I live with a five year-old aspiring chef. T-Rex constantly asks me if he can help cook dinner, bake a cake, make pizza, etc. His kindergarten allows children to prepare a meal every Wednesday for the whole class, and it’s rather dramatic if he can’t participate. So when I heard about the Kinderkookkafé in Amsterdam, I knew we had to go!
The Kinderkookkafé is a unique cafe in Amsterdam where children run the show. Each child selects what he or she would like to eat, prepares the dish, helps place it in the oven (if applicable), serves the food, and cleans up afterward.
Menu choices include lunch items such as ham and cheese croissants, open face sandwiches, and pizza to desserts like cupcakes and cookies to simpler snacks of carrot and cucumber cut-outs.
Both of my boys chose to make pizzas. The menu card showed what items they needed to collect from the self-serve area to create their meal. With dough, sauce, cheese, vegetables, flour, rolling pin, and pan in hand, they got to work.
T-Rex and Screech had a blast doing everything themselves. Doc Sci observed that the hardest part about a visit to the Kinderkookkafé is actually letting the kids do everything themselves. Perfectionists will squirm when their child puts all of the cheese in one spot and doesn’t cut up the bell pepper. Not that I know anything about that…
I must say that there’s not a whole lot to entertain the little ones while their food bakes. I noticed a stack of books and a table with paper and colored pencils. In warmer weather, the children could play outside in the little attached playground.
The cooked pizzas were rather crispy (food safety?), but neither of my boys noticed or cared. It didn’t take long for the chefs to devour their masterpieces.
Food prices are reasonable; the pizzas cost about €3,50 each and most other dishes cost less than that. I assume that the cafe makes most of its money from adult refreshments (coffee, cake, etc.).
Bathroom cleanliness was questionable. The sinks were rather stopped up from all the dough bits washed off of little hands. T-Rex almost overflowed the basin. Let’s hope the staff uses separate facilities and keeps the kitchen cleaner than the restroom.
The staff members spoke English and were happy to answer all of my first-timer questions. When I was mixing up a bottle for Big Foot, one of the women working there walked over and offered to warm it up for me.
The Kinderkookkafé concept is brilliant, and it’s obvious that the place has had great success. I highly recommend stopping here for a meal or even just a snack when visiting Amsterdam with kids.
Have you been to the Kinderkookkafé? If you had the opportunity, would you enjoy going to a restaurant where your children prepared and served the food?