PinFu World: The Biggest Indoor Play Area We Know Of

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The fourth kid-and-family friendly establishment that my kids and I patronize is PinFu World, a rather large basement restaurant, which is located not far from the Dollars on MinTzu and MingChen Roads here in Kaohsiung.  It isn’t necessarily easy to find if you’ve not been to that part of town, but if you know the cafe- and eatery-lined streets a block or two behind the McDonald’s nearest to Dollars, you’ll find it fairly easily.  Another reference point would be the Saigon Vietnam Cafe two blocks in from Mac-D’s, for PinFu is another block or two down the side street next to Saigon.

When you see the 7-11 on that side street, pass by, on foot, to a nearby doorway which brings you down into a basement.  There you’ll find it!

If you’ve read my other blogs about such family food joints in town, you’ll have noted that I haven’t been overly impressed with the food on offer, generally, except for Mr. English (if you can’t tell, we love that place, our top choice here in KHH so far).  Well, the same goes for PinFu.

Actually, though we’d first been there around two and a half years ago, I was always reluctant to return because my first, second, and third impressions of their cuisine were rather miserable.  We’d periodically go back, sometimes with different couples with kids, over that stretch, but each time I felt we’d better look for other kid-oriented places so as to distract my daughter from focusing on just this one.  However, my daughter, near five years of age, consistently has asked to return, so we have, sometimes to my chagrin (because of the food).

However, around a week ago, at the time of writing, in mid-January, we returned again, my two kids and I, and I found the meal actually decent… well,  good, to be honest.  So there is hope if your first impression is as mine was.

Regardless of the cuisine challenges, PinFu does have a great play room, two actually.  The largest, the one you’ll see upon entering–and the one you can see while seated at the tables where patrons eat, is spacious, with a padded floor to run around on.  Additionally, a large enclosed area hosts a whole slew of those ubiquitous colored plastic balls that many of these places use for child entertainment.  Theirs is the largest of what we’ve seen.  Undoubtedly, the same goes for the slide and playground equipment.  Multitudes of kids can share the pace concurrently, with just a few bumping incidents, if you will!

(On the night we were here last, I did watch one boy throw a plastic ball into the face of another, a stranger, which caused a crying-induced panic with the mom’s lounging at their dining tables, and then my own son, not even two yet, threw a ball at a girl in the ball containment area–hitting her smack in the nose!  So, yes, they’re kids, and, yes, this is a popular place at times, i.e., such incidents will happen.)

In addition to the playground equipment, the main room has some plastic cars for wee ones to ride around in and on, but if a quieter place is more your and your kid’s style, the second back room is more subdued and mellow.  There, on the night we were there last, one staff member read a book to some youngsters gathered around, and that’s the second time we’d been present for a reading.  Moreover, this second play room has more hands-on games and such, building blocks, etc.  To have both options is great for the kids so that they can get a variety in atmosphere and options for their time, and yours.

Last week, one of the waitresses spoke English well enough to help out with our needs, but that isn’t always the case for all employees.  As it is with all places here, however, you’d best be prepared to speak a bit o’ Mandarin, for the menu is only in Chinese.  I even explained (in Chinese as well as I could) that some expats I know would come there if their menu options were in English, to which the waitress replied that she could tell the boss.  Regardless, there are plenty of pictures for those of you who prefer the point-and-order selection process.

As I mentioned above, the offerings we’ve samples have never impressed, so I cannot recommend any particular dish.  This time, we’d shared a rice with cream sauce and veggie dish, and as is standard in Taiwan, it seems, the set meal includes a drink, a typical salad, and the ever present corn soup.  Nothing to write home about, but it appears that places such as this don’t need to put too much effort into cuisine–for the focus is the kids and their play options, for which this place has a super selection–and which is the reason I post this here.

Check out their website for more info (in Chinese) and photos:

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