The River Cafe

Location:  South West (Hammersmith)

Cuisine: Italian

Price Range: ££££

LFM Score: 5/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 2/3

Bring two kids under the age of 3 to a Michelin starred restaurant? Are you crazy LFM? The River Cafe was at the top of LFM’s wish list, but with 2 young kids in tow, could we enjoy this luxurious treat? Answer: YES!

Firstly, being a Michelin starred venue, The River Cafe doesn’t feel stuffy or stiff. In fact, it feels quite trendy and slick; the staff were particularly well trained and treated our mini guests well. There is outdoor space just outside, over looking the River Thames, perfect to take a restless toddler out if need be. Tables are quite closely packed, however, one can request a table to fit a buggy beside.

So how can this infamous restaurant charge £40 for one main course? The prices are not completely justified, but you can taste the high quality produce. Selected ingredients really could sing..LFM was particularly impressed by a simple dish of homemade pasta in a lemon and rocket sauce – sounds plain but really was moreish. And if I need to choose my last dessert ever, let me please have their chocolate nemesis cake again – an intense, gooey type mousse. Bliss! Nice touch offered by the restaurant, adding a candle for LFM’s plus one who was celebrating his birthday.

In summary, do go, especially if someone else can pay!

http://www.rivercafe.co.uk/

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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/

Ichiryu Udon

Location:  West End

Cuisine: Japanese

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 5/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 2/3

When you’ve been trekking the shops of Oxford Street and fancy some decent Asian food and can’t face the walk to Soho, head to nearby Ichiryu  because you won’t be disappointed.

The udon noodles are made on the premises – they are bouncy and have just the right bite factor. Favourite dish was the prawn carbonara hot udon – don’t let the fusion novelty put you off..the flavours are perfect and the prawns were plump and juicy. The curry udon noodles were tasty and the soft oozing egg yolk was beautifully orange and reflected the high quality of ingredients.

Bit cramped for buggies but the staff were helpful to keep it out of the way for us. Highchairs available but no baby changing facilities (but a very clean toilet is maintained).

A bit on the pricey side for a noodle joint, but the slick décor and innovative flavour combos, somehow,  justifies the price.

http://ichiryuudon.com/

Saigon Saigon

Location: Ravenscourt Park (West London)

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Price Range: ££

LFM Score: 5/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 2/3

Local residents of the Ravenscourt Park/Hammersmith area in West London are treated to top quality, authentic Vietnamese cuisine at Saigon Saigon. This family run establishment have tastefully decorated their spacious restaurant with trinkets and memorabilia directly imported from Vietnam, adding to the classy dark wood ambience.

Stand out dishes were the soft shell crab appetisers and beef mince wrapped in wild betel leaves. Also worth a try is the spicy glass noodles with king prawns, scallops and squid, served in clay pot.

Staff were extremely polite and helped cater for our tag along babies – two types of high chairs available, suitable for even the smallest young munchers. Staff provided equipment to heat a baby’s milk bottle which is always a bonus. Large enough spaces between tables to slot in buggies and the owners pointed out that baby changing facilities will be installed in the near future.

Worth a trek out to West London – far more refined than than the cookie cutter Vietnamese restaurants found on Kingsland Road.

http://www.saigon-saigon.co.uk/

Tozi Restaurant and Bar

Location: Victoria

Cuisine: Italian

Price Range: £££

LFM Score: 5/5

Bebe Friendly Score: 2/3

Victoria London; Never really been a destination area for amazing restaurant choices. Having worked in the area for 5 years (BB; Before Bebe), always felt Victoria was a bit of a black hole for reasonably priced foodie venues. However, things  have changed (with recent openings of Iberica, A Wong) and now on our hit list, TOZI.

Tozi has not been on the LFM radar, not sure why, just less of a buzz and/or press overage compared to similar venues (on par with the likes of the exponentially growing Polpo chain or Trullo in Islington or Zucca in Bermondsey). The Italian tapas style concept is gathering pace and Tozi is fantastic. Stand out dishes were the soft shell crab and deep fried zucchini shoe string fries (LFM diet starts next week). Disappointed by the Pizzetta (rather bland) especially with the enticing wood fired oven on display as a centre piece. Leave room for dessert – Merningata, yoghurt & amarene was to die for!

The venue is spacious and light n airy – lots of buggy space and high chairs available.  Baby changing facilities present but a little trek into the basement of the adjacent hotel (super clean – we like A LOT). We haven’t awarded top Bebe Friendly Scores as Tozi is kinda chic and too ‘smart’ for a screaming baby, especially in the evening. Weekend daytime acceptable but you can just imagine a lot of business lunches (or ‘Ladies Who Lunch) here and feeling out of place.

http://www.tozirestaurant.co.uk/