When we ask Dad what he wants for Father’s Day, he always says the same thing… “A Ferrari.”
Kid’s don’t always know what things cost, but I’m pretty sure a Ferrari costs more than the £62.71 we have in our money box, a FxxK load more (That’s a Ferrari joke btw!).
So instead my sister and I have decided to get something else that’s Italian this Father’s Day. The gift of pizza.
We won’t get to eat out together on Father’s Day because Dad and I are going to the Oval to watch the cricket, so we treated dad a few days in advance: After school we got the Tube to Gloucester Road to meet Mum who joined us from her work.
This wasn’t a normal trip to Pizza Express though… as we found out when the chef told us WE WOULD BE MAKING THE PIZZAS! This immediately gave us two problems:
We each had to wear a chef’s hat and an apron to stop our clothes getting covered in flour, and we were shown how to shape the dough into a circle – Emily was really good at it… (See below!) I ended up with a hole in the middle of mine!!!
Then we had to spread the tomato sauce all over the pizza by shaking it. Dad was really good at shaking, but his Taylor Swift impression needs more work. My pizza all started dropping to one side, so I was allowed to cheat and spread mine with the ladle.
Next came the bit we love to do at home – pick your ingredients! Dad made his SUPER HOT with hot green peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili AND pepperoni. The chef described it as ‘A bomb’! Emily chose ham, olives and pepperoni, and I had the same but with a few green peppers.
A trip to Pizza Express HAS to have dough balls! Usually we just get ours with butter, but today (It’s a special occasion!) we had a pesto dip and a Ferrari-red chilli dip too. (Close enough Dad?)
When the pizzas came, Dad tried to style-out just how hot he’d made his pizza (he doesn’t normally have an entire jug of water with his meal!) and after a long day at school (including extra PE in the sun!) I ate the whole of my pizza.
After dinner one of the chefs at the restaurant said my pizza was good enough to go on the menu… then he told Dad not to give up his day job!!!
Normally at this point we review the food and the menu… but today the menu was ‘whatever you want on your pizza’ and we made the food! So naturally we’re giving ourselves 10/10 for food and for a brilliant kids’ menu!
The guys at Pizza Express made the whole meal fun – and while you don’t normally get to make your own pizzas you can book parties where you do.
So here are our scores:
FOOD: E5 R5 = 10/10
ATMOSPHERE: E4 R4 = 8/10
FRIENDLINESS: E4.5 R4 = 8.5/10
KIDS MENU: E5 R5 = 10/10
KID-FRIENDLY: E4 R4 = 8/10
TOTAL: 44.5 / 50
One final thing: This Father’s Day weekend Pizza Express have a special deal; Any starter and a main can be purchased from £11.95. So we could buy THAT with our £62.71… and even have enough change for a toy Ferrari.
Happy Father’s Day Dad.
Dad’s note: Riley & Emily were invited as guests of Pizza Express to review their Gloucester Road restaurant and write about why it’s a good place to take Dad for Father’s Day (me!). As ever we didn’t tell them they were invited, so their opinions are completely theirs.
Dad’s other note: Riley & Emily will be reviewing the full Pizza Express kids’ menu soon over on the ‘Balham’ page…
Our day leading up to our visit to Ping Pong was out of this world! We'd been to the Planetarium in Greenwich and after a busy day decided to take a walk along the South Bank and get something to eat.
We ended up at the back of the Festival Hall at Ping Pong, which Dad made several jokes about being a Table Tennis venue, but was really a Chinese dim sum restaurant.
Dim sum is a bit like Tapas - it's loads of small dishes that you share, so there isn't really a kids' menu, but there are loads of dishes perfect for kids.
You get a menu and tick the dim sum you want - we seemed to tick most of the menu!
We ordered all sorts of buns, rolls, skewers, and apart from the prawn crackers and the spring rolls it was all pretty new to us.
I think what makes Ping Pong such a fun place to have dinner is that it's all about sharing. A lot of the dishes come in threes, so there's usually some bartering involved ("You can have the pork bun if I can have the duck roll...") but any meal that's built around sharing is perfect for a family.
I (Riley) wasn't that keen on the Shu Mai, but I tried everything. If you're not the sort of person who likes trying new food then this might not be the restaurant for you, but if adventure is your middle name, then it's definitely worth checking out!
By the end of our meal we were tired! Dad's phone says we walked 20,000 steps today around Greenwich and the South Bank. Add in a LOT of Dim Sum and we were all ready for bed. Ping Pong was definitely a great place to enjoy a fun family meal at the end of a fantastic family day out.
FOOD: E4 R5 = 9/10
ATMOSPHERE: E4.5 R5 = 9.5/10
FRIENDLINESS: E4 R4 = 8/10
KIDS MENU: E4 R4 = 8/10
KID-FRIENDLY: E4 R4.5 = 8.5/10
I went for lunch with Batman...
...on a day that would have been perfect for Mr Freeze! It was -2degrees in Wandsworth, and snowing, and to get an appetite for lunch I played football with my friends. We won 4-1 (My friend 'A' got a hat-trick) so we were in a pretty good mood when we showed up at PizzaStorm.
'A' came with us for lunch as did another of my team-mates 'F', and because we're all children, my Dad came too.
PizzaStorm is epic. Unlike most pizza restaurants, PizzaStorm encourages you to chose WHATEVER TOPPINGS YOU WANT! Seriously! You chose a base, and then all sorts of veggies, meats and even some odd toppings we'd never seen on a pizza before!
A lady wrote our names on baking paper to put under the pizzas, we went first and then my Dad told the lady his name was Batman. (It isn't!) We each picked what we wanted, I chose a tomato base with pineapple, peppers and ham. My friend 'A' thought it was hilarious that you could have an egg on your pizza, but he didn't want to try it... so he made my Dad have one instead!
The pizzas were cooked really quickly and then they shout out your name when it's ready. While we were busy picking our fizzy drinks someone shouted 'BATMAN?' - my Dad really is an idiot.
We scoffed our pizzas (Playing football in snow makes you REALLY hungry!) as well as the potato wedges we had as sides. It's good because you can eat everything with your hands, which makes lunch really fun.
My friends really wanted to help with the blog so Dad wrote down their scores (below) - and I'd say PizzaStorm is a great place to go with your friends.
Just to make the day even better we then went to watch the Lego Batman Movie. The real Batman may be a super-cool, crime-fighting badass, but he didn't take me and my friends to PizzaStorm and the movies. So maybe just today my Dad is better than Batman.
Scores (As there were three of us we've taken an average):
Food: A9, F9, R9 - 9/10
Atmosphere: A7, F6, R8 - 7/10
Friendliness: A10, F10, R10 - 10/10
Kids' Menu: A7, F8, R9 - 8/10
Kid Friendly: A9, F9, R9 - 9/10
Conclusion: Holy make-your-own-pizza Batman. 43/50
My sister and I have been very good recently, so Mum & Dad treated us to a trip to the cinema. We saw 'Storks' which was good (Not as good as Trolls, which we've also seen!) and then even better... we went for lunch. So here's our review of Chimichanga at Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth.
First - the kids' menu: It's actually really good. You can have three courses and a drink for £6.50. There's plenty to chose from and there's some fun stuff to do while you wait for your food.
Both of us chose to have the chicken wings for starters. It's quite a big starter - it almost felt like a main course! I had to get Dad to help me eat mine.
For mains, Emily went for 'Tex' (Cheeseburger) and I tried 'Mex' (Fajitas).
Emily's burger was a bit disappointing - Mum said it should have had some salad with it (the starter came with loads of needless side-salad, maybe some of that should have been in the burger?) and it was a bit dry.
My fajitas were nice. We eat fajitas quite a lot at home. I usually like sour-cream and chive dip in mine, but here you just get mayonnaise. There's plenty of chicken and peppers, but the wraps are really small, so there's no way you can get all of the food in them...
Mum and Dad weren't quite so lucky... they got someone else's lunch! Mum was about to tuck in... but the waiter came and took it away just in time! It's lucky she didn't take a bite!
Chimichanga is a nice place to go for lunch. It was pretty quick, and the food was yummy. Perfect for a bite to eat after a movie.
(For details of how we score each restaurant click here)
FOOD: E3 R3.5 = 6.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: E3 R2.5 = 5.5/10
FRIENDLINESS: E3.5 R3 = 6.5/10
KIDS MENU: E4.5 R4 = 8.5/10
KID-FRIENDLY: E4 R4 = 8/10
I've swapped my sister for my friend TP.
Not forever. She's not a Match Attax card. But today I'm off to the cinema to see a screening of Ice Age: Collision Course. Before you complain, I know this isn't a movie review blog, but AFTER the movie we went to Giraffe on the South Bank for some lunch.
Usually on this blog we write quite a bit about the food. Not today. We had burgers; mine was chicken, TP had a beef burger, but took the tomatoes out (He doesn't like tomatoes). Oh, and we shared some garlic bread for starters. It was nice.
What I really want to talk about is the kids' menu.
Well done Giraffe - it's BRILLIANT!
Mazes, maths, puzzles, word-searches... when our food came, Dad had to stop us doing them so that we could actually eat. We started this blog to talk about how restaurants treated kids... and Giraffe is definitely head and shoulders above the rest (that's both true and a giraffe joke!). Everyone else take note... a bit of colouring in isn't enough to keep us busy until our meals come.
The actual menu for kids food is great too, it's got as much choice as most adult menus, and you get two courses and a drink for £6.50.
It was all going so well until desert.
Dad suggested we tried the churros - which he said were like hot doughnuts you dip in chocolate.
Neither of us liked them. Dad reckons it was the cinnamon on them, but we did both eat the whole pot of chocolate sauce - by dipping our fingers in and licking them. (I hope TP's mum isn't reading this!)
I'm not suggesting Dad did it on purpose, but it did end up well for him - he got to eat two portions of churros!
So it's time for the scores. TP has done half (T) and I've done the other half (R), just like we do when my sister is with me.
FOOD R4.5 T4 (8.5/10)
ATMOSPHERE R4 T3 (7/10)
FRIENDLINESS R4.5 T4.5 (9/10)
KIDS MENU R5 T5 (10/10)
KID-FRIENDLY R5 T5 (10/10)
TOTAL: 44.5/50 - If we gave awards for kids' menus, (not a bad idea actually...) this would win!
PS - Ice Age: Collision Course was pretty good. If you like Ice Age movies you'll probably like this.
PPS - Thanks TP!
I'm not really that keen on burgers. I know - strange! So when Dad took me to Five Guys I wasn't so sure - even if he did say they're brilliant burgers.
As much as I don't like burgers... I DO like milkshakes - and one of the best things about Five Guys is the choice of shakes... they have 11 different flavours (including chocolate - my favourite!) and you can have bacon crumbled into it. I didn't. Eurgh.
One of the best things is the soft drinks machine - you could order any drink you can imagine. If you want coke you can have it lemon flavoured, or cherry, or lime, or orange or vanilla etc etc - it's amazing. Dad had some cherry coke which was delicious.
There isn't really a kids' menu - although you can get a half-size burger (which only has one burger not two in it) and they have chips and milkshakes, so it's good for kids.
I ordered a hot dog (£4.75) and a little fries (which my Dad stole loads from! £2.75) and the milkshake (£4.75)
I had onion and ketchup and mustard on my hot dog which was great. If you order a burger you can have LOADS of different toppings for free
I tried some of Dad's burger, and even though I'm not usually keen it was really nice. I might order one next time.
Overall Five Guys is really good - especially if you're off to the cinema like we were!
KIDS MENU (6/10)
TOTAL: 38/50 - Really good fast food, and the best drinks machine EVER!