We’ve gathered the best restaurants for your next fuss-free family day out.
Dining out with kids in tow can be a huge challenge. Lucky for families, more restaurants are catering to the modern family with kids-friendly menus, play areas and activities just for the little ones. Our list includes everything from Japanese-American fusion fare to tantalising Italian classics, some of which are in swoon-worthy locales perfect for updating the family portrait.
Photo: Tanuki Raw
Husband-and-wife duo Howard Lo and Lim Hui Nan have built a cult following in central Singapore for their fresh take on Japanese cuisine at Standing Sushi Bar and Tanuki Raw. The parents of two are no strangers to dining out as one big family and they maintained that vision for their new Tanuki Raw outlet at JEWEL Changi Airport.
Kids will make easy work of their signature donburis, ranging from the exclusive Jewel Truffle Gyu ($18) and Sesame Cod Katsu ($18.90). The latter, which features a generous portion of panko-fried cod fillet drizzled with a creamy sesame sauce, is a fuss-free way to rake up healthy omega-3 in their diets. Another favourite, of course, is Truffles Fries ($10.90) that ups the ante with mushroom tempe and shio kombu. While the adults can indulge in a rotating selection of beers and spirits, the kids can have jazz up their meals with the housemade Apple Soda or Pomelo Lemonade ($10).
Bonus: It has got a stunning view overlooking the Shisedo Forest Valley.
At #05-202, Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, 819666, tel: 6956 9898. Visit https://tanukiraw.com
Photo: JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
What makes Beach Road Kitchen different from other buffet spots is not just the delectable smorgasbord of international and local favourites, but also the five-star hospitality one would expect from JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. As part of their newly launched Family by JW Initiative, the all-day dining venue has upped the ante of kid-friendly experiences for families.
Sunday Brunches ($59/child; six years and under dine for free) at the all-day dining restaurant now include DIY soft serves, balloon sculpting, face painting as well as chef-led activities. Aspiring chefs and gourmets can have their hand at making their own wood-fired pizza. We love the Truffle Mushroom flavour but, chances are, the kids will want the Banana Pizza with vanilla cream, chocolate and sliced bananas all to themselves.
At JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, 30 Beach Road, 189763, tel: 6818 1913. Visit: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sinjw-jw-marriott-hotel-singapore-south-beach
Pizza and pasta enthusiasts will want to make their way to LINO, a modern Italian spot in Binjai Park. They specialise in 48-hour proofed pizzas — with the option for whole wheat or gluten-free — that are baked upon order in a wood-fired oven. The light, airy base with crisp edges are available in 10 flavour permutations, with two of their most popular, the Margherita and Salami, available as part of the Kids’ Menu at just $18 (with a juice and scoop of gelato). But if your picky eater is more of a pasta fiend, go for the fresh tagliatelle noodles ($18) tossed in either a tangy pomodoro or the simple yet addictive cheese and butter.
At 7 Binjai Park, 589821, tel. 6463 7800. Visit www.linorestaurant.com
Chef couple Oliver Truesdale-Jutras and Phobe Oviedo (formerly of globetrotting pop-up restaurant Stovetrotter) have been serving wholesome western fare with an emphasis on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients at Open Farm Community since 2018. It comes as no surprise that they have enlisted the help of Edible Garden City to spruce up the 10,000 sqft land nearby with over 50 varieties of culinary herbs, such as butterfly pea flower and ulam rajah, for use in the restaurant. Kids are more than welcomed to take a stroll through the garden — keep an eye out for the live chickens and sand playground — before digging into the Little Farmers menu (under 14 years old). Hungry tots will enjoy al dente Homemade Papardelle ($20) in either the tantalising Bolognese or garlic parmesan, and the OFC Flatbread Pizza, while enjoying a complimentary kids’ activity pack. As for desserts, there is a daily selection of sorbets and ice creams ($5/scoop), but the Singa’Smore ($16) of banana tort and sourdough ice cream from the a la carte menu has proven to be popular as well.
At 130E Minden Road, 248819, tel: 6471 0306. Visit www.openfarmcommunity.com
Raffles City Shopping Centre has its share of beautiful restaurants but The Botanic is ahead of the pack. Not only are the interiors reminiscent of an elegant French garden with many cosy nooks for families to settle into after a day out, group executive chef Shannon Binnie has also filled the restaurant menu with organic produce. (Think free range eggs from Japan and organic honey and grass-fed meats from Australia.)
The Kids Menu ($18, with juice & soda) comes with four hearty options. Classics like the Beef Burger with fries and slaw and Pizza with tomato and cheddar are available alongside more gourmet offerings, such as the Grilled Barramundi with chips as well as a Roasted Gnocchi Pasta. Gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan options are aplenty on the a la carte menu.
At #01-22A, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, 179103, tel: 9827 0131. Visit www.thebotanic.com.sg
Photo: The Halia
Dining at The Halia can be quite an experience. The stately all-day dining venue is set amidst decades-old palm trees and is far removed from the hustle (and, hopefully, stresses) of the city. But swoon-worthy surrounds aside, they’ve got a banging menu of western classics, cleverly infused with Asian or local flavours. Adults will easily polish off the Hala’s Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini ($26) while the little ones dig into their version with Creamy Crabmeat ($12, with juice or soda). The Pan-Fried Chicken with cream spaghettini ($12, with juice or soda), on the other hand, impresses with the addition of basil. Tip: Remember to pack their favourite colour tools as the kids’ menu comes with six different games and mazes. The Halia is also Halal-certified.
At Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Garden, 1 Cluny Road, 259569, tel: 8444 1148. Visit thehalia.com
Photo: Wildseed Cafe
Floral cafe and patisserie Wildseed Cafe opened its second branch at the historic Alkaff Mansion earlier this year. Situated on the first floor, the outdoor dining space, naturally shaded by trees, comes with a play area for kids and doubles as an event space for their regular family-friendly activities and kids’ workshops. Families can also bring their fur kids along as the cafe is pet-friendly.
Food-wise, 1-Group executive pastry chef Jasmin Chew stocks the cafe with a plethora of picture perfect bakes that’ll satisfy even the finickiest of eaters. A highlight is the Coconut Pea Flower Shortcake ($7.50/slice) that’s adorned with butterfly pea flower petals. Little ones can also fill their tummies up with the set meal ($14). Choose between a Wagyu Beef & Pork Bolognese Linguine or Highland Pancake with Corn & Maple Syrup, sides of chicken nuggets or curly fries and a variety of fruit juices.
At 10 Telok Blangah Green, 109178, tel: 8126 8484. Visit www.wildseedcafe.sg/the-alkaff-mansion
Prego has become one of Singapore’s most charming spots for authentic Italian fare. Located within Fairmont Singapore, Italian head chef Mauro Sanna whips up an extensive menu of classics using time-honoured family recipes. Options for kids run the gamut of a Mini Lasagna ($12) and Turkey Ham Carbonara with handcrafted Penne ($14) to a Grilled Beef Steak ($16), served with roasted potatoes and a mushroom sauce. The brickwalled, wood-fired ovens are not for decoration but are used to dole out Baby Pizza ($16) topped with pepperoni, ham and pineapples. Kids with a sweet tooth will want to save space for the playful Spaghetti di gelato con salsa di lamponi ($20), where vanilla gelato and raspberry compote are fashioned into a plate of “spaghetti” with “tomato sauce”.
At Level 1, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, 189560, tel: 6431 6156. Visit www.fairmont.com/singapore/dining/prego
Well run and well done is how we’d describe Cheeky, the latest addition to Neil Road. The two storey establishment offers al fresco (first floor) and air-conditioned (second floor) seatings, for honest bistro fare that will transport you to the streets of Melbourne. The lengthy menu — divided into lunch, dinner and brunch — could have you scratching your head but the staff are always ready to give recommendations (and have a chat, if time permits). Highlights include the enticing stack of whole-wheat pancakes ($18) topped generously with homemade lemon curd or avocado and coconut cream, as well as a wholesome Cauliflower “Rice” Bowl ($15) with succulent chunks of tandoori chicken. Drink choices also go beyond the usual sodas with Fizzy Lemon ($5), a refreshing take on the classic honey lemon drink, and Chocolate Milk ($5) with brown sugar pearls ($0.50).
At 74 Neil Road, 088839, tel: 6220 0491. Visit www.facebook.com/cheekyallday
Standing strong among the many F&B hotspots in Dempsey is Culina at COMO Dempsey. Known as the go-to for specialty produce, specifically working with committed farmers and producers, guests won’t be disappointed. While parents can indulge in everything from freshly shucked oysters to a Beef Bourguignon ($38), kids can choose from six mains ($12). There’s a crowd pleasing Mac and Cheese along with a juicy Pork Sausage served atop a bed of velvety mashed potatoes, to name a few. Kids can also work on an ever changing crossword that comes with the menu while the kitchen whips up their order.
At Block 15 Dempsey Road, 249677, tel: 6474 7338. Visit www.culina.com.sg/bistro/bistro-and-wine-bar
By Jessica Chan, August 2019
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