I received a very friendly email recently, inviting me to visit a restaurant to try out their new kids’ menu. Since I had some time off due to my recent offshore stint, I arranged for Aiden and me to visit the said restaurant.
I usually have the most hopeless luck with parking at Publika but surprisingly this time I secured a parking just as soon as I got into the building. Parked safely, checked the address and started walking into the shopping mall. Found an information counter and decided not to trust my judgement in directions so I asked for assistance. Good thing I asked for directions, because the restaurant was tucked away at a quiet corner just beside The Social, literally beside the entrance to the underground parking. In fact, the exact instructions from the information counter was "beside the parking lot". However, don't let the location of the restaurant deceive you, I walked in and was pleasantly surprised to find it being a rather decent sized restaurant with interesting decor and plenty of space for kids to run about
The Bee declares itself as “your neighbourhood hangout place”; and it certainly rings true to its claim. Aside from being just a place to eat, they are also a prominent place in Publika for Friday night drinks, Saturday hang outs and Sunday happy hours - boasting having their own resident live band (Dotters’ Division). They also organize unique events such as coffee brewing classes, open mic nights and stand-up comedy acts for charity. Not only that, they also host book-reading clubs and gigs for upcoming local entertainers. I was especially impressed with their recent event – Know Your Economy: A Quiz Night with Idris Jala, where patrons got to ask questions (or even flair their knowledge) on economics with the man himself! Heck, they even managed to get my ex-boss to serenade the crowd with the blues afterwards!
On a first glance, The Bee may seem to appeal more to the adult crowd. In an effort to make them more kid-friendly, The Bee recently introduced a new menu, which included a kids’ menu. This is certainly a brilliant move by the management. Now even the kids can enjoy proper snacks while parents socialize with friends and such. Sounds interesting? Read on to know more, mothers!
So that afternoon, Aiden and I chose a small table for four, which included three chairs and an over sized armchair. Aiden immediately plopped himself into the very comfortable armchair which was across a very antique looking display cabinet. In fact, the whole look of the restaurant was very rustic and welcoming – unfinished walls and stained concrete, complimented by individual vintage pieces creatively placed around the restaurant which gave a graceful finish to the interior. Full wall windows allowed natural light to pour into the restaurant while the lighting casted alluring shadows on its decor pieces. If people watching is your thing, this is the perfect spot to do so. For a more private affair, you can choose a seat deeper in the restaurant. Or if you appreciate a suntan, The Bee also offers seats outside in their lush outdoor open area, where beautiful potted plants accentuated the organic and earth toned theme, making it a very pleasant place to enjoy your meal.
|Perfect spot for people watching.|
|Rustic and vintage - a beautiful combination.|
We browsed through the menu for a bit and I was quite pleased to note that the kids’ menu were meals that would appeal to a child (and adults). It was certainly created with a lot of thought in mind. Simple but practical, mess-free food, that needs little or no Mummy-intervention; such as toasties, pastas and sausages. Although there is a delicate balance between providing indulgence and healthier meal options, The Bee has thoughtfully added cheese and vegetable coleslaw sides for better nutrition in their menu options.
|The kids' menu.|
In the end Aiden settled for his favourite quesadillas - Cheese and Cocktail Sausage Quesadillas to be exact. That boy sure loves his cheese and carbs! I thought the Baby Cino (essentially milk and ice-cream) was a cute and quirky name for a drink, but Aiden was quite adamant about having the Oreo Milkshake to accompany his meal. As for me, I was craving for some pasta, and when I saw that their Aglio Olio came with Cili Padi for some spicy kick, I was sold! To quench my thirst, I ordered The Bee special – Lemongrass Citron Press. While waiting for our food, Aiden was given a small pail (I repeat, pail) of crayons and an activity book to doodle on. Yes, The Bee has definitely gone beyond the conventional colour pencils and placemats, and was certainly not stingy with their crayons.
|The pail of crayons arrived with Aiden's Oreo Milkshake.|
|Gossip food for the mummies - nachos!|
|My scrumptious Aglio Olio pasta with Cili Padi.|
|The kids engrossed with their colouring.|
|Enjoying their playdate.|
Food arrived promptly and we had to force the two kids to stop doodling so that they could concentrate on their meals. Danya’s sister Maryam wanted to join in the fun, and since she was lactose intolerant and couldn't have any of the kids’ milkshakes, The Bee was oh-so-nice to offer to prepare fresh fruit juice especially for her! Food came served in plastic plates and utensils, and Danya’s meal especially, was presented beautifully in a mix of elements and colours. Two thumbs up for The Bee for preparing visually appealing meals! The portion on the other hand, was huge! Although Danya and Aiden swapped plates a couple of times that afternoon, between the two of them they couldn't finish the chunky quesadillas, plump sausages, coleslaw and fries. Not to worry, because the meals were very tasty even to the adult palate, and in the end the mommies walloped their plates clean.
|I simply loved the colourful plates!|
|Danya enjoying her Chicken Cocktail Sausages, Fries and Coleslaw.|
|Aiden's Cheese and Cocktail Sausage Quesadillas. Yes, that's cheese oozing out!|
|The lactose intolerant baby, waving hello.|
Afterwards, the kids decided that they could still find room in their tummies for dessert, so off they went bounding to the ice-cream freezer just beside the dessert display. The Last Polka offers wacky concoctions of homemade ice-cream, but the kids played it safe by choosing their favourite Salted Gula Melaka and Strawberry Cream Cheese. Needless to say, the ice-cream was worth our calories.
|The dessert corner outside the restaurant.|
|Maryam pointing to Aiden's colouring.|
|Spoiled for choice.|
|Danya enjoying her ice-cream.|
|Appreciating the restaurant after the very delectable meal.|
|Showing off their beautiful creations.|
|The outdoor seating area.|
|Beautiful outdoor area - I can imagine myself having an outdoor party here!|
In a nutshell, I loved The Bee for its beautiful décor, ambiance and topnotch service. Certainly mummy-approved for mothers to hangout while their children go on playdates. The kids on the other hand, loved The Bee for the colouring activities, the good food, ample space to run around and the ice-cream afterwards. We would love to spend another afternoon there again.
Thank you The Bee, for your warm hosting!
|Thank you, The Bee!|
|Mommies who are forever in debt to The Bee for providing us the avenue for some peace and quiet during the playdate.|
|The kids frolicking in the sun afterwards.|