Cooking is a terrific skill to teach to kids, and the benefits of learning to cook can last them a lifetime. But if they are still too young to be near sharp utensils, you can always start them off with a fun cooking game like Dr. Panda's Restaurant 3.
As you might have guessed from the name, Dr. Panda Restaurant 3 gets kids cooking up a storm in a virtual kitchen. The new app follows Dr. Panda Restaurant and Dr. Panda Restaurant 2 (reviewed here), and introduces new recipes, ingredients, and cooking tools. It's suitable for ages 4 and up.
Run Your Own Kitchen
In Dr. Panda Restaurant 3, kids are in charge of quaint restaurant where diners come and go in pairs. While diners usually decide their own orders in real life, this app gives kids the freedom to cook and serve whatever they want. They simply select from five dishes on the menu book—pasta, pizza, salad, stir-fry, and burger—then it's time to prep the food.
In the kitchen, kids select up to three ingredients to cook with. As they drag the ingredients from the refrigerator, the diner expresses their approval (or disapproval) by nodding or shaking their head. Then, they navigate the kitchen and experiment with various tools, including the knife set, oven, pot, frying pan, and grill. They can also add various condiments and seasonings to their dish.
Once the dish is ready, they serve and hand-feed it to the diner. The diner rates the dish with stars then pays for their meal with coins. Kids must then clear up the counter, wash the dirty plates, and get ready for the next customer.
Unlike the previous Dr. Panda Restaurant apps, Dr. Panda Restaurant 3 allows kids to level up their restaurant. When they serve meals as the diners want, they earn more stars to fill up the upgrade meter. As they level up, they unlock new options for their dishes, for example, they can choose different types of pasta to use in their pasta dishes. Kids can also use the coins they earn to buy tableware and decorations.
Parents Need to Know
Dr. Panda Restaurant 3 is free to download and try, however to unlock the full game you will need to make an in-app purchase. I'd suggest getting the Chef's Pack ($4.99 at the time of review) for the best value as it includes all the ingredients, recipes, and kitchen tools. Do note that the free app has a fullscreen ad that promotes Dr. Panda's other apps, but it will go away once you've made an in-app purchase. All links to the external sites are secured behind a parental gate.
Things I Like
Dr. Panda Restaurant 3 is a fun way to foster your child's interest in food and cooking. It's packed with plenty of activities to engage their minds and hands, with just the right amount of difficulty. Though the app provides kids with plenty creative liberty in the kitchen, it still helps them learn basic cooking methods and be familiar with various kitchen tools.
Similar to the previous Dr. Panda Restaurant apps, I like that the app teaches kids to read and understand facial expressions. It helps that the diners are emotive, though I do miss the dramatic reactions that you get in Dr. Panda Restaurant 2, like breathing fire after eating a spicy meal or sneezing in the presence of pepper.
Another area which could be improved is the variety of recipes. It would be nice if the app had more diverse cuisines, maybe Japanese or Greek or Middle Eastern. Still, I'm glad that there is a vegetarian-only option should you wish your kids to cook meatless dishes.
Dr. Panda Restaurant 3 is a fun, educational app for little kids who wish to have fun in the kitchen and learn a bit about cooking. It's easy to use and has no strict rules or scores. As kids play, they also unleash their imagination, learn to follow instructions, and read facial expressions. Recommended for any Dr. Panda fan!
App was provided for our honest review.
About Dr. Panda
Dr. Panda develops games with educational values that help kids learn about the world. All of their games are safe and do not contain inappropriate content.
Check out their other apps:
Dr. Panda Trucks is a virtual playset in which kids can drive and operate heavy machinery as they explore a construction site. Using seven different trucks and machines, they can create and destroy buildings. The app is all about open-ended play, so there is no wrong or right way to play. There is, however, plenty of room for creativity as kids choose the materials, color, and design of their buildings.
Dr. Panda Town: Mall is a terrific urban-themed playset for kids who love to role-play and tell stories. This virtual shopping mall is overloaded with details that kids may need to spend a few hours just to discover all the hidden surprises. Great for ages three and up.