|Christmas shopping at intu Metrocentre|
We probably visit intu Metrocentre 4-6 times per year. It's a place we tend to visit around our children's birthdays when we treat them to Build-A-Bear and birthday tea. We usually choose Frankie & Benny's or Nando's which although are decent enough chains for families, can get a bit boring when you visit every birthday. Plus they are two chains that we actually have in my home town too so there is no need for me to travel to the Metrocentre especially to visit. Yes, the Metrocentre was certainly crying out for new dining options.
Introducing the new QUBE
We were invited along to a family dining event at the QUBE to sample some of the new dining options available at intu Metrocentre earlier this month and I could not believe the transformation. Last time we walked through the QUBE the restaurant area was boarded up but now it is a stylish and fun place to walk through with LOTS of places to dine out. We are now spoilt for choice! Here are a selection of our favourite restaurants to take the kids the next time you pop into intu Metrocentre:-
|Rainbows and Dreams Mocktail|
|Coconut Mojito Mocktail|
|Chicken Thai Curry|
You can't visit Ask without a cheeky glass of Italian Prosecco can you :-) Kids are very well catered for at Ask with a 3 course meal and Babyccino available for £6.75 (menu here). We would highly recommend their chocolate pizza which the staff kindly boxed up for us to bring home for supper.
Coast to Coast
BarBurrito is the restaurant that shocked me the most. Their Bambino Burritos went down a treat with Harry who declared them his favourite dish of the night. I couldn't see a children's menu online but small burritos are priced from just £5.30. You can build your Burrito exactly how you want it too so again, perfect for kids. Menu here.
|Jack loves Nando's Corn on the Cob|
Nando's is one of the first restaurants we visited as a family of 5 when Jack was just a teeny tiny baby. I will always remember how they didn't bat an eyelid at a crazy family with three kids under the age of 4 and think this is one of the best things about Nando's - you know exactly what to expect every time you visit and families are always made to feel welcome. Children's meals are priced at £5.95 for a main, 2 sides and a dessert. Our three usually choose either chicken wings or chicken strips. Menu here.
We have taken our kids to Yo! Sushi before and they loved the novelty of it all - being able to pick food from the belt that tempts their eyes is a novel experience. The food is always spot on and if you are looking for a healthier or lighter lunch, Yo! Sushi could be an option. The only issue I have is that it can sometimes be quite pricey if you give your kids free reign. There are some fab offers available though including this lunch time special.
|Make your own pink lemonade|
The kids loved making their own pink lemonade and their kids menu is one of the best value menus at £5.45 as it includes unlimited squash, 3 courses plus nibbles. Bargain!
|Kids Byron Burger|
|Oreo Cookie Milkshake|
The kids were going crazy about the Oreo Cookie Milkshake having never tried one before. They loved them so much that they had to come home with us! Children can choose a main, side and drink for £6.50 (menu here) which includes a selection of burgers or macaroni cheese. This was the first time we tried Courgette Fries and whilst I wasn't keen, hubby loved them.
|Bambinoccino at Pizza Express|
The Pizza Express kids menu is priced at £6.95 for three courses plus a bambinoccino (menu here). We sometimes find it better value to use our Tastecards and buy a couple of pizzas to share between us using their 2 for 1 offer.
|Duck and Pancakes|
|Selection of mini desserts|
The Wagamama children's menu features a range of mini Japanese dishes. The staff are always so happy and friendly and nothing is ever too much trouble. Sauce is served on the side too so don't be put off if you don't think your kids will be keen. Wagamama have thought of everything and even provided kids chopsticks. Main courses are charged between £3.50 and £5 making Wagamama a good value choice. Menu here.
Frankie & Benny's
|Ice Cream Candy Shop|
|Ice Cream Candy Shop|
Handmade Burger Co.
|Strawberry Handmade Shake|
Our top recommendations for family dining
We've selected our favourite dishes from the evening:-
- On a budget:- Frankie & Benny's Kids meal deal. £4.25 for 2 courses, extra veg/salad plus unlimited drinks is a bargain.
- Mum's choice:- Thaikhun for authentic Thai cuisine with welcoming and friendly staff.
- Dad's choice:- Spicy chicken wings from Nando's or Duck from Wagamama
- Harry's choice (aged 9) :- Make your own Burritos at BarBurrito and Oreo Milkshake from Byron
- Heidi's choice (aged 7) :- Pretzels from Coast to Coast or Ice Cream Candy Shop from Frankie & Benny's.
- Jack's choice (aged 5) :- Bangkok popcorn chicken from Thaikhun and corn on the cob from Nando's
I wish to extend a huge thank you to the intu Metrocentre marketing team and the restaurants involved for inviting us along to sample the best of their menus. I've never experienced anything quite like it and as their new deputy head of fun mentioned in his closing speech, it was the best party ever. We weren't obliged to write a post but I genuinely think there have been some really positive improvements to the shopping centre when it comes to dining and I wanted to share them with you.
Why not join our North East Food Lovers Facebook group where you can ask for restaurant recommendations from over 400 people living in the North East or post your own mini reviews.