HB is a foodie, just like his mama. And just like his mama, he loves Asian food. Ok, so he’s not yet come around to accepting dumplings but I’m sure he will… We had our most recent foodie adventure at Kanada-Ya, where they’ve just launched a new kids menu and had invited us down to try it.
I’d only ever been to Kanada-Ya on my own before. Ok, so not technically on my own… I had GD strapped to my chest in a wrap and I spent the whole time eating noodles whilst trying not to spill any on his head (I failed). It wasn’t necessarily relaxing but it was delicious.
I’m not brave enough (or should that read ‘foolish’?) to go by myself with both little ones to a new restaurant, so my sister, Rosie, accompanied me; she’s never one to pass up the opportunity for food. I know from experience that unless you get food for HB within the first 7 minutes of arriving at a restaurant he turns into the Hell Beast. So I ordered pretty sharpish; Chicken Paitan with Panda Onigiri and apple juice. Nope, I wasn’t too sure what chicken paitan was either but it sounded good.
Whilst we were waiting for that to come, Rosie and I looked at the menu. Kanada-Ya specialises in noodles, ramen specifically, and there are nine different options. Ordinarily, I’d go for a Tonkotsu, but since my husband and I have been ‘meat-light’, I went for the vegetarian. Rosie opted for the vegetarian also, but swapped the egg noodles for the rice ones to make it vegan. There are big decisions to be made too, including how ‘hard’ you want your noodles (if you’re eating with a child, go for extra hard because, like tea, it’ll be a loooong time before you get to actually have it). We also ordered two additional sides of seaweed (got to get our iodine fix in), a chicken karaage and truffle edamame.
For the kids, the menu also doubles up as colouring in page. And it’s a pretty good deal – for £6.90, you have a choice of apple or orange juice, chicken paitan or vegetarian ramen and chicken karaage or panda onigiri. The panda onigiri is almost too cute to eat – at least HB thought so; he downright refused to touch it and had the saddest face when I stuck my fork into it. So I had to wait until he wasn’t looking before I dunked it into my noodles. Chicken paitan, it turns out, is noodle soup in a chicken broth with a pork chasu collar, noodles, shredded carrot, sweetcorn, edamame and seaweed. For the first time in HB’s life, he had soup!
HB was a little frustrated that he couldn’t get stuck into the soup straight away as it was piping hot when it came out so we decanted some of the noodles onto his panda onigiri plate and he nibbled off there until it was cool enough. He very much enjoyed eating sweetcorn off our chopsticks and slurping up soup from the ‘big spoon’.
As I mentioned, the pandas remained untouched so I took control of them – they’re basically rice with seaweed features and taste great when eaten with noodle soup. Rosie hoovered up most of the truffle edamame and HB licked off the flavouring off the discarded shells so I’m assuming they were good. The karaage was all mine and lovely and crisp around the outside, although I wish they’d splurged a bit more on the mayo. It was quite a while before I got to tuck into my bowl of ramen but it was still delicious. The veggie noodles come with al dente asparagus and a rich mushroom broth topped with chewy fungus.
I’ve only ever been to Kanada-Ya in Angel and whilst it’s fab, I wouldn’t say it’s properly set up for little kids (ie still in nappies – HB has just turned two). Mainly because toilets are upstairs and there isn’t a changing table which resulted in a rather exciting standing up toddler nappy change (plus his first poo in a grown up toilet – a day of firsts!) The chicken paitan went down an absolute treat and I think a lot of kids would find it fun to eat. Noodle soup is quite a grown-up meal and pretty messy so bring a bib if you’ve got a messy eater. The bill came to £42 which I thought was pretty reasonable. HB is definitely keen to go to ‘Café noodle’ again so I’d go again for sure.
We were gifted a meal at Kanada-Ya in Angel. All opinions are my own. www.kanada-ya.com