If your children are getting to the age where a play room with dinner means everyone will have a better evening out, have a look at these restaurants in Johannesburg.  All three are guaranteed to please everyone in the family.  Just make sure you put a limit on the number of R5 coins they will get for the prize machines - before you leave for the restaurant.

Dros Restaurant Menu for Family Restaurants in JohannesburgCredit: Taken from Dros website for promotion of their restaurant.Dros Restaurant & Wine Cellar (Randburg)

Located sort of midway between older suburbs, such as Melville, and the new suburbs of areas like North Riding, you may find this Dros is a convenient place for family members to meet up for a monthly (or weekly dinner).  In addition to the big trampolines outside, the  indoor playroom has video games for the older kids and an indoor jungle gym for the younger ones.  The large dining room has a fireplace and opens to an outdoor patio, making this an easy option for all seasons.  In addition, there is an area where kids can make their own pizzas, after donning aprons and chefs hats, of course.

The Dros' grown up menu is best known for their Grills and Pizzas, but the Dros is continually updating their menu and adding new items all the time.  There are new salads that are meal sized, such as the Warm Tangy Sweet Beef Strips Salad or the Sweet and Sour Smoked Pork with Batter Salad.  Specialty meat meals include the Red Wine Steak with your choice of rump or sirloin and Eisbein.  A new favorite on the menu are the Savoury Pancakes, with fillings like Pepper Steak or Lamb Curry.

Kids options range from Kidz Beefy Burgers and Chicken Chomper for under R25 to Cheesey Noodles and Daredevil Drumsticks up to the most expensive item on the children's menu, the Sweetlips Ribs for just over R35.  Drinks and Lucky Packets or other toys are sold separately, but they are worth it.

Reviewers Choice

Order the Old Man Sauce Steak.  You have a choice of rump or sirloin, cooked to your liking and topped with the Old Man Sauce, made from three different types of mustard.  You will get a choice of rice, chips or baked potato along with the onion rings served with every steak.  Wash it down with a glass from the Dros' surprising wine list or something from the full bar.  Trick your kids into ordering a pizza they make themselves to keep them occupied.

Contact Details

  • W: www.dros.co.za
  • T: +27 11 791 6731
  • A: Shop 25, Clubhouse Centre, Malibongwe (Hans Strydom).  Refer to website for a location closer to you.

Bambanani (Melville)

You can't beat this restaurant for the secure atmosphere it creates for families.  As you walk in to the fully fenced in front, a Bambanani security guard will ask you to sign in any children you have with you.  Don't lose the paper they hand you, as you won't be able to take any children off the premises without it.  As you walk through, you won't notice that it is a family restaurant straight away as the tables look like any other restaurant.  That is until you get to the back.  There is a massive play area, which is supervised by Bambanani child-carers.  You have to see it to believe it.

The adult menu includes tapas options, such as Yamato's Pork Gyoza, Grilled Haloumi, and Crostini Assorti.  Main dishes include a Peri-Peri Bom Bebê Frango which is a whole baby chicken and Kingklip Livornese, pan sautéed with garlic, chilli, black olives, capers and tomato served with potato purée.

The children's menu includes the old standbys of Fish Fingers and Mash, Toasted Sarmies, and Pizza.  But it also includes other tempting options, such as Chicken Schnitzel, Chicken Kebabs, and Meatballs with Peas in a Napoletana Sauce which is served with mash or spaghetti.  Almost all of the children's meals are under R30.  As an added bonus, there is even a small menu for babies which includes mashed vegetables or fruit.

Reviewers Choice

Order a selection from the Tapas menu: Crispy Chorizo and Roasted baby Potatoes, Pepper crusted Beef Fillet, Char-Grilled Asparagus dipped in Dijonnaise, Falafel, Hummus and Thaina, and Gagioli all'Uccelletto.  Enjoy a glass of wine as you enjoy the idea that your children are having a great time, while being looked after.  If you can get your kids to sit at the table for more than a minute, treat them to a milkshake (served in a plastic, lidded cup of course) with whatever they want from the menu.  

Contact Details

  • T: +27 11 482 2900
  • A: 85, 4th Avenue, Melville

Mike's Kitchen Restaurant in Cresta, JohannesburgMike's Kitchen (Cresta)

There are several Mike's Kitchen's scattered throughout Johannesburg, but if you are having dinner with your children, the branch at Heathway Centre in Cresta is the one to go to.  As you walk in the, the reason is obvious.  A massive playground, including jungle gyms and swings over a sandpit is surrounded by tables for outdoor dining.  The fun continues inside for the children with a playroom that includes Wii games, a jumping castle and a rock-climbing wall.  With an extensive menu, you will be able to please everyone in your group.  

Adult starters include Spicy Chicken Strips, Cheezy Garlic Snails and a new addition, African Pepperdew Poppers.  Mains will give you a choice of every thing from chicken and fish to burgers and steak.  The Jozi's Fillet topped with blue cheese, bacon and a black cherry sauce.  The Bacon and Avo burger is almost decadent.  If you are in the mood for chicken, try the Chicken Medallions grilled in a creamy mushroom and white wine sauce, served with black mushrooms and a touch of garlic.

With over twelve main meal options on the children's menu, it is just as diverse as the adult version.  It doesn't stray too far away from the standard favorites which means your kids will actually eat their pizza, chicken strips, ribs, burger or fish fingers.  The children's dessert menu is where Mike's Kitchen really shines, with a sundae options like Milo Mellow and Astro, Ice Cream and Choc Sauce.

Reviewers Choice

Go on a Sunday when the Carvery is open.  With choices of meat, vegetables and fresh salads, this all you can eat is a good deal, no matter what you get.  Enjoy it outside, while begging your children to eat whatever they have ordered.  Finish your meal with one of their specialty coffees.

Contact Details

  • W: www.mikeskitchen.co.za
  • T: +27 11 476 3613
  • A: Heathway Square Shopping Centre, cnr Beyers Naudé & Castle Hill Drives, Randburg

Click on the map below for directions to all three establishments.  Visit the restaurant websites for more information and pricing.  For other great restaurant ideas in Johannesburg, have a look at these articles:

Great Family Restaurants in Johannesburg
Dros Randburg Get Directions
Shop 25, Clubhouse Centre, Malibongwe (Hans Strydom), Randburg
Bambanani Melville Get Directions
85, 4th Avenue, Melville
Mike's Kitchen Cresta Get Directions
Heathway Square Shopping Centre, cnr Beyers Naudé & Castle Hill Drives, Randbur