Do you need a little somethin’ extra to jazz things up and get the kids excited about eating? From pick-and-mix Mongolian barbecue, to the dippy delights of fondue, culinary karate of Japanese grills, the bustle of local markets, and of course, cartoon-embossed food, we’ve put together a neat list that’ll keep everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing from appetizers to dessert. Grub up!
Just the sight of this den filled with furry sheepskin rugs and rustic clay-like walls and you’ll feel ready to bring out your inner Mongol. Make sure it comes with a ravenous appetite, as it’s all-you-can-eat at this Mongolian style buffet. Pick all your ingredients – all sorts of meats and veggies – from the long counters and staff will barbecue it for you and bring it over to your table. Eat up kiddos!
Nomad’s, 55 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2722 0733, Website
With plastic stools, folding tables, and fluorescent lighting on the top floor of a wet market, this seafood joint might look basic, but its popularity means you’ll have to book ahead to ensure you get a seat.. It’s well known for its ebullient waiters with rad hairstyles (who were once back-up dancers to Cantopop stars) and flip fresh Canto-inspired fare served in bowls and eaten with happy, messy gusto.
Tung Po, 2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 2880 5224
In the mood for oozy, melted cheese and lots of dipping? These HK stalwarts are where you’ll find the action. For alpine romance or dinner with well-behaved kids, Chesa is a treat – just don’t forget to pull those glad rags on as there’s a smart casual dress code. Otherwise, check out the kitschy Swiss Chalet, decked out in wood and colorful Swiss ornaments. It’s a well-loved family destination that has been around for decades.
Chesa, The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2696 6769, Website
The Swiss Chalet, 12-14 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2191 9197
From south side to Sai Kung, Hong Kong’s bays offer plenty of great free BBQ spots, Some fab options include Long Ke in Sai Kung and Big Wave Bay on southside, Tai Mei Tuk and Repulse Bay, or Shek O Beach. Your little campfire gourmets will love this S’mores recipe created by Stephen Dufree, ex-pastry chef at The French Laundry. Off you go!
Check out our ultimate BBQ guide here including where to buy great food and drinks, plus tips and scrumptious recipes.
Korean sizzles, with their tastebud-tingling marinades and bright array of side dishes are sure to get the kids excited. Kaya in Causeway Bay is a perennial fave, known for their top meats. In Kowloon, check out Go Koong in TST East – opened by a Korean food importer, they have an extensive menu with something for every palate, so even if you’re not keen on a meat fest or are spice-adverse, you’ll still be a happy camper.
Kaya, 6/F, 8 Russell Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2838 9550
Go Koong, 2/F InterContinental Plaza, 94 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2311 0901
While this elegant restaurant serves many styles of Japanese cuisine, for maximum kiddie engagement, book seats in the teppanyaki section, and watch as their eyes go wide at the sight of grains of fried rice being tossed to magnificent heights, and giggle when the beef sizzles. Child seats are available - close enough to get a piece of the action but at a safe distance, so you’ll have peace of mind too.
Nadaman, 7/F, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2820 8570, Website
Want something more interactive? Make a beeline to this resto, where each table has its own hot plate for making okonomiyaki, Japanese pancake-omelet hybrids, where you can mix your own batter, adding almost any ingredient. With detailed instructions supplemented with photos, older kids can have a go at DIY, while the wee ones watch. It’s also a great way to sneak in veggies – they’ll be so busy mixing and frying, they won’t even notice.
Bang Bang Pan Pan, G/F, Star Light House, 34 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2203 4009, www.bangbangpanpan.com
Does little Sammy like watching fishies? There’s no need to go all the way out to a theme park, or even try to navigate a fish market and stress out about getting your chequebook deep-fried. Glide along to this casual Chinese restaurant, and join the local families filling up on freshwater seafood done the classic Cantonese way. And yes, there are fish tanks, in the shape of a boat, to boot.
Jiang Shun Freshwater Seafood, Shop 2502, 25/F, iSquare, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2368 8968, www.jiangshun.com.hk
The iconic Japanese cartoon Doraemon is about the eponymous robo-cat who befriends and helps a schoolboy with his gadgets from the future. The LCX branch of Japanese-Danish café BO-LO’GNE is doing a special Doraemon pop-up from August 14 - September 16, 2012...expect a Doraemon hamburger, tiramisu and even specially-moulded chocolates, served on cartoon-adorned plates.
BO-LO'GNE, Shop 1, 3/F, LCX, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2730 4400, Website