal, mainly because of the staff (in monks habits), who made a fuss of her’ (George Walkley)
- Tokyo Diner (2 Newport Place): ‘an introduction to ace and well priced Japanese food’ (@karohemd); also recommended by Simon Rogers
- Wahaca (80 Wardour Street): ‘My kids loved Wahaca (as do I) but I had to specifically ask for some less spicy dishes for fussy 3-year-old’ (Gary Barker).
- Koya Noodles (49 Frith Street);
- Polpetto (above the French pub, 49 Dean Street);
- Spuntino (61 Rupert Street); and
- Y Ming (35 Greek Street): ‘All four v credible but delightful with kids’ (Iain Smedley). I had a very, very bad date in Y Ming about nine years ago but don’t let that put the rest of you off
- Maison Bertaux (28 Greek Street) ‘if a snack will do’ (Iain Smedley)
- Mildred’s (45 Lexington Street)
- Chipotle (114-116 Charing Cross Road)
- Giraffe (11 Frith Street) ‘if all else fails’ (Russell Davies)
And two that aren’t quite Soho:
- Fortnum and Mason (181 Piccadilly): ‘The ice cream parlor is amazing for kids (and adults)’ (Machum)
- Smollensky’s on the Strand (105 The Strand): ‘has magician going round tables on weekends’ (Mac Morrison)
There was some discussion about the Rainforest Cafe: the kids’ menu is £12.95 and drinks are extra, which is high even for central London. On the other hand it’s a special day and I want a meal that E is going to enjoy, not necessarily the one that’s going to be most nutritious or the best value for money. If she remembers the venue and not the food, that’s still a win.
It’s a great list, with some surprises—who’d have thought that Belgo Centraal had a kids’ menu, much less a £4.95 one? Many thanks to everyone who gave suggestions. I’ll let E decide where we go, and I will report back.
UPDATE: The theatrical performance of Bagpuss was a triumph. E initially seemed interested by the idea of Yo Sushi, but decided on inspection that the stools were too high and a bit scary. She was very excited by the gift shop at the Rainforest Cafe but just as we were about to go down the tunnel to the restaurant a loud lion’s roar came echoing up and she decided that perhaps this wasn’t the best place for lunch. (E is not normally a timid child, but I think she was a bit overwhelmed by the onslaught of central London on a Saturday afternoon.) We ended up at Ed’s Easy Diner by the Trocadero, which wasn’t spectacular but gave her a very satisfactory hot dog and some things to colour in, and I told her about diners and America, and it was fun. Suggest you beg a table with a juke-box selector; we didn’t and E was fascinated by them. Then we discovered there was a shop a couple of doors up that sold Totoro plushes, and that was the afternoon made.