Sometimes it is not the complimentary crayons or the inclusion of a playground that makes a restaurant kid-friendly. Subtle things can really make or break an experience for a family dining out. I love cooking and love dining out. For me eating out is like visiting an art gallery, it provides inspiration and feeds my soul as well as my belly. Like many new parents, my husband and I have missed going out at night for a bite. Most restaurants only open their doors at 6 and by the time the dinner is served at 6:30 my little boy is already in meltdown mode. Hardly relaxing.
So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that one of my favourite haunts is open for early dinner sittings. At 4:30 pm (yes your read that right) we were welcomed into African Taste by the aptly named and friendly Sunny. Sunny set us up with a highchair and we settled in, feeling quite smug about the fact that we were actually eating out for dinner.
I first discovered African Taste four years ago, on my inaugural visit to Seddon when I was house hunting. We had lived in Brunswick for years and I had never really travelled west of the city. After rushing in traffic from work to make an appointment to see a house, I discovered that I was early. Anyone who has lived in Seddon for a while will remember how different it was then. Starving, I walked up and down trying to find a cafe that was open. After not much luck, I eventually stumbled into African Taste. Ben the owner and chef welcomed me cheerily, whipped up a huge plate of lamb tibs and placed it before me. The garlic and chilli lamb was beautifully succulent and perfect with the soft sheets of injera bread. The house that I eventually visited that night was a falling down, sodden moldy mess, but I didn’t care. I went home and raved about the meal to my husband. And so began my love affair with the West of Melbourne and its culinary delights.
African Taste is fusion African food; almost post-modern in approach; Ben draws inspiration from West and North Africa as well Mexico and the Mediterranean. When you go, make sure you order the African Gnocci (fufu). The toasted barley gnocchi served in creamy bere-bere sauce is one of our favorites and a truly unique dish. We love it.
Much of the food can be eaten with your hands and our little boy revelled in this. He dug straight in, scooping up sauce with the injera bread and shovelling gnocchi into his mouth as fast as he could. What I love about African Taste, is all meals are made fresh from scratch when you order them and can be tailored to your preference. This makes dining out much easier if you are with anyone with intolerances.
Husband and wife team, Sunny and Ben are always welcoming and lovely, making it easy to relax when out with kids (or without for that matter). Not surprisingly, African Taste is very popular in the evenings and the small space is generally packed. If eating out with kids, I’d advise heading there early, particularly on weekends. For an adult and parent only treat, make sure you order a Savannah dry cider. This hard to find refreshing South African cider, is a particular favourite of mine and I haven’t found a cider that matches it. For the young ones, make sure you order the cauliflower entrée. This toasted, mildly spiced treat is the perfect finger food and will definitely win over the kids.124 Victoria St, Seddon VIC 3011 Phone:(03) 9687 0560
|Sunday||10:00 am – 9:00 pm|
|Monday||9:00 am – 10:00 pm|
|Wednesday||9:00 am – 10:00 pm|
|Thursday||9:00 am – 10:00 pm|
|Friday||10:00 am – 10:00 pm|
|Saturday||10:00 am – 10:00 pm|