When it comes to choosing where to eat out, you decide which cuisine you’re in the mood for, which setting would suit and how far you’re willing to travel – et voilà, decision made. And then you remember you have a couple of energetic kids racing round the house who need feeding too. Suddenly opening hours, entertainment facilities and kid-friendly menus need to be considered, and you’re racking your brains for a spot to keep the whole family happy. We’ve narrowed down some great places by area that offer much more than just high chairs and kids’ menus.
902 East Coast Parkway, #01-26 Big Splash
Open weekdays from 5pm; Saturday from 3pm and Sunday from 11am
There’s a lot of development on the East Coast Park strip, so this is one of only a handful of kid-friendly choices that front directly onto the grassy strip and bike path. 1-TwentySix is relaxed and comfortable, whether sitting indoors or outside on the shaded deck.
The outdoor lounge area is perfect for families and groups to gather for casual meals. The kids can run free on the grass in front, or take a ball or bikes out to play while the adults relax with good coffee or sneaky cocktails. It’s a good place to meet up with friends, either for Sunday brunch or on weekend afternoons after the kids are done with their respective sports.
Best for: Any age, but the outdoor area is not enclosed so runaways may try to flee. Bigger kids will enjoy running about on the grass. The outdoor seating area is ideal for noisy, messy kids.
Food: The menu has lots of kids’ favourites for brunch, lunch or dinner: scrambled or boiled eggs with toast soldiers ($12), Vegemite toast ($6), fish and chips ($12) and spaghetti with tomato sauce and cheese ($12). There are good tapas and à la carte menus to tempt adults and older kids.
Tip: Bring balls, totem tennis, bikes and anything to keep the kids occupied on the grass.
902 East Coast Parkway, Block F #01-27 Big Splash
6346 4344 | brusselssprouts.com.sg
Open from 10am on Sunday for breakfast, Saturday from noon and weekdays from 5pm
Parents can linger indoors and watch the kids work up a sweat on the large grass area outside. It’s great for big group gathering as it has a very casual and relaxed atmosphere.
Special features: On weekends and public holidays kids under 10 eat free from the children’s menu (applicable to one child per paying adult). There is often a balloon entertainer on weekends.
Best for: All ages. Children independent enough to play unsupervised outdoors will have a blast. There is some play equipment suitable for children three years and under.
Food: Belgian fare including mussels for the adults, and kids can tuck into five choices including pasta, fish and chips.
Tips: Book ahead, it’s very popular on weekends.
135/137 East Coast Road
6440 6786 | zaffronkitchen.com
Open daily from 11.30am
This family-friendly Indian spot in the East Coast won’t break the bank. There are several non-spicy and not-too-spicy options for kids, and they can have fun in the dedicated kids’ corner while you linger longer over your meal.
Special features: A wooden playhouse, a kids’ kitchen and an array of wooden toys. There aren’t many restaurants with a dedicated nursing room, but this is one of them. It also has a proper change table and a kiddies’ toilet.
Best for: Ages seven and under.
Food: North and South Indian.
90 Goodman Road
Block C Goodman Arts Centre
6346 5813 | labarca-sg.com
Open from 10am, Tuesday to Sunday. Playroom open weekends only, 10am to 6pm
Whatever the weather, the kids will have plenty to occupy them both indoors and out at La Barca while Mum and Dad relax over Italian food and a glass or two of Prosecco.
Special features: Indoor playroom with a slide, a crawling tunnel, table and chairs, toys, books and TV. There is also a changing mat in the room. Kids can ride their scooters and play in the area outside the restaurant, too, or play foosball in the alfresco section.
Best for: Ages two and above.
Food: Classic Tuscan dishes, some with a twist. Brunch portions are fairly large and dishes range from $18 to $22. Brunch is available from 11am to 2.30pm on weekends.
Tip: Dine alfresco under the shady canopy if you want to keep an eye on the kids outside.
An extra tip (just for you): Also try Café Melba in the same arts centre (Block N) – they do pizzas, weekend roasts and brunch and there’s a bouncy castle at weekends.
6440 6068, cafemelba.com.sg (open weekdays 10am to 10pm; weekends 8.30am to 10pm).
Rice & Fries
484 Changi Road (near corner of Frankel Avenue)
9738 6648 | facebook.com/Rice.Fries.Steak
Open daily, 5pm to 11pm
Rice & Fries is tucked away in suburbia; you won’t accidentally stumble on it without a recommendation. This small, no-fuss diner has a solid Western menu, friendly service and wall-sized blackboards that entertain older kids endlessly. Sure they’ll get messy with coloured chalk, but that’s half the fun.
2 Stamford Road, Swissôtel The Stamford, Level 70
6837 3322 | swissotel.com
Open for Sunday brunch from 11am to 2.30pm
Champagne brunches and kiddos – the perfect pairing they are not. But Equinox Restaurant has worked out all the kinks. On Sundays, the kids are given their own buffet line in their very own room (stocked with toys, games and a Nintendo Wii, no less), allowing mums and dads to enjoy some alone time and a glass – or two – of bubbly next door.
Special features: In the company of a staff supervisor, kids can tuck into mini-burgers, chicken nuggets, potato wedges, fruit salad and biscuits that they can decorate themselves. The meal is free for kids under six years old, and $64 for those aged six to twelve (including access to the adult buffet). With the kids occupied, parents can tend to more adult matters, namely offerings such as fresh shellfish, sashimi, blinis and cheese accompanied by unlimited Champagne, wine, beer and cocktails. A live music duo plays softly in one corner, gently muffling any squeaks from the kids’ corner.
Best for: Toddlers and older kids.
Tip: Book early. Call at least two weeks ahead, especially if you want to snag a spot by the window. The views of the CBD and Marina Bay from 70 storeys up are some of the best in the city.
341 River Valley Road
6836 5286 | lavilla.sg
Open for lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm
Just a stone’s throw from the Orchard Road and River Valley is La Villa, a Mediterranean restaurant. It has a kid-friendly grassy area outside complete with swing, slides and see-saw, and an adult-friendly bar and restaurant, with seating indoors and outdoors.
Special features: On Saturdays and Sundays there’s a bouncy castle on the lawn.
Best for: Any age.
Cost: Adults $88, teens $58, children $28
Food: There’s a kids’ buffet line with a wide selection of favourites such as mini-burgers, chicken sausages, hash browns and mini-sandwiches. The grown-up menu includes pastas, pizzas, eggs served in a variety of styles, and plenty for the carnivores.
Tip: Eat, rest, then bounce.
Plus, hotels with kid friendly brunches in central Singapore
Many of the hotels provide activities to keep little ones entertained while parents enjoy a lazy Sunday brunch. Here are two notable options…
5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square.
6338 0066 | mandarinoriental.com/Singapore
The Mandarin Oriental’s restaurant Melt – The World Café has a staffed playroom where children can play games, watch movies, draw and snack. Under sevens go free, while adults pay $108, or $158 for the Veuve Clicquot free-flow (12pm – 3pm).
The Four Seasons Hotel
190 Orchard Boulevard
6734 1110 | fourseasons.com/Singapore
Sunday 12pm – 3pm
The Four Seasons Hotel’s One-Ninety restaurant serves Sunday brunch (12pm – 3pm) and offers a supervised Kiddie’s Playland featuring a bouncy castle, colouring, face painting and games consoles, and comes complete with a kids’ buffet spread.
Children under five dine free, while adults pay $88, plus an additional $108 per person for free-flow Veuve Clicquot.
Open from 8am to 9pm every day
If you’ve had a bright and early start with your little ones up before dawn, head to Food For Thought for that much-needed caffeine fix and some breakfast while your energetic offspring charge around within view.
Special features: Outdoor playground with slide and climbing structure. There’s space for kids to whizz around on small scooters, too.
Best for: Toddlers to five-year-olds Food: Kids’ meal sets (with colouring sheets) plus good coffee, big breakfasts, some cheap local lunch offerings and a smattering of desserts and pastries.
Tip: If you get there just after a rain storm but are still determined to use the play area, bring an old towel (or charm the busy staff for one) as the structure gets wet and slippery.
163 Tanglin Road, #01-35 Tanglin Mall
6733 9088 | facebook.com/BrunettiSingapore
Opens at 8am
Brunetti opens at 8am, which is a lifesaver. They do great coffee, breakfasts, cakes and gelato. There’s a small covered play area officially for Traders Hotel guests, but they don’t mind café-goers using it.
320 Tanglin Road
6836 5528 | spruce.com.sg
Open weekdays 10.30am to 10.30pm; weekends and public holidays 9am to 10.30pm
Spruce at Phoenix Park has a great playground for older kids. It’s set back from the restaurant, so you’ll need to interrupt your meal to keep an eye on younger kids, but older kids can run loose while you feast on great burgers and all-day breakfast. Bring strong mosquito repellent – the play area is heaving with the biters.
Loewen Road | 6474 0441
Open weekdays from 9am to 6pm; weekends 9am to 4.30pm
A casual outdoor café at Loewen Gardens, handy after preschool or a visit to one of the nearby shops. Kids can jump on the trampoline and use the small swing set while you get your caffeine fix and a slice of cake, or a light quiche for lunch. 75
50 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa
Open from 9am every day
We all know kids get restless at restaurants, but rarely will you see them wanting to leave Coastes. The reason? It’s located right on the sand of Siloso Beach on Sentosa.
Special features: There’s nothing at Coastes that is particularly aimed at children, but with a beach literally under your table and the water 15 metres away, what more do you need?
Best for: All ages.
Costs: The beach is free, though keep in mind the entrance and parking costs on Sentosa, both of which are on the high side.
Food: The usual popular Western breakfasts (eggs Benny et al) with an emphasis on seafood and barbecued dishes later in the day.
Tips: If you live on the “mainland”, aim to arrive on Sentosa at 8.30am. By the time you’ve parked, walked to Coastes, and checked out the beach, it’ll be close to opening time – and you’ll have a better chance of nabbing the best table. And don’t forget to bring buckets and spades, plus protective clothing for swimming in the sun.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa
101 Siloso Road
Sunday brunch from 12pm to 3pm
Barnacles’ renowned Sunday brunch, the Sunday Garden Party by the Sea, is a winning combination of fabulous food and compelling entertainment for the kids. Add to that access to the hotel’s natural water swimming pool, complete with children’s slide and splash pad, and you and the family are set for the entire afternoon.
Special features: Children’s buffet corner, half-hour magic show and an hour’s balloon sculpting for the kids.
Best for: Ages three and upwards, or those independent enough to take part in activities.
Costs: $138 (adults); one child 12 years and under dines free with a paying adult and subsequent children are charged $38 each.
Food: Seafood spread that includes Alaskan king crab, lobsters, French oysters and gourmet cheeses, meats and desserts.
Tips: Don’t forget your swimmers, sunscreen and staying power.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Level 1, Siloso Beach
Open from 11am to 9.30pm daily
Fancy something a little more affordable but with a similar seaside location? Try Trapizza, which is also part of Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. Located on Siloso Beach, the restaurant has a mini-playground and a kids’ corner complete with play-dough.
Want more? See our kids section!