Il pampero

Location:  South West (Knightsbridge/Belgravia)

Cuisine: Italian

Price Range: £££

LFM Score: 5/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

Did someone whisper “Soft launch..half price..in Belgravia”?…yes please, table for 2 plus a highchair thank you..

LFM has found an almost perfect venue. The food served is exquisite….starter of seabass carpaccio was delicate and beautifully presented. We sampled the mains of ravioli of oxtail and cacciucco (seafood soup) which was amazing followed by an inventive tiramisu where the waitress  dramatically doused our dessert with an espresso shot. And must mention the tasty complimentary homemade bread basket – what a treat.

Delighted to see this upmarket restaurant had a kids menu, high chairs, room for buggies plus nappy changing facilities. However, don’t think this is a pizza express which tolerates hundreds of kids through the doors…this is a ‘nice’ place where you can bring ‘nice’ children <ahem>..if the kids get restless, they can be brought into the attached lobby of the neighbouring boutique hotel (Hari hotel).

And why not a perfect venue? Well high quality food comes at a price..so maybe save this for a family treat…

http://www.ilpampero.com/

Dip and Flip (Battersea)

Location:  South West (Battersea)

Cuisine: French

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

Soggy sandwiches – sound appealing? Perhaps not to everyone’s palate but somehow it works.

Dip and Flip are introducing us to the world of the French Dipped Sandwich – slicely thinned beef or lamb, dipped in gravy and served in a fresh bread roll. You get extra gravy on the side to dip the whole sandwich in and then try and stuff the sloppy mess into one’s salivating mouth. Definitely not a place to take a first date! Simple but fantastic. The burgers also impressed as did the huge American oversized thick milkshakes.

The venue is casual enough for the little ones, however we felt the Battersea branch was a little cramped for too many buggies. Highchairs available plus a separate kids menu.

http://dipandflip.co.uk/

Bears Ice Cream

Location:  West London

Cuisine: Sweet

Price Range: £

LFM Score: 3/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

Ice-cream + cutesy bear logos = kid heaven. Parent hell though, as we bow into toddler pressure to purchase an over-priced Mr Whippy type soft ice cream. OK Bear Ice cream have more of an unique selling point – a selection of toppings from apple crumble to crushed dime bars to top your ice cream, or get it whizzed up in one great mush (think McFlurry).

The ice cream was good, not amazing for the price tag (£3.50 for a ‘small glacier’). However, we like the concept and the kitsch feel of the ice cream parlour – black board/chalk tables for kids to scribble on. Bit of an odd location – stuck on a main road between Turnham Green and Shepherds Bush. They would do better on a high st so not sure it’s worth the trek unless you are a local .

http://www.bearsicecream.co.uk/

Bone Daddies (High St Kensington)

Location: South West London

Cuisine: Chinese/Japanese

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

Ramen is a common comfort food, re-kindling memories of student hall kitchens, oblongs of dried noodles and sachets of MSG. London has come a long way from that kind of ramen thankfully.

So ramen specialists, Bone Daddies, have been highly successful and are almost a mini-chain in London. Can their standards be maintained? LFM is glad to report that the ramen served in the High St Kensington branch is spot on. The 20 hour pork broth was rich and luscious. The cherry on the top, or in this case, a deep fried soft shell crab, perfected the dish. LFM also sampled the Korean deep fried chicken wings starter which was satisfying and tasty although we’ve had better elsewhere with a less ‘industrial’ taste.

The restaurant is based in the top floor food court of Whole Foods which gives it a rather casual vibe. This is perfect for bringing the little ones with high chairs available and plenty of room for buggies. Nice (and slightly odd) touches were the additions on the table of bibs, hair ties and garlic crushers.

Extremely happy with this opening in SW London and hurrah, no need to trek into central London with the bulky buggy for that ramen fix.

http://www.bonedaddies.com/restaurant/high-st-kensington/

197 Chiswick Fire Station

Location: West London (Chiswick)

Cuisine: Modern European

Price Range: £££

LFM Score: 4/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 3/3

London Foodie Mama was delighted to attend the soft launch of 197 Chiswick Fire Station. The former All Bar One bar (and previously an old fire station as the name suggests) has been gorgeously transformed into a restaurant/all-day-café/bar. The décor is chic yet laid back and would not look out of place in Chelsea or Mayfair. We particularly liked the different types of seating arrangements guests can choose from – cosy sofas, group tables, booths, stools around the bar or alfresco dining in the garden. Edison filament lightbulbs  a plenty and numerous cactus plants scattered around finished off the swank look.

On to the food. We settled for the beef brisket roast (bit dry sadly but generous portions) and the chicken and ham hock pie. The latter was beautifully presented, with a ceramic black bird figurine poking out of the perfectly cooked puff pastry, however the saltiness of the ham hock overpowered the entire dish leaving us gasping for hydration. Speaking of hydration, try the home made elderflower lemonade. For dessert, we opted for the banana crumble which was wholly executed with a crumbly topping, however the fruit was cooked in maple syrup which was achingly sweet, even for our sweet tooth. Perhaps serving with custard instead of the ice cream would have neutralised the sweetness.

Overall, our experience was lovely. Excellent place to chill and read the Sunday papers. Staff was attentive and the spacious nature of the restaurant meant plenty of buggies could be accommodated. High chairs were provided and the kids menu was prepared at £7.50 for a main course and dessert – only criticism was that all  main meal choices were unbalanced with no serving of vegetables (not that the little one would touch it but at least they can  be teased with the green stuff).

197 Chiswick Fire Station – we welcome you to Chiswick with open arms (now if only the prices were a bit more unemployed mama friendly, then we would be a regular).

http://www.no197chiswickfirestation.com/#home-197