Australia’s foodie scene is world famous, but it’s not always accessible to families with young children.
Now, a group of high profile restaurants are stepping up to the challenge and rolling out a series of fine dining degustations for kids (and mums and dads).
Three leading Victorian chefs will include a fine-dining kids menu, along with toys and colouring-in placemats in their restaurants in a bid to entice young families leading up to Easter.
Chef Charlie Carrington (Atlas Dining), along with Coskun Uysal (Tulum) and Guy Stanaway (Jackalope) hopes the initiative will enhance the dining experience for young children.
“We hope this’ll be a fun alternative for parents to screen time. This way kids can actually get involved with the experience we have to offer and not be glued to screens,” Carrington said.
But it’s not just the kids that win out.
“(Research) revealed that only 5 per cent of parents feel comfortable eating out at finer establishments with their kids, despite 65 per cent of them having a desire to,” Carrington said.
“Most of them still opt for fast food outlets or local pubs and RSLs for ease.”
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The research also indicated that despite 65 per cent of Australians wanting to frequent finer dining places with their kids, only 5 per cent feel comfortable doing so.
Psychologist Jocelyn Brewer believes that eating out is key to “establishing family rituals” and educating young children on healthy food habits.
“Understanding the source of our food both in terms of production but also the way it is processed and prepared provides young people a greater understanding of their role at the end of the food chain and connection to the cultures they share in,” she said.
Recipe: Grilled fish with Lebanese ‘tartare sauce’
by Charlie Carrington
- 600g Baby Rainbow Trout
- 140g Tahini
- 1 x Shallot
- 20g Walnuts
- 1/2 a bunch parsley
- 60ml Lemon Juice
- 1 x flatbread
- 1 x External Reward to encourage your child to expand their palate
Lebanese “Tartare Sauce”
- Finely chop the parsley by hand
- Mince 1 x shallot (finely dice)
- Loosely crush 20g of walnuts (not too fine)
- Mix the 60ml of lemon juice in with the 140g of Tahini paste
- Once combined, fold in the fine chopped parsley, minced shallot and crushed walnuts. It should begin to look like tartare sauce.
Lebanese Flat Bread
- Pre-heat oven at 160°c
- Peel your piece flat bread in half. Toast both halves on a flat tray in the oven for eight minutes at 160°c. As an alternative, you can toast them in a regular toaster, or on low heat in a non-stick pan.
- Put a dash of oil on a non-stick pan.
- Place the whole fish skin side down and cook for about 2 minutes. (Do not flip)
- At Atlas Dining we serve the fish with the skin off. But it can be left on per preference.
Plating: Place the fish in the centre of the plate. Spoon over the tahini “tartare” sauce or use a piping bag. Gently place the crispy flat bread on top.
Serving: Serve with your side of external reward to help encourage and celebrate your child to try new foods!