When I heard that we would be celebrating my Goddaughter’s first birthday at Smoke Daddy’s in Cedar Square, I had no idea what to expect.
The name itself proved to be a great source of amusement to me, especially when associated with a one year old! To me, “Smoke Daddy’s”, conjured up visuals of Cuban cigars and formidable looking characters in some sort of new age Quentin Tarantino film. However, after experiencing this vibrant family-friendly restaurant first-hand, I realised that my initial perception could not have been further off base!
Offering multi-generational entertainment, hearty meals and flawless customer service, Smoke Daddy’s has managed to crack the code on kids birthday parties by making them fun for all age groups!
As we pulled up to Cedar Square Shopping Centre, gifts and excitement in tow, we kept our eyes peeled for this mysterious new restaurant. As Durbanites, Smoke Daddy’s was an entirely new concept, and to say that we were curious would be the understatement of the year. As the skies opened, we rushed across the parking lot in a flurry of excitement, eager to see the beautiful birthday girl in her element.
I stood between an impressively spacious Kauai and a chic little eatery called Carmellas, all the while looking out for a large unicorn balloon i.e the mark of every great party. Luckily, a friendly passerby offered helpful directions, and after descending the central staircase, we arrived at what could only be described as a kaleidoscope of colour and childhood joy.
We were greeted by an expansive, packed kiddies play area. Brightly coloured jungle gyms equipped with tunnel slides, colourful domes and climbing walls were perfectly complemented by a striking truck adorned in vintage comic book visuals. Throngs of families who were blissfully unbothered by the evolving downpour, happily made use of the restaurant’s indoor and sheltered al fresco dining options.
A certain unicorn balloon suddenly appeared in my periphery, and before I knew it, I was inside the restaurant, scooping up my crying, cucumber-obsessed Goddaughter against her will. Love is truly a phenomenal thing.
I couldn’t help but marvel at the warm and intimate atmosphere within the restaurant – soft eclectic lighting, exposed brick walls and brown leather booths further enhanced the unmistakable aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
Our crazy large family occupied a whopping 26-seater table. I really loved the fact that the staff went out of their way to ensure that each person had plenty of space and were seated comfortably the entire time. A special shoutout must be given to our waiter, Simba, who will forever be known as a hero among mortals, after successfully delivering our 26 individual orders. What an absolute champ – he was definitely a key contributor to our entirely positive experience.
For starters, we indulged in cheesy Nacho platters and fresh Greek salads, while the birthday girl remained loyal to a humble cucumber slice. With literally every option at her disposal, it’s rather endearing that she continues to opt for such a strange little watery gourd. However, she did spice things up later on by adding birthday cake to her diet. As they say, it’s all about moderation.
For mains, I analysed the menu for a painstakingly long period of time. In my defense, every single dish sounded like an outright winner! Eventually, I decided on a succulent beef burger topped with bacon rashers and creamy avocado. I’ve had many a burger in my lifetime, but trust me when I say that this particular patty was juicy, flavourful and perfect in its simplicity. The creamy avocado was also a flawless addition, enhancing the overall textural variance of the meal. My little gourd-lover even swapped her cucumber slice for a fry at some point during my meal, which of course brought me a great deal of pride.
Every single main meal was hearty, delicious and more than generous in size. Smoke Daddy’s extensive menu caters to a diverse range of dietary preferences. Firm favourites included the spicy chicken chimichangas smothered in cheese and jalapenos, perfectly cooked steaks with mushroom/pepper sauce, grilled halloumi and mushroom burgers, vegetarian and vegan wraps etc.
In the spirit of celebration, there was also plenty of craft beer, chardonnay and decadent gourmet milkshakes to be enjoyed. After tasting the colossal Nutella flavoured milkshake which arrived under a mountain of whipped cream, I was pretty much in heaven i.e. a place where cardio is just a nonsense word.
I was far too full to attempt dessert, but being the good Godmother that I am, I took one for the team and bravely tried the birthday cake. Much like Simba, my heroism knows no bounds. *takes a bow*
The birthday cake was a feast for both the eyes and the soul! Baked by the birthday girl’s supermommy, the unicorn themed rainbow cake was as delicious as it was aesthetically pleasing. The wonderful crew at Smoke Daddy’s proved to be talented singers as they serenaded baby Ky with good wishes and celebratory fare.
From beginning to end, the Smoke Daddy’s team were personable, hands-on and consistently brilliant in their delivery. After recognising baby Ky’s inexplicable love affair with a tomato-shaped ketchup holder, the team presented it to her as a birthday gift from Smoke Daddy’s. I bet she’s cradling her tomato as I type this.
The entire experience was definitely one for the books, especially our mid-meal playground break! If you’re ever in the market for a toddler-friendly party venue, or a dynamic new spot for family lunch, look no further than Smoke Daddy’s in Cedar Square Shopping Centre! As I’m sure baby Ky will agree, this restaurant really is “as cool as a cucumber!”