Last night we ate out. We seem to eat out reasonably frequently here. Max is a superstar in restaurants (good behaviour in exchange for hot chips) and it's generally really fun taking them out. The trickiest thing is finding restaurants that open early enough for our kids, who are usually in bed at around 7pm. Most places don't open until 7pm and often the service is pretty slow meaning we're not out of the restaurant until 8.30pm - which spell disaster for the kids.
So here's a list of the places we've found so far that open early and don't get all snippy when you walk in with a three year old and a baby in a mountain buggy!
La Case - Baie d'Orphelinat (ph 28 24 24)
This place starts serving food at 6pm. They just have a basic menu that early but it includes pizzas that have a yummy thin base and good salads. It's generally pretty quiet then and I love sitting outside with a great view over the Bay.
Fun Beach - Anse Vata beach (ph 26 31 32)
Open from 6.30pm. We ate here last night and were really impressed by the service which is often less than friendly in Noumea. They even carried the buggy down the stairs and into a prime spot overlooking the water. The food came out quickly and was yummy - not super-flash but very tasty and we had a great family meal.
Creperie Le Rocher - Behind the Surf Hotel at Anse Vata Beach (ph 25 3575)
I love sitting up here and looking down over the Baie des Citrons. I really think it has one of the nicest outlooks in Noumea. It's meant to be open all day from Tuesday - Sunday from midday to 10pm but ring and check. I've called and been told a few times that dinner doesn't start until 7pm. The crepes are delicious and it's so nice to wash everything down with a yummy glass of cider. There's space outside for the kids to run around too.
Le Bout du Monde - Baie de Moselle, near the Market (27 77 28)
Classic French-style Brasserie. The proper menu doesn't start until 7pm but they have a good all day snack menu that changes regularly but often has tartines, salads and you can usually order something simple for the kids. The highlight for Max is the boat on the grass in front of the Terrace. He can play on that for ages while we wait for food - which can take a while.
Along Beach - Vietnamese at Anse Vata (ph 28 28 84)
Delicious Vietnamese that's open from about 6pm. It's in the little shopping complex at the far end of the beach so kids can run around safely on the grass in front of the restaurant. It's always busy here, but you can always get takeaways and go and sit at a table on the beach if it's full.
Wow - that's quite a list! There are also some good Italian places and the burgers at Le Fare at Anse Vata beach are good value and substantial. Breakfast is good here too - ahhh breakfast! I think that will have to be covered in another blog!