The 45,000-sqft grounds of The Summerhouse is home to Poppy Flora Studio; Nomad the Gallant, an on-site coffee roasting facility; Wildseed, a casual café and bar; and the Summerhouse Dining Room, the main restaurant perched on the second floor of the conserved colonial bungalow. It dishes out ‘farms’-to-table creations, serving food carefully and personally sourced from Singaporean and Malaysian producers, garnished with herbs freshly plucked from the garden within the premises. The sharing plates are easily accessible and plenty enjoyable for both the young and the young at heart.
Escape from the bustle of the mainland by popping into this seafront oasis at Keppel Bay. Bayswater Kitchen is a new concept by The Privé Group that focuses on fresh seafood. Expect dishes such as Japanese mackerel tartare with oyster and sea herb, chargrilled octopus with smoked roe and the Fisherman's Feast – a platter of lobster, prawns, mussels and fish tossed with handmade linguine. The little ones aren't forgotten with options like fish and chips on its kids' menu and a ping pong and foosball table for entertainment.
What’s a trip to the beach without lazing on a deckchair, Mai Tai in hand while the little ones roam free? At this sprawling seaside restaurant in Sentosa, you can do just that. Besides tropical cocktails, Coastes stocks a formidable array of draft and bottled beers ($13-$19), and the nosh is unfussy yet vibrant enough to live up to the restaurant’s beachy vibe. Go for the refreshing citrus crab salad ($18). The little ones are well taken care of too with five pizzas ($20-$25) and plenty of pasta options on the menu.
Getting messy with a saucy slab of barbecued pork ribs is best done outside, the sun in your face and grass under your feet. And you’ll have the whole hog at this out-of-the-way American BBQ joint along the Kallang River. We mean that literally: Camp Kilo Charcoal Club is famed for its whole roasted pig ($12/100g) and boneless lechon ($12/100g), as well as chipotle pork ribs ($15-$30) and roast chicken ($10-$18) that come fresh off the grill. The sides aren’t to be sniffed at, either. Corn sautéed in jalapeno butter and chipotle mayo, with a fistful of furikake crowning the dish ($10), makes for the perfect accompaniment to the heavier meats. While you're busy stuffing your face with grilled meats, the little ones are plenty occupied with activities planned during Camp Kido, a bi-monthly Sunday fun day for kiddos aged five to 10.
No lie, we once saw a party of little girls dressed up as unicorns at Super Loco Customs House having tea so you know that this restaurant goes all out to keep the kids happy. The contemporary Mexican Cocina Y Bar located in The Fullerton Heritage precinct has stunning views of Marina Bay Sands and the waterfront. Grab a seat outdoors under the fairy lights and order dishes such as tlayuda cecina ($20), Mexican flatbread topped with house-cured wagyu that is air-dried for three months, black bean hummus, fresh Oaxaca cheese and peppery rocket; de cangrejo ($14), a taco filled with soft shell crab, barbecued pickled pineapple, radish and lime mayo.
It’s the details that make a place stand out. And Little House of Dreams has those in spades: glittery fairy lights, a masak-masak play area, and a unisex toilet so that both dads and mums can accompany their kids. It even holds special activities on the first Sunday of every month, where children can get glitter tattoos, learn balloon sculpting and marvel at a magic show.
When it comes to the food, the young ones can order their favourites, like fish and chips ($10.90) and spaghetti pomodoro ($9.90). The menu for adults is as extensive: light bites include a Caprese salad ($16.90) that’s served with grilled peaches and eggplant, while medium-rare grilled lamb chops ($34.90) will tip your meal into heartier territory.
PasarBella @ The Grandstand just got a lot more fun with the launch of KIDZLAND. The indoor children’s playground takes up 12,000 sq ft of space beside the food hall, so parents can enjoy a conversation over food while the kids tire themselves out climbing up the rainbow net or scooping sand at the indoor beach.
For munching, PasarBella is home to a variety of traders including Rocky’s Pizza, Keith Crackling Roast and Papito’s, the latter of which serves family-sized paella. Gather the brood and order from the many stalls – after all, sharing is caring.
We confess: themed cafés are not known for whipping up the best food. But we’ll give it to Gudetama Café for its decor and downright cute plates. Every inch of the space, from the walls to the tables to the napkins, is decked out in something Gudetama related. The lazy egg’s pained expression also makes an appearance on dishes like Le Slider Set ($12.90), a teriyaki chicken slider served with mini cheese sausages and fries, as well as the Pumpkin Bambini Set ($12.90) of Brazilian rice with sausages, pumpkin soup and greens.
Ask any parent where’s the best place in town to shop for the kiddos, and it’s likely they’ll point you to Forum the Shopping Mall. Stores like Toys’R’Us and Mothercare make it easy to spend a day there, picking up new additions to the wardrobe and toy chest.
And when it comes to refuelling, you’ll do no better than Jamie’s Italian, which serves classic Italian dishes like chicken Milanese ($29.50) and tagliatelle bolognese ($26.50). The kid’s menu is tailor-made to feed even the pickiest of eaters, plating up dishes like Happy Chicken Lollipops ($9.50/$13.50) and Secret Seven Tomato Pasta ($9.50/$13.50), made with seven types of vegetables.
You’d expect an establishment that’s selling buzzwords like ‘organic’, ‘low carbon footprint’ and ‘hand-picked herbs’ to be all judgmental, but Spa Esprit’s farm restaurant, Open Farm Community (OFC), is actually super friendly, unpretentious and totally kid-friendly. The menu and chirpy staff don’t bully you to eat your greens. Housemade pastas, as well as meat and seafood feature heavily, and course there are plenty of yummy desserts to end the meal with too.
Take a trip down nostalgia lane at this whimsical café in Kampong Glam, with its old-school Singaporean toys and snacks on display and for sale. Its interesting fusion of Thai and Western cuisines includes items such as Thai grilled chicken ($12.50), green curry spaghetti ($12.50), Sawedee burger with pickled papayas ($15.50), and pineapple rice ($9). All kiddie meals come with fresh fruit and a drink.
For just $5 per hour (get a bonus hour for the same price on weekdays), kids can head to the craft corner where art materials are provided to create their own pint-sized masterpieces while parents dine in peace. From paper puppets to DIY dolls to sock monkeys, let your child’s imagination run wild. Advanced bookings are recommended.
Fancy eating Saint Pierre-style is played out in a long room on the second floor of One Fullerton, where tables of twos and threes get shimmery vistas of the Bay. Bigger groups of six can book a private room, or settle into one of the nooks carved out at the back of the echoey space. Meals are served in seasonal tasting menus: the six-course omnivorous Earth ($158) and vegetarian Nature ($148), and the ten-course Grand Earth ($188) and Grand Nature ($178). Lunch with the full works is priced between $85 (four courses) and $100 (four courses with cheese).
Big foodie words like 'quinoa', 'bubbles' and 'kelp' fill a Flora and Fauna menu ($85/child), designed to educate kids aged seven to 12 about the five tastes: sour, umami, sweet, salty and bitter.
Its location at the Goodman Arts Centre affords Café Melba plenty of sprawling grounds for bright and breezy family gatherings. On the menu at this Aussie-inspired café are child-friendly items like kids' pancakes ($6), French toasts ($6), and pizza and pasta sets ($16, comes with fruit juice or milk and ice cream). Come the weekend, hearty roasts take centre-stage.
On Mondays, kids eat free with every main course ordered by a parent, but hold off the eating first. There's a bouncy castle to run amok in from 3pm, and an arts and crafts corner for hands-on fun from 5 to 8pm. The bouncy castle also surfaces on the weekend, but on any other day, the expansive lawn provides more than enough space for junior to run around.
Bright and early on Saturday morning is probably the best time to visit. Not only will you be able to beat the park queues, the Saturday Sesame Street Character Breakfast brings your kids' favourite muppets to life. On the buffet spread ($113/adult, $82/child, includes admission to USS) is a choice of Western and Asian dishes like waffles, hash browns, nasi lemak, roti prata, brownies and cookies. Tots under three dine free, while kids over three dine free if the clan books in with the Family Admission Package ($280/two adults, one child).
Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and others in the well-loved Sesame Street pantheon make the rounds around the restaurant, interacting with the little ones and doling out hugs. Make sure you have a camera on hand to snap those precious moments.
This Swiss-style restaurant's got its marketplace concept nailed, and is a good option for when the whole family can't agree on the one cuisine to eat. Golden-brown röstis (from $7.90) are always a good bet, as are the pastas with mixed vegetables ($12.90), with the option of a cream or tomato base. The aptly named Picky Kids Menu ($10.90/three- to ten-year-olds) offers one of six main courses, including rösti with a sausage, or savoury crêpe, complete with a soda or juice to complete the meal.
One-Ninety is the Four Season Hotel’s all-day bistro grill that specialises in wood-fired steaks and seafood. But it's the Sunday brunch spread ($72, food only) that’ll please the whole family. Feast on smoked and chilled seafood, cheese and charcuterie, grilled mains, decadent desserts and wash it all down with free flow of sangria and Prosecco ($128) or Veuve Clicquot champagne ($180). Kids get their own buffet ($36/children five to 11 years old, free for kids under five) spread of burgers, hot dogs, fries, vegetable snacks and cookies.
Worry not and indulge in brunch as One-Ninety offers a supervised Kiddie’s Playland where the young ones can expend their energy in a bouncy castle, get their face painted and play on various game consoles.
The best seats in the house are by the balcony overlooking the horses’ paddock and training circle. The small menu is imaginative and executed with such panache you have to wonder how long it will be before the chef is poached. Thick, gooey buffalo wings and a firm round of Portobello topped with blue cheese set the stage for the best fish and chips in town. The chocolate cake is blanketed in a velvet chocolate sauce, while the deconstructed strawberry shortcake hums with cream so light it’s practically foam.
Make Huber's your one-stop shop for groceries. It's connected to a playground so you can leave the kids there to entertain themselves while you pick up all your cooking needs. If you feel safer keeping an eye on the young ones while they play then park yourself at the bistro for a cup of coffee and a quick meal while the kids run free.
Kids review the menu
We bring two kids to taste-test the fine dining restaurant's menu that's designed specially for children.