Our little girl turned two, and we had a party!
Katy’s first birthday party was definitely more for us than for her. But 2 is a fun age; she’s now old enough to know and like her her big and little friends, and she’s aware enough of what’s going on to actually enjoy a good party. So I decided we would retain the same general idea as the last birthday: good food and friendly faces, in a place where Katy could comfortably play.
This is where Grub Noodle Bar absolutely came through for us. Their beef noodles are very high on Katy’s list of favourite meals. She started eating them even before she turned 1, a feat made possible by her prodigious appetite as well as the very salient fact that GNB doesn’t use any MSG in their dishes. (I’m personally not affected by MSG in food, but I’d rather be safe than sorry where Katy is concerned.)
We’d actually thought about holding her first birthday at GNB’s previous Rangoon Rd location but it seemed too logistically challenging. But last year they moved to Five Square, a much more centrally-located space. As a bonus, on Saturdays, Five Square has a special setup meant for bringing in the families and littles: they set up a bouncy castle, a ball pit, a little space full of fun toys, and a bunch of tricycles. This means that even though James and I work in the immediate vicinity and lunch there on weekdays now and then, it’s still worth our while to make a trip there on Saturday for lunch or dinner.
Back to the party plan. Early in January, I hit up Amanda, self-proclaimed Noodle Ambassador at GNB, to find out if we could do this party. She took care of everything from the menu to the logistics on the Five Square side of things. All we had to do was show up with Katy and cake.
To my chagrin, I didn’t get good photos of the party spread. Argh.
We originally catered for around 40 people, but a couple of families couldn’t come because their kids were unwell. Add the fact that Amanda had her team prepare somewhat more food than 40 people could finish, and we ended up with a HUGE quantity of things to eat and take away
As party venues go, I think this was the best possible combination of fun facilities for the kids, good food for everyone, and plenty of room to spread out. We opted to start the party between lunch and dinner so that the place wouldn’t be too crowded, and that meant that the kids’ play areas were pretty much empty except for Katy and her friends.
I ordered the birthday cake from The Ugly Cake Shop, which Elaine recommended based on their track record with Elmo-themed cakes. I really like their cake-making philosophy:
Ugly Cake Shop does not believe in using artificial colouring, artificial flavours, fondant (too sugary) or gum paste. While these additions make for beautiful cakes, we prefer beautifully balanced cakes (not too sweet) and believe that the more natural ingredients (and the fewer chemicals) you put in your body the better!
While I love how fondant cakes look, I’m just a bit leery about the trade-off between beautiful cake-scaping versus quality/freshness of the cake underneath the fondant covering. Especially for cake that’s being given to littles.