When you have a young family, its always tough to find a restaurant with a varied kids menu.
In my experience you find the same sort of dishes and it can become quite a chore to make it exciting for the child.
Bella Italia must have agreed as they have come up with a new kids menu to solve that problem.
The restaurant placed the future of its kids menu in the hands of some of the country’s toughest customers – children aged from 3 to 11.
With an established reputation for family-friendly service, Bella decided to go a step further and allow boys and girls to rip up the rulebook and rebuild the way in which its restaurants cater for their younger customers.
Throughout the project, which spanned over a year, the children of the Bella Kids Panel tasted hundreds of ingredients and finished dishes, road-tested serving tools and table tackle, advised on timings and service standards and enjoyed hours of putting adult experts through their paces.
The research involved 7,000+ parents, carers, children and the official Bella Kids Panel who all shared their wish lists for an ideal dining experience.
Among the key demands made by those involved in Bella’s year of research were:
- A focus on food quality and wider choice
- Authentic food that is more “adult”
- Innovative food
- Menus to suit different ages of children
- A variety of refillable drinks – so no nasty bill surprises.
- Interesting and quirky presentation (Bella learnt that children eat with their eyes too!)
And now the results are there for everyone to see in the new menu with has been rolled out across the nation.
The children get to choose from three starters - Tomato soup, Veggie Dippers (which our 5-year-old Noah went for) and Cheesy Garlic Bread. A sufficient selection but the hard choices come when it comes to the main menu.
Here you can pick between the Piccolo menu (recommended for 2-6 year-olds) and the Grande menu (recommended for 7-11 year-olds).
Each dish comes with a superstar stick and tomato ketchup. The superstar stick is a lovely addition to any children’s meal - it’s basically a tomato and cucumber kebab. So simple but ideal and makes those vegetables a little bit fun.
Noah could have had anything from a Squiggly Spaghetti Cake, a Pizza Dog, a Piccolo Burger or Easy Peasy Macaroni Cheesy, but he went for Fish n Chips - a delightful dish of battered cod goujons and chunky chips served in a cute basket.
For the older kids, they could have larger portions of the dishes from the Piccolo menu but had the addition of Pollo Funghi, Ribs n Chips and Grilled Salmon.
For pudding Noah chose to make his own Gelato with honeycomb ice cream, chocolate tagliatelle and caramel sauce.
But it took a while for him to choose because there was a such a good selection of desserts. Cookie n Cream, Messy Meringue Sundae, Mini Doughnuts, Go Banana’s Sundae, Fabulous & Amazing Gelato Cartand Choccie Brownies were all there.
It’s a great and varied menu for children.
The adult’s menu is just as hard to choose from but my wife went for the Bruschetta followed Grilled salmon fillet with a lemon dressed salad, while I plumped for the Pollo Wings Italiano for starter and the Surf and Turf for main. For pudding s we went for Torta Limone and the Godfather Fragolo sundae.
All tasty dishes and the menu was rather helpful as it told us which ones had less than 600 calories.
The service and atmosphere was great and for an enjoyable family meal, you can’t go far wrong with Bella Italia.