A restaurant with an indoor kids playground is priceless, but I had heard mixed reviews about the service at Wanneroo Tavern. Despite this a group of us decided to give it a go one Friday night for an early dinner.
Firstly, don’t be confused, but the restaurant in the Tavern is actually called The Stringy Bark Steakhouse! We phoned a few days before to book a table inside near the playground, as we had four feisty kids under 5 to keep happy. We arrived at 6pm and the place was already heaving with families tucking into their dinners, and the noise level was substantial! It’s a good atmosphere though if you don’t mind the kids noise, especially near the playground. Definitely not a place for a quiet romantic meal and I wouldn't recommend an evening out with baby unless you are one of those brave moms.
The décor is rustic and casual with wooden furniture and Australian historic memorabilia. There is also a bar and various TV screens set up for Sports enthusiasts. Apparently there is live music on offer too, but not when we were there.
Table service means that waiters bring you menus, your drinks from the bar and take your order so you can stay put and pay after your meal. Our waitress was friendly but efficient and didn’t waste time chatting – which suited us just fine. The kids meals were impressively brought out within ten minutes so we could get them all sorted and by the time the adult meals arrived the kids were already back on the playground leaving us in relative peace.
The adult menu is massive with a wide range of tempting meals to suit just about anyone – I even spotted Kangaroo. But conservatively I decided on Chicken Parmigiana with chips – the best fries I have had for a while. Included was a small simple salad as garnish – lettuce, tomato and cucumber. It was a very tasty meal, and large. All portions were generous and we found them very tasty and reasonably priced.
The kids menu is for Under 12’s and has a good variety of options. Kiddie meals cost $9.90 and for an extra $1 come with a drink of your choice in a special take-home cup with straw. You can also upgrade for more extras such as a showbag or jumbo cup. My child ordered ham and cheese pizza (2 slices) served with chips (strange) – a generous portion that she wasn’t able to finish but that hit the spot and she said it was “yummy”. Other choices on the menu include fish and chips, meatballs, kebabs, calamari, beef burger and steak. No sign of salad or veg, but I have come to expect that on kids menus. All the menu items have fun names such as “Moo-rific”, “Pirate Treasure” and “Hook, line & sinker”.
The playground was the star attraction for our kids of course. It is a multi-coloured plastic structure with three levels of tunnel slides and climbing fun. It’s fully enclosed and faces into the restaurant, so you can keep an eye on the kids from your table. Make sure your kids wear layers, as they work up quite a sweat racing around – and bring water bottles or be prepared to have to buy more drinks!
All in all we were there for 2 hours before the kids started to fade fast and a swift exit was essential. I will definitely return to the Stringy Bark as I found it an enjoyable experience. Maybe we’ll try lunch next time on a Tuesday when the ongoing offer is ‘Kids Eat Free’...
Open for Lunch (11.30am–2:30pm every day) and Dinner (Mon-Thurs & Sun 5:30-9pm / Fri & Sat 5:30-9:30pm)
Various special offers occur throughout the week (conditions may
Monday – The $12 Great Australian Pie Adventure
Tuesday – KIDS EAT FREE
Wednesday – $17 Steak & Fish
Thursday – $1 Rack of lamb with any steak
Friday – $25 Seafood Platter
Saturday – $12 Lunchtime chicken schnitzel
Sunday – $19.90 Sunday Roast.
18 Dundebar Rd, Wanneroo, WA, 6065 Tel: 08 9405 2777