Kid Friendly Restaurants – Abu Zaad

EncycloKidia Rating: KidStar
20-22 Broadway West Ealing, London W13 0SU
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Abu Zaad is a Damascene (Syrian) restaurant that recently opened in West Ealing. This is the owner’s third restaurant in London so they definitely know what to do with their food – it’s all YUMMY. Conceptually similar to other Middle Eastern restaurant offerings, the dishes on the menu are yet distinctly different from what you’d see in a Persian/Lebanese restaurant.

I struggled with rating Abu Zaad, mainly because it doesn’t do some of the basic things like offering a separate kid menu. At the same time they’ve done some amazing things to cater to children.

Starting with basics, high chairs and changing stations are available. The changing station is only in the women’s toilet, that may be a problem if daddy has taken the baby out without mummy. The owner offered crayons for my daughter, but later when I asked a server for some he didn’t know what I was talking about. It was a busy period so I didn’t push it. But I did see colouring papers lying around so I think they must have colouring implements somewhere too. Push chairs can be parked along the aisle that leads to the toilets.

As mentioned earlier, they do not have a children’s menu, but they do offer a £4 kid’s special for their breakfast buffet. I haven’t been there for breakfast so don’t know what the breakfast spread is like. When I asked the owner/manager about a children’s menu, he said a lot of the foods they offered are easy for young kids to eat, and it’s true there were plenty of finger food options. However for my picky toddler they were just a bit to exotic (except for the fries of course). They offer a huge variety of fresh juices, including some unusual options such as melon and pomegranate juices. My daughter loved her carrot and apple juice. She made a feast of the french fries and juice but didn’t try most of the other fantastic stuff we’d ordered. However I think this is more because she is picky. (Please don’t worry, she also ate a lot of other healthy stuff I’d taken from home.) So if you have a kid who is willing to explore you’ll probably be fine.

Okay, so this what excited me about Abu Zaad. They have a children’s play area inside the restaurant! It’s small but perfect for little feet. The play area has a screen on the wall that shows cartoons. There are also tiny chairs for the young patrons. In addtion the room also has an alcove, which stores more toys for the kids. So there is a chance that you can could go to Abu Zaad with your kid(s) and still have a relatively quiet date with your partner. When we were there, the restaurant was also hosting a children’s party. So the play area was very busy with slightly older kids. And while my two-year old was thrilled to be surrounded by so many kids, we didn’t spend too much time in the play area. I hope it will be calmer the next time we eat there.

Finally, as you must’ve guessed from the earlier paragraph, the restaurant is equipped to host children’s parties. They had decorated the place with balloons and streamers and the multiple TV screens were playing songs targeting the party, including “happy birthday”. Great idea though, it would’ve made more sense though if the TV screens were in the party area.

We’ve given the restaurant a “KidStar” rating despite no separate children’s menu, because we do think the owners have given significant attention to making it an otherwise fun place for kids.

The other two Abu Zaads are located at Shepherds Bush and at Edgeware Road. If you’ve visited them, I’d love to know whether they have similar facilities for kids at these locations too.

Related Stuff:

1. Wagamama @ Ealing Broadway
2. Nando’s @Ealing Broadway
3. Maggie’s @ Ealing Broadway
4. Chimichanga @ Ealing Broadway
5. Patara @ Oxford Circus

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2 Responses to Kid Friendly Restaurants – Abu Zaad

  1. Zahir Koradia says:

    I visited Abu Zaad’s Shepherd Bush branch last week with my wife and cousins. We did not have any kids with us. We had reached the restaurant after 9:30pm on Easter and were happy to see that the restaurant was open and serving. It was relief given that many restaurants had closed down by then.

    Overall we were very happy with the food, both in terms of quality and quantity. We also found the variety quite interesting good. My favorite were the lamb sausages. The desert, a milk pudding, was also quite delicious and worth trying again. The restaurant usually provides Baklava after the meal free of charge. That day however, they had run out. The waiter however was nice enough to serve the milk pudding to us free.

    One of the annoying parts of the restaurant was that the music was too loud. We made repeated requests to lower the volume. After each request the volume would come down and then increase after some time. It made communicating a bit difficult.

    This restaurant is quite small with probably less than 10 tables. So there isn’t much of a play area for children. The variety on the menu though could make up for the lack of special children’s section. A lot of middle eastern food is bite sized and comfortable for children.

    I enjoyed the food and so would visit Abu Zaad again. But given that the Ealing branch is much better, I would probably prefer that venue if practically possible.

  2. Pingback: Kid Friendly Restaurants - Maggie's - EncycloKidia

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