Pirata Owner and restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
Agggh me hearties, This could indeed be a restaurant treasure. We gathered the smallest Mates and set sail for another dip into the turbulant waters of Kids and dining out.
Opened recently, Pirata’s is located in The Hague at Groot Hertoginnelaan 206 (Corner Groot Hertoginnelaan & Conradkade) and is a family owned and operated venture from former cafe owners in the nearby Reinkinstraat. Located next to the tramhalt of Line 11 and buses 20 and 21, the back room section of the restaurant has been transformed into a small child’s dream, colouring equipment, a TV (to my son’s delight a“Cars” DVD amongst others) and an array of games and toys on a Pirate theme.
For the older child there is not too much on offer, but the owners are well aware of that and hoped to build in more games for the bigger kids as the restaurant becomes more established. They also quite rightly said that older kids already generally have more options anyway for dining out and that it was the younger customer that was less catered for in the restaurant trade. I heartily agree with their thoughts.
Sails bedeck the rafters, and there are many Pirate surprises featured inside for all the little Hearties to discover… shiver me timbers, quake ye not if you look up high at the pirate that was dragged up from Davy Jones’s locker. Agggh, even the cannon outside on the pavement inspired squeals of delight from our littlest press-ganged Mate.
entree: Vegetable skewers, Pirata Restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
Lets look at a few of the dishes on offer: Hubbies entree Calamaris homemade squid with garlic mayonnaise followed by Main Course marinaded mushroom salad.
My entree Vegetable skewers followed by Main Course fillet of sole with a butter sauce with capers shallot, lemon and potato wedges.
We shared a dessert (for 2 persons) dessert chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and marshmallows.
The kids opted for a kid meal of croquettes and fries, but there are also a variety of kid friendly meals on the menu.
So now , how does it rate? All in all the food is good… the menu is not overly long or complicated, the meals are very down to earth, flavours are good without being particularly exceptional with the excellent exception of the home made herb butter that is the best of any of it’s sort that I have ever tried so far in my 17 years in The Netherlands. I like to make both herb and garlic butters at home too, but have to concede: Well done ! the Pirata’s herb butter is better than my best efforts so far.
When rating a restaurant as a seriously addicted hobby chef I usually ask myself if I could make the same (or better) at home… Yes, with the exception of the butter , I could easily make this menu with a little practice… But this restaurant is far less about Michelin Star cuisine and far more about successful dining out with small children, so a simple, well presented menu at a reasonable price is more than a result. Having visited Pirata’s now more than once in quick succession, I can also highly recommend the crème brûlée ( not too sweet with wonderful notes of vanilla) and also let you know that we have word from the owner that the menu will be updated regularly, firm favourites will stay on the menu, but new offerings will be available from time to time too in tune with seasonal availbility of ingredients.
I’m all for a small rotation of menu items on a regular basis, it gives returning customers something to look forward to and helps establish a wider base of the most popular dishes. This in turn makes it easier to bring a larger party of guests here, to celebrate a family event or special occasion with friends and to know that there will be something suitable on the menu for even the most fussy of palates.
Pirata Restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
TV's mean you can keep an eye on the kid play area at the back while you sit and enjoy your meal (photo © kiwidutch)
At the end of the day, Even better than the menu, is the relaxed atmosphere where adults can dine whilst their kids play happily before and after their meals.
Also, in a country where the service in both shops and restaurants is generally of the lower standard and staff often surly, it is a delight to finally find a restaurant where the staff are welcoming, helpful and friendly and want to make your evening out a pleasurable experience.
Our kids tend to run on low batteries later in the day so it is a small shame that the restaurant only opens at 16.00 and that meals can only be ordered from 16.30 onwards (a lunch time menu would suit our kids energy levels better) …but in the end, the play area keeps children distracted rather well as they reach their tired zone and at least they last for the duration of the meal.
the best herb-butter I've had in NL so far... Pirata Restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
Main Course marinaded mushroom salad, Pirata Restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
Main Course fillet of sole with a butter sauce with capers /shallot, Pirata Restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
Kid Meal, home made croquette and fries, Pirata Restaurant (photo © kiwidutch)
One thing is definitely sure, bring your appetite with you when you arrive because the portions are ample and and I can guarantee that you won’t come away hungry. Children will be delighted with various trick and treats on offer too (but I won’t show you photos of those… best leave those to be your nice surprise when you visit)
In the end to sum up: an Overall score of 9/10 and we will be very happy to go back to Pirata’s and to recommend this Family Restaurant to other parents with young children, because for the service, fun, food and atmosphere it’s well worth the visit.
Pirata Family Restaurant ( photo © kiwidutch)
Pirata’s Familie Restaurant ,
Groot Hertoginnelaan 206 (Corner Groot Hertoginnelaan & Conradkade) Den Haag (The Hague), The Netherlands. Website address: http://www.pirata-denhaag.nl