Oct 31, 2011

Seb's Bistro & The Playhouse @Rochester

[OCT 2014 UPDATE] Rochester House has re-opened after a round of refurbishments, and comes with an up-sized outdoor play area too! READ MORE HERE: http://www.cheekiemonkie.net/2014/10/the-playhouse-rochester-all-new-up-sized.html

(Daddy reviews)

This post should really be titled 'How to have a quiet meal with friends together with screaming kids'.

Yup, there isn't any error.

Screaming. Kids. Quiet. TOGETHER.

While it is a common knowledge among all parents that one can never have a peaceful meal when you are lugging young children, there can be exceptions to the rule (For a price though. After all, who said the best things in life are free? Heh).

The wifey & I had long been wanting to bring the monkies here, but just couldn't find the time to do so. And it happened that one of my long-time friend was back in Singapore for a short holiday, which gave us the perfect excuse to suggest this place for our weekend lunch meet-up.

This kids-friendly establishment is housed in a grand old colonial bungalow, with a bistro-style restaurant as well as a fully indoor playground for the young-lings to run amok while the old-lings tuck into their food outside.

The playground is chargeable though, but let's get to that a little later.

Although situated outdoors, the restaurant is fully sheltered and comes with ample ventilation - perfect for the fickle weather that we have been having here in recent times!

Not to mention that there're enough of open spaces for the kiddos to run about too.

But running about in a restaurant is of course a strict no-no. So I would recommend the kids channel their pent-up energy elsewhere.

On a 10-feet trampoline that's what!

Obviously, the 2 boys were only too eager to demonstrate their bouncing skills. Which was a good thing too, because we were the earliest to arrive. And I would rather they bounce off the trampoline than make me bounce off the walls in the face of their incessant questioning of their friends' arrival time.

And when our friends (and their kids) did finally arrive, all the kids were only too happy to congregate within the trampoline once more.

And this gave the adults plenty of time to pore over the menu - which is a luxury for parents with young kids actually.

As for the kids' portions, the restaurant has a kids menu for them with a choice of 6 types of food at $8++ each. Each meal comes with either a glass of apple or orange juice as well.

Between the 4 of them, they had the Fish-n-Chips, Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Rice.

The portions were rather adequate, and I reckon it's safe to say that they enjoyed their meals.

Well, that was part of the reason.

The other, being that they were seated together in their own dining spot AWAY from the adults.

Not that the adults minded of course!

So that probably explained why both camps were in such high spirits.

With the Playhouse just plonked right beside the restaurant, there is also the added incentive of finishing up one's meals fast. Really really fast.

I would too, if I were a kid after I had seen the contents of the Playhouse.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. That aircon at the top of the above picture is pure bliss.

Okay, but besides that, the Playhouse is basically strewn with loads of toys at every corner - from a make-believe cooking kitchen play area, an area where dress-up play is encouraged, to a slide with a ball pit in the middle of the playhouse.

There's also a train table with lots of trains to keep the boys occupied, as well as a craft area where kids can opt to do some quiet colouring or handiwork.

Ale, too was having exceptional fun with the slide and so, for a moment we left her in the Playhouse all by herself.

We could if we really wanted to, because there were staff within the premises who are tasked to look after the kids.

But from the spying that we did from outside the Playhouse, she remained frozen the whole time that we were out of her sight. So we thought we had better make ourselves visible once more to put her more at ease.

And true enough, she was a happiemonkie once again.

It was really a case of so-many-toys-so-little-time. Heh.

The older kids were also dictating their own fun within the Playhouse, so there wasn't really much supervision required.

And of course, the adults had a swell time catching up, while savouring their food ever so slowly. Pure bliss? You betcha.

That probably explains all our smiling faces.

And the price of bliss?

PLAY                     WEEKDAY                     WEEKENDS & PHs

1st hour                      $7.00                                   $7.00
Subsequent                 $7.00/hr                               $7.00/half hr
2hr Promo                    $12.00                                 $18.00
UNLIMITED play            $15.00                                 $20.00

I reckon 1 hour play will be more than sufficient. Anything more, the kids might get restless.

Besides, there is always still the trampoline!

A playhouse and a cafe all in one place, this is definitely heaven for both kids and parents!

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Unknown said...

The kid's chicken rice looks like something I would gladly eat too!

Anonymous said...

I was at the Play House on October 12, 2013. The staff there apologised for the inaccuracy of the website; there is no outdoor play area anymore. The trampoline sits abandoned, there's no water play area, and no sand box. [There may have been some time ago] Additionally, the sad condition of old, broken, or hand-me-down toys in the Play House matched with the staff's lack of interest in supervising children (while their parents enjoyed peace and quiet in the bar) made for a rather disappointing experience.

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Anon,

Oh dear, sorry to hear that. The last time we were there was Dec last year and everything was still okay then.

Hopefully they'll do the place up soon!

Anonymous said...

We visited over the weekend. The playhouse is sad and badly kept with dirty, old, broken toys strewn all over the place. The restaurant didn't fare any better - lackluster, overpriced food and uninterested staff. Very disappointed with what could have been a nice family place.

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for your update! We haven't been there this year so we don't really know of its existing condition.

In any case, I have included a short update of this premise in the beginning of this post. So thanks for your input! :)

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