Dining out with teens and learning Shotgun rules.

Vegetarian bento box, Miro Restaurant, Manly

Every now and then I get the urge to take the kids out for a civilised meal. A treat. Usually its someone’s birthday, but today, I figured as I’ll be travelling a fair bit next month (without them), I’d just treat them (and myself) for no reason.

Taking three teenagers out to lunch is never completely stress free, but I can at least remove one thing to argue about and suggest Japanese. None of the kids in our house would ever say no to that.

There’s a place near us in Manly called Mira, and I have to say, it’s as close to Tokyo as I’ve found in Sydney (well on the Northern Beaches anyway).

Any car trip with the kids of course requires the mandatory argument over who gets to sit it the front seat. When they were younger I could get around this easily by not allowing ANY of them to sit in the front seat. But they’re all too big now. So I try my best to stay out of it and allow the rules of “Shotgun” to apply.

And there are, apparently, WIDELY ACKNOWLEDGED rules. Here was me thinking it was just my kids. So for the uninitiated… read on.

Official shotgun rules.The term “Shotgun” refers to the front passenger seat of an automobile. Calling “Shotgun” is the act of claiming the position of Shotgun for one’s self.

The history of calling “Shotgun” apparently goes back to the days of the Wild West. On a trip across the plains in a covered wagon, the driver held the reins and concentrated on driving, leaving him and the occupants of his wagon susceptible to sneak attacks. To avoid this, it was necessary for someone to sit next to the driver with a shotgun and fend off the enemy. Apparently.

In modern times, defending against bandits is no longer the main objective of riding Shotgun, but the ritual of calling Shotgun has evolved into a pre-driving ritual that is experienced before almost every car ride in America and around the world.

Anyway, the rules:

  • You must say the word “shotgun” out loud – loud enough for someone else in the group to acknowledge it. “If no one verifies your Shotgun call, it is still fair game for everyone.”
  • You must call “shotgun” within view of the car, when everyone is outside the house. Since you must be outside to call Shotgun, some people will simply grab their shoes, jump outside, and call Shotgun before putting their shoes on. You must have your shoes on before you may call Shotgun.”

“There is no crime greater than calling Shotgun on Monday in reference to a ride to the concert on Friday. Some people choose to play this way, and they are fools.”

There are further, ancillary rules that apply, such as the hand-on-the-door rule, the sit-down rule and the re-entry rule. There’s even an app. Here’s the official website: shotgunrules.com.

Mira Restaurant lunch specials menu

Anyway… to the meal. Mira has fantastic lunchtime deals including bento boxes with a choice of teriyaki chicken, katsu chicken or pork, and a delicious looking vegetarian option that includes veggie gyoza, tempura vegetables and seaweed salad.

Chicken katsu, Mira Restaurant, Manly

I opt for chicken katsu with curry, which comes with miso soup starter and fresh salad. Fin has the katsu pork with curry – equally delicious looking, Mary has the chicken katsu bento box (rather ambitious) and Holly opts (of course) for the vegetarian bento box.

Vegetarian bento box, Miro Restaurant, Manly

It’s all absolutely delicious, although be warned – the portions are large. Unless you have the appetite of a teenage boy, you may not be able to finish it. Mary took half of hers (and mine) home with her.

Chicken katsu bento, Mira Restaurant, Manly

Fantastic service, good wine list including a great range of saké and Japanese beer.

Oh, and I’ve learned not to be TOO offended by the frequent use of mobile phones at the table. As long as the meal is finished and we’re just waiting for the bill.

Mobile phone étiquette with teens.

For more information on Mira – check out the reviews on Tripadvisor.

Address: Shop 2, | 46 – 48 East EsplanadeManly, New South Wales 2095Australia 
Phone: 02 9976 6746

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