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Child Friendly Restaurants at Fed Square

Home > Melbourne > Restaurants | Outdoor | Lists | Food and Wine | Family
by Bombay Extra Dry (subscribe)
Subscribe to Bombay Extra Dry, Like , Follow @BombayExtraDry. All images are my own, unless otherwise stated.
Published December 25th 2014
Need a place where the folks can drink a glass of wine, eat and relax in a stylish restaurant, while watching the kids run around and play in a safe open space? Federation Square is the spot to be!

These three venues offer kids menus, great food, cater for dietary requirements, and have a great vantage point for watching the kids as they play in the square.

Calamari @Optic #BED
1. Optic Kitchen and Bar

Trendy yet lad back, and hidden at the back of the Square, I must have walked past this place a million times, but only discovered it by being introduced by a friend, last week!

Open Monday through to Friday 8.30am - late, Saturday 9.30am - late, Sunday 10am - late. Though, the kitchen seems to close much sooner than the other surrounding restaurants.

We chose this place for drinks and a light snack on a Friday evening, but will certainly be returning to sample menu items such as beef taquitos (pan fried crispy white corn tortilla filled with slow braised beef shoulder, served with chipotle black beans, grilled corn, guacamole and sour cream) and beetroot and caramelised shallot tart tartan with baked goat cheese, baby beans and almond salad.

Gluten free and vegetarian options available; kid friendly with small serves of mini burgers with fat chips; and cozy enough for a date in a comfy booth where you can grab a vintage board game and relax.

Relaxed outdoor seating @Optic #BED
Steak chips @Optic #BED

Seafood paella @Arintji #BED
2. Arintji

One of my favourite aspects about this place is that on hot days, frequent mists of water cool down the patrons seated outside - I vote all outdoor seating restaurants do this in the summer!

Open for both lunch and dinner, trading Sunday through to Thursday 10am-10pm and Friday and Saturday 10am-late, the innovative menu is inspired from Europe, Asia and Australia's finest produce.

Everything on the menu sounds good, so you will have a tough time choosing from the light meals to share menu with tempting options such as Hervey Bay half shell scallops, pea & shallot cream shaved jam on; the charcoal grill menu with a choice of beef, pork, or chicken; and the mains menu with water watering offerings like twice cooked duck legs, bok chou, spring onion pancake mandarine glaze. For the kids - mini burger, fish, chicken, or pasta with fries.

The menu changes daily, and can be viewed at We chose the pork belly with coleslaw, seafood paella, and a crab meat entree - all delectable.

Crab entree @Arintji #BED
Pork Belly with Coleslaw @Arintji #BED

Hanamachi @Chocolate Buddha #BED
3. Chocolate Buddha
For me, this place is always a hit and miss, but I do like the casual communal seating outside, and find it hard to resist Japanese cuisine.

Open daily from noon tip late, the extensive menu includes dishes to share, sushi and sashimi, noodle and rice dishes, and a kids menu. Gluten- free and vegetarian options are available.

I chose the shake teriyaki, and my dining companions spicy pork ramen, tofu ankake don, and salmon maki rolls.

While we had a few mishaps with cocktail and food orders, and were somewhat hungry afterwards, we loved the place for it's late open kitchen, kids menu, beautifully presented food with delicate flavours, and of course the outdoor seating area with easy access to active kids.

Shake Teriyaki @Chocloate Buddha #BED
Spicy Pork Ramen @Chocloate Buddha #BED

So there's no more excuses for not going out for a night of fine wine and dining with the kids in tow. Get out there!

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Why? Up market restaurants where children are welcome!
When: Daily
Where: Federation Square
Cost: From $14 for kids meals
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