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Kid Friendly Eateries in Phnom Penh

By: Isabel Calvert Posted: September-29-2010 in
Isabel Calvert

The Living Room Cafe provides a great family friendly atmosphere. Sunday brunches. It has 6 eating areas – 2 outdoors and 4 in (2 with air-con, 2 with ceiling fans) - all with a mix of seating arrangements,

in the comfortable yet stylish feel of a modern chic home. There is an excellent play room downstairs, great bathroom facilities (including a change table and bath/shower for toddler accidents) and air-conned rooms that can be hired for meetings. The food. I have to confess up front that I'm not an organic eater at the best of times, but this was wonderful.

My 9 year old meat-loving son, gave the vegetarian spring rolls a score of 10/10, and ate most of the hummus and bread while partly devouring my order of veggie Plate No 44 (light, fresh and full of sparky flavour). Sofi, my 8 year old, had a large carrot soup – wonderful, but a bit much for her small appetite; perhaps a choice from the children's menu would have been better. For dessert, a gluten/wheat free chocolate brownie, a banana smoothie, topped off with a baby-chino – Sofi's favourite - is too good to refuse.

Around the corner on Street 51 - is Cafe Fresco (of the FCC chain). Air-conned, with a separate play area for kids (equipped with playstation; TV/DVDs, small tables, bean bags, and puzzle toys – and their own loo), and a variety of sitting niches (small, grouped, or large separate room) enveloped in a fresh and funky decor, Cafe Fresco is a regular favourite. The food is all light cafe style - the fettuccine with cherry tomatoes, artichoke and boccini – is highly recommended – as is the dried tomato and rocket tart – my daughters favourite, along with a Sweet Success (mango/papya smoothie). My young man prefers the foccacias – any version just so long as it's got meat –with a small side salad to boot – and a Berry Booster smoothie! Last but not the least of its attractions, is Fresco's loo. No crap! Its sparkling clean, spacious and has a beautiful voluptuous seat that provides 100% support – no slippage - well worth visiting.

Le Jardin, hosts a fruit laden shaded garden; great play area with a clean sandpit, small slide and play hut; and an attractive menu. The outdoor seating areas are filled with large comfy padded sofas, and the well fanned dining area has raised chairs for toddlers. The menu has a good range of offerings spanning breakfast and lunch. The kids' breakfast menu ($3.50) offers a light breakfast for small tummies; the adult menu offers 11 breakfast choices, and a range of filled crepes, hot and cold drinks, milkshakes and fruit juices. A children's lunch pack is available and promises to satisfy any child's lunch cravings. For the grown ups, a range of light dishes and desserts are offered - the passionfruit brulee, topped off with a Vergers d'Angkor passionfruit sorbet, is superb.

Java Tea Room at Monument Books, through an arrangement with the book shop, allows Mum to take in display books (covered in plastic) while enjoying a light meal or coffee/tea; while the kids check out the toys and books, and Dad skims through the mags for sale. Java offers a small but sufficient range of salads and sandwiches, drinks, coffees and teas. The tabouleh salad is a personal favourite coupled with iced lemon juice and a pot of tea. My kids normally have the curried chicken sandwich with a small salad. Java also offers quiches, scones, cookies, muffins and cakes. The seating areas are pretty, comfortable and really welcoming - reminiscent of a ladies tea room of British colonial eras.

On Street 240, an arrangement between the Reading Room and the Shop next door allows you to take in a meal or (with agreement of the staff) drop your kids there for a wee bit and slip next door. The Reading Room welcomes readers of all ages, has books in English, French and Khmer, and a small loans Library. Children can read free of charge and the floor mats and cushions provide a kid's chill-out zone. The Shop offers its usual fantastic menu and the take home options, and they deliver anywhere, anytime. The Shop's affiliate chocolatier is 2 doors down and is a chilling treat both you and the children will love!

The mix of kids space, a good election of mags, great food and cool air, make for the perfect combination for families in all 5 venues reviewed. More and more family-friendly eating options are popping up every week so grab the kids and enjoy.

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