Shall we make a chocolate cake? No reaction. We could take the bikes out, go to the forest… Silence still. I sigh. Since I suggested we should take a break from TV/tablet screens and switched Minecraft off, James, my 6 year old son was sulking. How about dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum then? A sudden change in posture. I can see he’s trying hard to not look interested but dinosaur is a magic word… There’s a soupçon of a smile. They even have a T.Rex Grill there, you know… And just like that, I get a hug. I feel like the best mum in the world. I have lost count, by now, of how many times we have visited the dinosaur gallery. The first time was when my daughter was 3 – she is now 11.
I usually stay away from museum cafés – the quality rarely is extraordinary for the price asked, tables are clustered close together for a better turnover meaning quite a lot of noise. But Benugo’s ideas of a dinosaur themed café seemed perfect to make the day a little more special. Think trees neatly lined under beautiful stone arches, mirrors decorated with roaring creatures, comfortable green banquettes… The real wow effect, however, were the two animated figures at the entrance of the restaurant: be warned, it’s quite difficult to drag kids away from furry dinosaurs with feathery claws!
Having arrived quite early to beat the lunch crowd, we had the place almost all to ourselves. Then again, even as the restaurant filled up, the atmosphere always stayed rather peaceful. Kids are given a balloon, a paper menu with word searches, crayons and bowl of vegetable sticks straight away, keeping them happy/busy. The tables are really well spaced (no constant bumping into your chair), any chatter noise tempered down by crickets singing (a refreshing full “lost in nature” effect rather than pop songs) and the staff really caring.
How about the food then? We’re mostly talking classics but with really fresh ingredients, reared and sustainably sourced in the UK. James, having wandered to the open kitchen to watch the pizzaiolo made the dough swirl and fly, chose a stone baked Margarita from the kids’ menu and finished it all, despite being a fussy eater. My daughter, a meat lover, preferred the super juicy Sirloin steak, served with garlic butter, fries and coleslaw and literally devoured it. The T.Rex burger was rather decadent and piled high with 2 patties, bacon, lots of melted cheddar, pickle, tomato and even caramelised onions… You do need quite an appetite! I tried the “healthy” options: the pitta bread filled with guacamole, hummus and veggie falafel. The latter, made with beetroot, were surprisingly tasty and tender. The bread and salad were almost superfluous: I could have done with a bowl of these alone. We shared the (huge!) Triceratops plate for dessert, which comes with a volcano chocolate cake, toffee sundae, dinosaur shaped chocolates and sugar dino eggs and an additional scoop of ice-cream. We barely left a crumb.
Looking at individual items on the menu, I expected the bill to be quite high. The T.Rex burger at £15, the Beetroot falafel pitta at £10… Our waitress, however pointed out the set menu options: Main, dessert and a drink for £16, or Full rack of ribs for 2, trio dessert and 2 drinks for £35 so you do not have to break the bank.
Leaving the T.Rex Grill, I realised we had spent a good 2 hours there. It’s easy to see why: the kids were entertained, the food really good, us parents really relaxed. A roaring good time all around!
T.Rex Grill | Natural History Museum (Green Zone), Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD