A little while back I was invited to my local Chiquito* to review their new Spring menu, I've only ever been to Chiquito once in the evening with friends, after a quick look on-line I discovered that they serve children's meals so decided that Aria and I would treat my friend and her son to some good food and good company!
We went along on a Tuesday at lunchtime, as expected it was pretty quiet. We were seated quickly and highchairs were brought over straight away. Myself and Abi ordered our starters and asked for the chid's mains to come out at the same time, there is nothing worse than Aria seeing my starter and screaming as she doesn't have any food!
For Aria I ordered the Chiquito Margarita 'Pizza' with a side of veg. She absolutely loves pizza, she isn't so keen on veg but I like to try. I ordered this from the kids menu so I was quite shocked to see just how big it was, even more shocked that Aria ate about three quarters of it, she clearly enjoyed it. The 'pizza' is actually two flour tortillas layered and topped with tomato sauce and cheese, which will be why she managed to eat so much! As predicted most of the veggies ended up on the floor.
I decided to order the Halloumi skewer to start, £5.95, Skewered halloumi, onions and peppers baked in the oven and served over a citrus dressed salad with cranberry salsa. This was delicious, the flavours complimented each other beautifully, the cranberry salsa finishing it off perfectly.
For my main course I opted for the Mexican Paella, £13.95, authentic seafood and chicken paella, a popular dish taken from south of the border. King prawns, tiger prawns, chicken breast and chorizo in a Mexican spiced rice, with cherry tomatoes and our signature tomato sauce. Again, this was beautiful and packed full of prawns, chicken and chorizo.
Myself and Abi also ordered a side of cheesy garlic bread to share. We both commented on how nice this was, as it is made with tortilla rather than bread it is light and easy to eat, which makes it very more-ish!
Then came the puddings! We ordered both of the kids a Mini Milk. This was the first time both of them had tried one and they weren't really sure what to do with it! Aria insisted on holding hers like this (photo above), she enjoyed it for about a minute and then I guess her hand got cold because she handed it to me. I tried offering it to her again but she refused, clearly scarred by how cold it was!
Abi ordered the browie baked banana, £5.45, Banana stuffed with chocolate brownie and baked in the oven. Topped with fresh raspberries, a drizzle of chocolate sauce and served with vanilla pod ice cream. She enjoyed it but was disappointed with how little chocolate brownie there was.
I ordered the Mexican Mess, £5.65, Our take on Eton Mess! Churros, chocolate brownie, chocolate sauce, strawberry pieces, raspberry ripple ice cream and strawberry yoghurt topped with cream, served in our cinnamon tortilla basket. I enjoyed this, it was a nice change but again I was disappointed with how little chocolate brownie there was, maybe they were running short the day that we visited?
Would I recommend Chiquito? Yes, but maybe not with children. The food was filling and delicious, the prices were about average. The downside for us was the poor service. Our waitress wasn't very welcoming or friendly, Our starter plates weren't cleared when our mains were brought out and she seemed disinterested. Both of the kids did make a mess and the floor was covered in food, we did have to wonder if this was why she was off with us. We cleared up the majority of the food but we waited until the children had finished eating, there really is no point in clearing it up when they are still going. The desert plates were actually cleared quite quickly so I had to request a plate so that I could clean up the mess, I had hoped this would cheer her up a little but the requested was granted with a grunt. This really is a shame as both of the kids really enjoyed their food and the chilled out vibe.
Have you eaten at Chiquito? Have you been there with kids? If so, how did you find the food and service?