Restaurant review

[Slightly adapted from a post to the Baby-Led Weaning forums]

Last weekend (not the one just been, but the one before that) we went to Edinburgh to see Robin’s siblings. For lunch we went to Phuket Pavilion, a Thai restaurant just off the top end of Leith Walk. Faith and I had never been before (though the rest of the party had) and we didn’t know whether they’d cope with a small child, and so I went in first to ask if they served children. There was an oldish man whom I think must have been the proprietor, and a young woman who waited on us. They said that was fine, come on in, so in we all trooped, and the waitress showed us to an ideal table in the window with room beside it for the pushchair[1], and then went off to get a high chair. She asked whether we needed more space than the four-person table, but I said that if the high chair had a tray that would be fine (as indeed it was).

We started choosing our food. The waitress came by with two baskets of prawn crackers, and offered one to Faith baby. She’d never had one before. She took it, had a little sniff and a nibble, then proceeded to inhale the rest of it and reach for more! She carried on munching them while we ordered our food and waited for the first course to arrive (and ate some prawn crackers ourselves: they were delicious and very well made). I ordered a chicken satay for the baby’s starter and a red curry for the main. The waitress was very doubtful that the baby would eat something so spicy, and I explained that she liked spicy. Waitress was not convinced and said she would have it made mild. I said that really wasn’t necessary, but when it arrived it was very mild, though very very tasty indeed.

Faith didn’t care much for her satay (Daddy ended up eating most of it) and just ate more prawn crackers instead (about this point the waitress brought her some more!) but she loved the red curry, and also ate some of my rather hotter, and also tasty, green curry. She had a bit of trouble with the meat which was in quite large portions, but once it had been torn up for her she wolfed that down too. She struggled manfully with the full-size spoon, but once I’d asked for a teaspoon, which the waitress was happy to provide, she took them both and had a good go at using the one to push the food onto the other.

Throughout the meal the two staff kept dropping by to watch Faith eat with some fascination, talking to her and asking questions about her. Waitress in particular was astounded that the baby would eat red curry, even though it was so mild, and both commented on how well she ate. As the waitress cleared away our plates she also wiped down the highchair tray and washed Faith’s hands and face.

At the end of the meal, while we had some delicious jasmine tea, she began to get a bit grumpy (it now being nearly an hour after her normal naptime). So we produced the remaining prawn crackers, which we’d hidden when the main course arrived to ensure she ate some! and we had a happy baby again.

When I headed for the door with Faith, the two staff were waiting for me with a large doggy bag of prawn crackers for the baby[2]. They waved her bye-bye and hoped to see her again soon. They also insisted on not charging for the baby, even though we’d ordered her a full-size meal! I suspect that she made their day, being so cute and such a good appreciator of their food.

[1] Faith has recently decided she wants to travel in the pushchair and not in the wrap. It’s a bit of a tradeoff between weight and inconvenience, so I’m leaving the decision up to her. She got very upset when we were getting ready to go out and Daddy took the pushchair away to put it in the car!

[2] I didn’t want her to have too many more, but I did produce a couple for her to eat with her dinner in the evening. Robin and I scoffed the rest.

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