Good food, a nice ambience and space for both you and the little ones to chill out. Check out these family-friendly dining spots on the island. Enjoy!
Shoot the (Sea) breeze
Cool and casual with its view of the sea along East Coast Park, Brussels Sprouts brings to mind a leisurely day lounging on the porch of a beach-side house. Despite actually being an indoor dining area, the glass ceilings, walls and door give a refreshing al fresco vibe. And we love the colourful chairs, fabric and even umbrella decor that add fun pops of hue to the space. The bistro specialises in homemade Belgian cuisine. For seafood lovers, bestsellers from the menu include the Ostendaise mussels (from $20), beef Carbonade Flamande ($28) and seafood Waterzooi A La Gantoise ($38). Tasty offerings are available for those below 10 years old, with chicken florentine ($14) and meatball spaghetti ($12) on the kids’ menu. There are two play areas – one inside the restaurant proper and another on the lawn just outside, under a large shady tree. And rest assured, the staff always make an effort to seat families near the play areas so mums and dads can keep an eye on the kids. Business starts at 5pm on weekdays (it’s closed on Mondays), but doors open earlier on weekends with a special Sunday brunch, including a variety of homemade Belgian waffles, egg florentine, healthy fruit choices and regular kids-eat-free promotions. If you’re there with the little ones on the weekend, keep a lookout for the balloon artist as well.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS BIG SPLASH, #01-27 Playground @ Big Splash, 902 East Coast Parkway Block F www.brusselssprouts.com.sg Tel: 6346-4344
Garden in the city
What is a visit to the garden without play? Pause for a breath of fresh air at Food For Thought’s Singapore Botanic Gardens outlet, which has an open, tree-sheltered playground just outside the restaurant. It’s separated from the dining area by a full-height glass wall, giving parents an unobstructed view of the children playing outside. Outdoor seating next to the play area is available as well. Whether you’re there after a morning stroll or for an afternoon break, choose from a selection of local and western dishes such as Chinese chicken Caesar salad ($13). On the cute, doodle-illustrated Food for Tots menu, find classic kids’ favourites with an Asian twist – a mixed berry pancake with gula melaka syrup ($7) or fish fingers and fries with kaffir lime mayo, for example. Designed around the themes of love for family, care for the environment, enjoyment of rest and other aspects of sustainable living, the restaurant also offers patrons free water with a request for an optional monetary donation to benefit the Give Clean Water campaign, in line with its philanthropic philosophy. Inside, you’ll find wide-open spaces between the tables for prams (or wheelchairs). With advance reservations, the restaurant also rents out ready-packed picnic baskets if a family picnic out on the lush lawns is more to your fancy.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT @ SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS, #B1-00 Tanglin Gate, 1 Cluny Road, www.tinyurl.com/FFTBGardens Tel: 6479-1080
Grub on the green
Swop the cold skyscrapers and haze for nature and fresh air. Nestled in the heart of the Turf Club area, this bistro is truly an escape from the busy bustle of the city. Offering a full al fresco dining experience with a panoramic view of the adjacent golf complex, Picotin Express serves up fresh handmade pizzas and wholesome European classics, like the seared tuna with Nicoise salad ($29). The kids’ meal ($15) comes with a drink and a scoop of ice cream along with the main dish. Children can choose from fuss-free choices of pasta, pizza or fish and chips. And if you’ve got a few spare hours in the afternoon, go for a fun round of mini golf after your meal ($35 for a family package). We’ve been told that you might even be lucky enough to spot a monkey or two swinging around the golf green.
PICOTIN EXPRESS, 60 Fairways Drive www.picotin.com.sg/bukit-timah Tel: 6877-1191
A kid’s meal that is cute, tasty and nutritionally balanced? Check, check and triple checked, with the Intercontinental Planet Trekkers Menu. While Mum and Dad dine at the buffet, kids can opt for an a la carte meal instead. Try the Smiley tomato soup ($6), spaghetti bolognese with hide-and-seek veggies ($8), and iced watermelon popsicles ($6). The result of a special collaboration between the hotel chain’s Chef Patron Theo Randall and child food expert Annabel Karmel, dishes from the menu were created exclusively for children and are available at all Intercontinental hotels and resorts worldwide. Described as an educational culinary voyage, the menu gives little titbits of information and fun facts about the ingredients in various dishes. For example, did you know that lychees were first grown in Southern China from 2000BC and were a favourite delicacy of the Imperial Court? Or that the largest pumpkin on record is bigger than a baby elephant? Vegetarian options are also available, and for the little ones with dietary restrictions, the cute picture-coded menu also labels gluten, egg, nuts, dairy and seafood dishes.
OLIVE TREE Intercontinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road www.intercontinental.com/singapore Tel: 6338-7600
Up in the Branches
Tucked on a hillside and surrounded by foliage, the tree-house ambience at Spruce is modern mixed with rustic, making it easy to forget that you’re really just a stone’s throw away from the busy Orchard area. This restaurant loves kids – it has a lower deck with a fenced-in children’s playground, adding to the sense of a fun backyard setting. The quirky dish names on the children’s menu add to the playful vibe: try the Spaghetti Worms in Tomato Sauce, Mister Cheezyburger with His Fried Friends, or Cap’n Fish Finger and His Potato Band. Each meal costs $12 for a main and drink. If you’re there for the weekend brunch with the family, try the delicious prawn pasta ($22) or the best-selling Spruce Big Brekkie ($19). Be sure to look out for the inflated bouncy castle as well. For an afternoon pick-me-up, choose from a variety of coffee and teas alongside a sweet goodie from the bakery. No worries if you prefer the comfort of air-conditioning, because the restaurant also has an indoor dining area.
SPRUCE AT PHOENIX PARK, 320 Tanglin Road www.spruce.com.sg Tel: 6836-5528
What a Spread
Get creative and have a little mix-and match game with the colour-coded kids’ menu at The Square Restaurant at Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay. Those under 12 years old can create their own meals, choosing from a variety of starters, snacks, mains, sides, desserts and drinks. Try pairing a mini burger with the dips with fresh vegetable sticks, and bread, for a healthy and refreshing crunch. Or maybe a combo with spaghetti bolognese, sautéed seasonal vegetables and a Strawberry Square drink. The restaurant also has a mouth-watering international buffet (from $38++ for adults, and $28++ for kids), and an a la carte menu with healthy, balanced meals, with organic options. For a poolside view, ask for a table on the outdoor terrace. As a highlight for the young guests, the hotel has a Family and Novotel kids play corner just by the entrance of the restaurant. There, you’ll find beanbag seats, storybooks and building blocks to keep the young ones entertained. For tech-savvy kids, there is a low touchscreen table with educational games and puzzles, and an Xbox game console in one corner for older children.
THE SQUARE RESTAURANT #07-00 Novotel Clarke Quay, 177A River Valley Road www.novotelclarkequay.com/restaurant/the-square Tel: 6433-8790
Taste Bud Tango
Grab your amigos for a sample of what the good life tastes like in South America. Over at Resorts World Sentosa, Pisco South American Kitchen and Bar serves up traditional cuisine from Peru, Chile and other neighbouring countries in a communal style. The bright decor – colourful chairs and woven table runners – gives a peek into the vibrant culture there and will be sure to put you in a cheery mood. From the revamped Los Ninos (Spanish for “children”) menu, choose either beef meatballs with tomato sauce, chicken burger or grilled salmon skewers, paired with olive rice, grilled corn, fries or nacho chips with cheese and guacamole. Follow it up with an ice cream treat or the ever-popular churros with chocolate sauce. The meal costs $15.
PISCO SOUTH AMERICAN KITCHEN AND BAR #01-231/232 The Forum, Resorts World Sentosa www.pisco.sg Tel: 6795-4720
Calling junior aspiring pastry chefs – hone your culinary talents with the special Junior Pastry Academy workshops at db Bistro Moderne, which is owned by New York Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud. On selected Saturdays, petite
patissiers aged 5-10 can whip up a storm under the tutelage of executive pastry chef Benjamin Siwek, while parents enjoy champagne and light bites. Despite being a celebrity restaurant in Marina Bay Sands, the eatery wishes to maintain the tradition of simple, moderately priced meals in a modest setting. It offers the food of a traditional French bistro with a modern American twist. Recommended from the kid’s menu are the Yankee Burger ($23) and the ice cream sundae ($12). Or for the family to share, the herb roasted organic chicken for two ($65) is deliciously tender and fragrant.
DB BISTRO MODERNE #B1-48 Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands www.dbbistro.com/singapore Tel: 6688-8525
The High Life
Nutritious can be tasty, too. Don’t believe us? Try the Westin Eat Well Menu for Kids. Taste-tested and approved by young picky eaters themselves, the menu was created by the Superchefs group of doctors, dentists and dietitians dedicated to educating kids on the importance of eating smart. To make the meals fun, the chefs toss in colour by way of fruit and vegetables. No worries if your child like to play with his food, either: dishes like the Build Your Own Granola Parfait lets kids have fun and get creative with their meal. Delicious choices (yes, we tried them) from the lunch and dinner card include baked chicken fingers coated with cornflakes, paired with carrot and celery sticks plus low-fat ranch dressing, and fried wild rice with seafood and a fried egg ($14 each). For a grand feast, try the buffet, which has classic dishes, local and international cuisine, and wholesome choices for health-conscious diners. And if the food doesn’t keep the family coming back, the floor-to-ceiling windows just might, with a view of Marina Bay and the city’s skyline. The daily lunch buffet starts at $42++ per person.
SEASONAL TASTES The Westin Singapore, 12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2 www.tinyurl.com/SeasonalTastes
Looking for really cool outdoor play spots for kids? Read our story at http://thefinder.life/kids/playtime/5-really-cool-child-friendly-spots
By Nikki Fung, Young Parents, March 2015