We’ve given you the lowdown on the best pizza restaurants in Singapore, and shared the hottest restaurants for a romantic date, so thought it high time we listed some tried and tested eateries that welcome kids with open arms.
If you’ve ever been given a dirty look by a fellow restaurant goer when your little darling has had a full-scale meltdown while holding a pint of raspberry lemonade, you know what we mean when we say a child-friendly restaurant can be a beacon of light for parents who enjoy eating out with – shock horror – their kids. You know, the sort of place that welcomes families, and is even designed to be the sort of place where kids can draw, play, jet off for a scoot or jump on a trampoline, only returning to the table for a quick bite of food. A place where parents can finish a good hot meal in peace… Parents of Singapore, consider this your essential guide to dining out with the kiddos.
Now this is how you do a relaxing Sunday brunch by the water. Bayswater Kitchen overlooking the Marina at Keppel Bay brings on instant weekend vibes with its light and bright space, breezy outdoor dining area and cool nautical styling: we’re particularly fond of the mural of the octopus wearing shades. What’s in it for the children? A great kids’ menu for the under 12s with some seriously good fish and chips ($14), then foosball and a ping pong table! And for us parents, the Sunday Seafood Brunch spread includes a soft-shell crab eggs Benedict and a fantastic lobster roll alongside an impressive Fisherman’s Potluck, loaded with fresh lobster, prawns, squid, mussels, clams and fish of the day. It all calls for a glass of rose or jug of Pimm’s while you kick back and enjoy the live jazz, we say. And after that long lunch, the kiddos can scoot along the marina. This is as laid back as it gets, folks.
Bayswater Kitchen, 2 Keppel Bay Vista, Singapore 098382; www.bayswaterkitchen.com.sg
Ola Beach Club
Brunch on the beach with a pool, bouncy castle and sand between your toes? Yes, yes and yes to that. This addition to Singapore’s beach club scene is super family friendly – we’re talking nursing room, nappy changing facilities, toddler-sized tables and a playpen for the littlies. We loved the modern Hawaiian menu, and the kids tucked into burgers and an amazing grilled chicken. Grown-ups, of course, should enjoy the fab tiki cocktails by that pool. Check out our full review of Ola Beach Club and get over to Sentosa now.
Ola Beach Club, 46 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore 099005; www.olabeachclub.com
We road tested this relaxed Eastern Mediterranean restaurant for weekend brunch, and we’re totally digging its relaxed beachy vibe. Brought to us by the team behind Neon Pigeon and Fat Prince, we were expecting big things from Summerlong (including exceptional cocktails). We weren’t disappointed with its good coffee, super-fresh salad counter and interesting ‘Little Pelicans’ menu. The best part of the dining experience is the old-school soft serve ice cream station with toppings galore (dairy free options available). We’ll be back with and without the kids.
Summerlong, The Quayside #01-04, 60 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238252; www.summerlongsg.com
Potato Head Folk
If, like us, you usually head straight to the rooftop bar, you probably didn’t know that Potato Head has an amazing family friendly space on its second floor. Expect the same whimsically painted walls and sculptures, but throw in some fun little burgers on legs, brightly coloured bunting and high chairs and you’ve got your new weekend hangout with the kids. Check out their brilliant brunch menu, but it’ll be hard to tear the kids away from the Dizzy Rascal kids’ burger and a milkshake. We love this joint!
Potato Head Folk, 36 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089143; www.pttheadfolk.com
Head on over to Seletar to check out Wildseed, the chilled-out cafe below colonial-style stunner Summerhouse: this is where parents in the know are hanging out on Sunday mornings for coffee, pastry and lovely live music. The best bit? There’s an awesome plane-themed playground right next door, where the kids can burn off some energy after brunch or hit the swings! Tip: book early to snap up a spot in the air-conditioned room, but even if you’re planning on dropping in, there’s plenty of seating!
Wildseed, Level 2, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore 798387; www.thesummerhouse.sg/wildseed-cafe-bar
Open Farm Community
Bar none our absolute favourite spot to treat the kids (and ourselves) to a feast is Open Farm Community. The moment you step in to the epic grounds of this farm-to-table restaurant, you’ll see why it’s THE name on everyone’s lips right now. Abutting thriving beds of kale, thyme and Italian basil you’ll find a huge kids sandpit with wooden cow playground, a family grocer garden, a collection of quirky sculptures, a Common Man roasters coffee shop (the Farmacy) and a sprawling green (where you can bowl or get your yogi on). The kids menu is so healthy, fresh and inventive that you’ll happily scoff their leftovers. LOVE that lasagne. Resist the temptation and save your appetite for the transcendent handmade mud crab spaghettoni (or anything else from the superb menu for that matter). For the full download, including mouth-watering pics, check out Honeycombers’ review of OFC here. Warning: Once you go, you’ll find yourself back most weekends.
Open Farm Community, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819, www.openfarmcommunity.com
Oxwell & Co
We’ve been known to herald in le weekend with a Friday night drink and nibble at the gastro-pub with the mostest, Oxwell & Co. Until now we’ve treated it as more of a parent’s guilty pleasure than a family-friendly destination. Well, do we have news for you… now there’s a dedicated kids’ menu ($20), which will mean you can still chillax with delectable burgers and beers while your kids scoff junior beef burgers, meatballs or fish and chips. You’ll squeeze in a nightcap as they doodle away on their menus and inhale their ice cream dessert. And for those of you with older kids, head to Oxwell & Co on a Friday or Saturday evening, and nab an alfresco table on the street for a Parisian vibe (road closed to traffic from 7pm).
Oxwell & Co, 5 Ann Siang Road, Chinatown, Singapore 069688; www.oxwellandco.com
We’ve long been massive fans of the corker kid-friendly venue that is Cafe Melba. Both branches in the East and West have really got it all in terms of delicious Australasian fusion grub and a gigantic lawn (with bouncy castle on weekends). At Mediapolis they also have a sweeping area perfect for scooting and loads of games for the kids including soccer balls and nets, a basketball ring, Frisbees, and a life sized wooden noughts & crosses board! Food-wise our pick is the parma ham and rocket wood-oven pizza, washed down with a lime frozen daiquiri. Refreshing. Ask about the Kids Club Card, which involves some tasty perks! (Pssst: Head over on a Monday and kids eat free!)
Cafe Melba, 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Block N#01-56, Singapore 439053, and Mediapolis, 1 Stars Avenue, #03-01, Singapore 138507; www.cafemelba.com.sg
British export Pizza Express is a fantastico place to get a pizza fix with its Piccolo kids’ menu ($12 for pizza/pasta, drink and dessert). The HoneyKids mum crew had a top night at Pizza Express. So good in fact that we may, or may not, have been back a few times since…The colouring pencils and activity sheets distract little hands in the four minutes it takes to cook the pizzas to perfection. And did we mention the dough balls? We’d go there for the little garlicky balls of heaven alone.
Pizza Express, various locations at Duo Galleria, Marina One, Holland Village and Scotts Square; www.pizzaexpress.sg
If you’ve got a little one with a penchant for furry friends of the equestrian variety, then Riders Cafe is for you. Chow down on contemporary comfort food on the verandah of a colonial black and white, and then head down for a look at the horses. And on a Sunday you can give in to the kids’ demand for a pony – rides are at a wallet-friendly $10 a pop.
Riders Cafe, 51 Fairways Drive, Singapore 286965; www.riderscafe.sg
Plank Sourdough Pizza
If you love the soft, pillowy sourdough bread at Baker & Cook, you’re going to go cray cray for the pizza at sister restaurant Plank Sourdough Pizza. It’s nestled in the quiet boot-leg of shops along Namly Crescent. Think wood oven, fresh, authentic Italian ingredients and a relaxed vibe – the perfect recipe for a cracking meal out with your crew. Pop next door for a sweet treat for dessert afterwards (and a takeaway bottle of wine and loaf of bread we were raving about!). There’s also a small playground just across the way for a post-lunch run around.
Plank Sourdough Pizza, 1 Swan Lake Avenue, East Coast, Singapore 455700; Namly Estate,
64 Namly Place, Singapore 267208; www.plankpizza.biz
If you’re a bit like us and are loving Tiong Bahru right now, then you’ll be right at home at cool Flock Cafe. It’s definitely more of a breakfast and coffee kinda joint, but with menu highlights such as the cheeky poached eggs with braised pork cheek, hollandaise sauce and brioche, you’d be crazy not to give it a whirl. Healthy, fresh juices for the kids too. The speakeasy blend from the folks at Liberty coffee will have you coming back time and time again.
Flock Cafe, Tiong Bahru, 78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-25, Singapore 162078; www.flockcafe.com.sg
A gem on Sentosa’s white sands of Siloso Beach, Coastes is the ultimate laid-back beachfront restaurant/bar. There’s just something about enjoying a tipple and a simple meal with your toes in the sand. Your little ones will while away the hours building sandcastles right next to your table as you enjoy the sunset with icy beverage in hand. Perfection!
Coastes, 50 Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore 099000; www.coastes.com
Not only does Boomarang serve good, honest Aussie food, but the kids’ menu is printed on a colouring-in sheet. The restaurant’s massive frontage means that it’s super roomy (pram parking is a doddle), and you’ll easily score a table outside with a view of the river. Make sure to bring your scooters for your kids to burn up all that excess energy. And if he absolutely must, hubby can catch the footy on the big screen.
Boomarang, 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside, Singapore 238252; Boat Quay, 52 Circular Road, Singapore 049407; www.boomarang.com.sg
Huber’s Bistro is a casual alfresco affair, designed as an add-on to their ginormous two-storey butchery. Hit the awesome soft-fall playground first to run off some energy. It’s shaded and gated, so you won’t have to worry about run-aways or sunburn. Then head to the bistro for a bite to eat and an ice-cold beer. As you can imagine, the meat is as fresh as it comes. They’ve got at least seven sausage dishes on the menu, and some pretty good-looking burgers too. Before you leave, don’t forget to stock-up inside, and you’ll be sorted for dinner for the next week or so!
Huber’s Bistro, 22 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249679; www.hubers.com.sg
True to his roots as the father of good kids’ nutrition, the menu at Jamie Oliver’s restaurants at VivoCity and The Forum have an impressively wholesome yet appealing menu for the little people: think fish of the day in a bag, happy chicken lollipops and even a mini picnic. Kids are the VIPs here, and the staff know how to take care of them with activity packs at the ready. We think the menu, a retro viewfinder with pictures of the kids’ menu items, is the coolest thing ever. Needless to say, parents will also be more than happy with the fantastic Italian fare. Kids will rave about the old school viewmasters, stickers, crayons and paper-tainment. Pop in to the open-air water play area at Vivo City post lunch to round out a great day.
Jamie’s Italian, VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk #01-165/167 Singapore 098585, and The Forum, 583 Orchard Road #01-01/04 Forum, Singapore 238884; www.jamieoliver.com
This Robertson Quay fave is so popular with the brunch crowd that outlets have now popped up all over Singapore. It’s little wonder as it’s a place you can kick back with the kiddos and enjoy damn good coffee. We’re also big fans of its brilliant brunch menu (the salmon scrambled eggs and pancakes are always a hit) and a genuine family-friendly vibe. There’s always something to keep the kiddos happy here: a box of toys, rocking horses and the perfect location to enjoy a scoot around (Marina Square in particular has an awesome dedicated kids’ play zone). We’re also regulars at the branch at Winsland House (Penang Rd) as it has a big courtyard and welcomes fur-babies.
Kit Cafe, Various locations; www.kithcafe.sg
Okay people, we’ve decided it’s time to let you in on a little-known local secret – Valle bar. It’s tucked away adjacent to Ridgewood Condo and it’s a no-frills outdoor casual bar and restaurant. There are many reasons that it is absolutely brilliant: (a) it serves skinny pizza and bar food like nuclear buffalo wings and fries (b) it has a craft beer, wine and cider menu to die for, (c) you can order from neighbouring Esarn Thai restaurant and Poulet Vous Rotisserie direct to your table, (d) your kids have plenty of flat scooting space and (e) kids can (unofficially) play downstairs at the condo playground.
Valle, 5 Ridgewood Close Unit G6, Singapore 276696; facebook.com/valle.wine.cafe
You know the moment you roll up to Picotin Express that you are entering a kiddie haven. We have a soft spot for the lush Bukit Timah location, nestled within a green golf course. The alfresco deck has a relaxed family vibe, the kid’s menu is spot on with a drink, pizza/pasta and ice cream for only $15, and the adult fare is top notch. The mini putt putt golf next door will offer loads of happy distraction for the kiddos (including swings), so you can eat in peace.
Picotin Express, Green Fairways Golf Course and Driving Range, 60 Fairways Drive, Singapore 286966; www.picotin.com.sg
Da Paolo Pizza Bar
Arguably dishing up the best pizza on the Little Red Dot, you can’t go past Italian stallion Da Paolo Pizza Bar for your family feast. The gorgeous little strip of restos along Jalan Merah Saga, Chip Bee Gardens all afford exquisite outdoor shaded space, and the pet store next door is always entertaining. Extract good behaviour with a promise of a stroll down to the Daily Scoop ice-cream joint, post-dinner.
Da Paolo Pizza Bar, 44 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-46, Singapore 278116; www.dapaolo.com.sg
Eat Play Love
Ah the elusive dream of enjoying a meal out in peace while your little ones play… wait, what? You can do this at Eat Play Love? This lovely little cafe has cool craft stations for kids and a neat menu offering Thai and Western treats. We love heading here on a rainy afternoon for a spot of coffee, cake and crafting. After the kids have had their fill they can get into some inexpensive art – it’s a fantastic $5 per two hours on weekends for free-flow craft materials. Did somebody say crafternoon?
Eat Play Love, #01-07 Aliwal Arts Center, 28 Aliwal Street, Singapore 199918; facebook.com/eatplaylovealiwal
La Barca Ristorante
La Barca is the sort of place you can enjoy authentic, organic Italian cuisine AND have your kids happily entertained for hours! This joint ticks all the boxes making it not only a fab place for the kiddos, but also a parent’s happy place. Think bouncy castle, trampoline, playroom filled with toys, and educational cartoons on the TV. And on weekends they really up-the-ante with a water slide (and complimentary towels to dry off tiny diners!). Get. Us. There. Now.
La Barca Ristorante, 90 Goodman Road, #01-21 Block C, Goodman Arts Centre, Singapore 439053; facebook.com/labarcasg
The Vineyard at HortPark
The Vineyard at HortPark is more of a sophisticated adults venue mid-week, but come the weekend it is a veritable kiddie utopia, complete with bouncy castle, bowling, balloon sculpting, and archery zone. All this in a stunning setting – sounds pretty good to us! The French-Italian menu is delish, and with weekend brunch options starting from $8, you really can’t go wrong!
The Vineyard at HortPark, 33 Hyderabad Road HortPark #02-02, Singapore 119578; www.vineyardhortpark.com.sg
Timbre @ Gillman
Timbre @ Gillman is known not only for its sprawling green expanse, live music, and child-centric menu, but also for its cracking Super Social Saturday BBQ. Head down at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon and prepare for a carnival of craft, face painting, acrobatics on the bouncy castle, dancing and delectable grilled meats. You’ll also feel like you’re off the beaten track at the Gillman Barracks enclave. It’s the perfect place to meet a group of families for the afternoon (we just went to a very fitting, sniff, farewell party there for good friends). Watch the website for monthly themes like superheroes and nerf gun wars. This is our kids’ top pick – maybe it’s something to do with the fact that the live band takes requests!
Timbre, Gillman Barracks, 9A Lock Road, Singapore 108926; www.timbregroup.asia
District 10 at UE Square
What could get more perfect for a family outing than an eatery with a bouncy castle for the kids? It doesn’t hurt that the food is pretty spesh too. Sip a cocktail and let the good times roll while your little people bounce the hours away within your line of vision.
District 10, 81 Clemenceau Avenue, #01-15/16/17 UE Square Shopping Mall, Singapore 239917; www.district10.com.sg
PS. Cafe at Harding Road
For a special treat, check out PS. Cafe at Harding Road (Dempsey). The food is truly sumptuous, and special mention must go to the cakes, unbelievable both in terms of flavour and size – one serve of the blackout chocolate cake will satisfy four, and then some. And those truffle fries…The ambience at this stylish cafe is simply divine, and the outdoor lawn and garden will entertain your little ones for a good hour or so.
PS. Cafe, 28B Harding Road, Singapore 249549; www.pscafe.com
The Coastal Settlement
Come casually attired and pull up a pew on the alfresco deck at The Coastal Settlement with your fam. It’s got a fab vintage feel and an equally quaint kid’s courtyard with swings, toy rocking horses and rides. We adore the retro styling (including old school TVs and telephones). There’s plenty of wide-open space for your kids to explore, and a stellar cocktail menu for the parents.
The Coastal Settlement, 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529; www.thecoastalsettlement.com
Super Loco is our top spot in Robertson Quay. The outdoor tables populated by Bugaboos and kids zipping around on scooters are already a good sign, but settle into this bright and cheery brunch spot on a weekend and you’ll see why it’s such a hit. We love the funky decor, abundance of high chairs and brilliant brunch menu that includes super smoothies and treats for kids including ham and cheese enchilada and pineapple crepe. Grown-ups can tuck into monster heuvos rancheros and a cheeky sparkling sangria. Hot tip: Weekend brunch is from 10am-3.30pm. No bookings for brunch, but we’ve never had to wait long for a table. Kids love running across the brightly coloured Art Bridge after brunch – join the chase to work off those Mexican desserts!
Super Loco, 60 Robertson Quay, #01-13 The QuaySide, Singapore 238252; Duxton Hill, 15 Duxton Hill, Tanjong Pagar, Singapore 089598; Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, #01-04 Customs House, Singapore 049323; www.super-loco.com
When the term ‘family restaurant’ was coined, it was in reference to Trapizza. Head to Sentosa for a paddle and then mosey on up for a refreshing tipple and slice of pizza without feeling the pressure to hose down. The kids can roll their own pizza dough and then frolic on the numerous play gyms while you unwind with a sundowner overlooking the South China Sea. The kids will be keen to gobble down their cute pig-shaped pizzas the moment they hit the table.
Trapizza, Shangri-La Sentosa, 10 Siloso Walk, Singapore 099538; Trapizza
The Living Cafe
If you’re on the hunt for super-healthy Gwenyth-esque grub for your active kiddos, give The Living Cafe in Bukit Timah a go. Think raw, wholewheat, sugar-free, gluten-free goodness. It’s all very yummy – even for us mere mortals yet to jump on the health food bandwagon. And the fit out is just as light and breezy as you’ll feel when you leave.
The Living Cafe, 779 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 269758; The Living Cafe
The Bank Bar + Bistro
Lamenting the lack of quality family dining in the CBD? The Bank Bar + Bistro seamlessly converts from weekday post-work venue to weekend kiddie paradise. Think free meals for kids with paying adults (with special menus printed on colouring sheets) and the awesome playroom set up with with soft floors, a toys, games and TV. And check out Sand Bank its kid-friendly little sister restaurant at East Coast Parkway too (it has a plunge pool!).
The Bank, #01-01 One Shenton, 1 Shenton Way, Singapore 068803; www.thebankbar.com
Illustration: Stephanie Cahyadi for HoneyKids Asia