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Top kid-friendly brunch and lunch spots

When it comes to brunching and lunching as a family, there are lots of things to consider – from opening hours and entertainment facilities to child-approved food and other kiddo-kind features. Luckily, there are loads of family-friendly spots to select from across the island for both weekday and weekend feasting. Here are some of our favourite tried-and-tested brunch and lunch places across Singapore, many of which offer more than just high chairs and kids’ menus.

Ash & Elm

Ash & Alm restaurant
Ash & Elm

When: Sunday Brunch is served from noon to 3pm. Like the hotel itself, Ash&Elm’s atmosphere is elegant and chic, yet still relaxed. The newly refurbished restaurant oozes thoughtfulness in every aspect of the décor, from skylight lighting to the butcher-block worktops, making it a pleasure to just sit and take in the surroundings. The service was the best we’ve experienced in Singapore, with no request too big, and attended to immediately. Also helpful in making this brunch venue stand out was the well spaced-out tables, so we never felt too close to other diners; it gave us a chance to have what felt like an intimate lunch together, despite there being larger groups around us.

The starters set high standards for the rest of the meal, with my husband (the “foodie” out of us) declaring everything “delicious” – so I knew we were in for a treat. Not only did every dish taste great, but the presentation was perfect, too – from tomato mozzarella skewers served with balsamic to bite-sized portions of beef tartare with baby romaine.

Then came helpings of fresh seafood – good-sized portions of lobster, a selection of caviar and large prawns, as well as crisp salad and yummy lobster bisque – followed by selections from the carving station including slow-baked Norwegian salmon. We especially enjoyed the option to order items à la minute, our particular favourites being melt-in-the-mouth braised beef cheek and duck leg confit. Make sure to save space for dessert – a plentiful array of cakes, chocolates, and hot and cold desserts including cherry bread and butter pudding, crispy banana strudel and mixed berries cheesecake – plus a charcuterie and cheese room!

The all-you-can-eat brunch is $98, inclusive of free-flow juices (which were as delicious as the food), soft drinks and Bloody Mary cocktails. It’s $138 for the free-flow Perrier-Jouët Champagne option, with wine and beer. Children aged six to 12 eat for $38, inclusive of free-flow soft drinks and juice; kids five and below dine for free.

Kid-friendly features: While there’s not a dedicated kids’ menu, the flatbreads, potato wedges and meat carving options were enough to keep our three-year-old well fed. We didn’t see much of her after she finished guzzling her food and disappeared into the kids’ room, where she was more than happy to stay playing with toys, watching cartoons and making cupcakes with the dessert chef who even helped her pipe some icing on the cakes she lovingly made for us. With the kids’ room being at the closed-off end of the restaurant, we didn’t have to worry that she could wander out, and it really helped us to relax and enjoy our lunch in peace. That doesn’t happen often with a child in tow!

– Katherine Allaway

Ash & Elm
Level 1, InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road
6825 1008 | intercontinental.com/singapore

Oscar’s

Oscar's at Conrad Centennial
Oscar’s

When: The Supercharged Sunday Brunch is offered every Sunday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

There’s a lot to love about Oscar’s at the Conrad Centennial’s new Supercharged Sunday Brunch. Served in the traditional buffet style, it’s hard to find a cuisine that’s not represented here. The seafood station is piled high with fresh lobsters, clams and shucked-to-order oysters (the chefs are knowledgeable on the oysters’ origins and flavours, which makes for interesting conversation).

There are three roasts on rotation; I indulged in the famed London duck and the tender whole suckling pig, which came with satisfyingly crispy crackling. Add to this the range of chef stations serving fresh pasta and risotto (careful of the chilli!), local street-style delicacies such as wok-fried noodles and stir-fries, and the indulgent flambéed crepes with Grand Marnier or Cointreau, and it’s difficult not to be impressed. Dessert is an endless array of beautifully decorated cakes and sweet treats; Oscar’s black forest cake is a winner.

All of this is just $98 per adult, or top up by $20 for bottomless rounds of sparkling wine, house wines and cocktails, or $60 for free-flow Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Children from six to 12 years of age eat for $40, while kids under five dine free.

Tip: From now until 30 November, one adult dines free with every three paying adults. Simply quote “OscarsEL” when making the reservation via phone or email (sinci.oscars@conradhotels.com).

Kid-friendly features: While there isn’t much room for the kids to roam here, the food on offer is sure to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters. There’s also a chef’s station serving liquid-nitrogen ice cream made before your eyes in a mysterious flurry of vapour, which captured the kids’ attention. The dessert bar is every little one’s fantasy, with huge bowls of gummy bears, jelly beans, a chocolate fountain and rainbow lollipops!

– Amanda Broad

Oscar’s Conrad
Centennial Singapore, 2 Temasek Boulevard
6432 7481 | connoisseur.sg

Also in the CBD:

The Bank Bistro + Bar
This spot may be mega popular for after-work drinks but on weekends the restaurant converts into a family-friendly venue, complete with a playroom and a special kids’ menu. All-day breakfast items include eggs benedict ($12), and mushroom and spinach frittata ($15), but they’ve also got pasta, pizza, burgers and salads. Oh, and kids eat free with each adult main ordered on weekends from 9am to 6pm!

#01-01 One Shenton
1 Shenton Way

Seasonal Tastes

The Westin Seasonal Tastes
Seasonal Tastes

 

When: The Neptune’s Table brunch is available on Sundays from noon to 3pm.

If you’re looking to impress visitors with a great view of Batam, Neptune’s Table – presumably named after the Roman god of the sea – has it covered; we lucked out on the day, as the weather was beautifully clear.

This is not a free-flow brunch, although we did have a few glasses of bubbles. Rather, the focus is on the amazing array of food. As you would expect from a top-notch hotel, there was everything from fresh seafood and sushi and sashimi to homemade pasta and noodles cooked with a sauce of your choice, along with meats, cheeses and sides galore. Being a Brit, and this being a Sunday, I was craving “a roast”; refreshingly, no carvery here – instead, I was presented with a massive raw rib-eye joint and asked how much I would like, and how I’d like it cooked. It arrived in all its medium-rare glory to the table, along with my chosen mushroom sauce accompanied by soft and creamy dauphinoise potatoes, and blanched broccoli.

The dessert station was undoubtedly one of the best I’ve seen, with the usual suspects like the chocolate fountain; I wish I had tried the homemade ricotta from the chef’s trolley, but there simply wasn’t room!

Adults dine for $88, inclusive of a glass of champagne, wine, beer or soft drink; additional drinks can be ordered à la carte. Kids can dine at the buffet for $44, although the kids’ menu offers à la carte options for $14. Kid-friendly features: There’s a real commitment here to inspiring kids to eat healthily. In fact, a group of doctors, dentists and dieticians have collaborated to form the kids’ menu, which includes the healthy Dr Greg’s Deconstructed Caesar Salad, the reliable chicken fingers, turkey sliders and a few fresh fishoptions. Menus act as colouring sheets, and crayons are provided to keep the little ones busy while you attack the buffet!

– Emi Finch

The Westin
Asia Square Tower 2, 12 Marina View
6922 6968 | thewestinsingapore.com

Also in Marina Bay:

Long Chim
We love visiting this place for Bangkok inspired street-food dishes, so we were super excited to hear about Long Chim’s recently launched kids’ menu (and a colour-in menu at that!). Now, adults can bring their little ones along to enjoy the same scrumptious signatures they know and love (think charred rice noodles with soy and chicken, and Chinese broccoli with pork) in $15 kid-sized portions (inclusive of a dessert and beverage). Open from noon daily.

#02-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
6688 7299


Mitzo Restaurant & Bar

Mitzo restaurant weekend brunch
Mitzo Restaurant & Bar

When: Brunch is available on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

Shopping on busy Orchard Road on the weekend and looking for a haven to relax, chat and entertain the kids? Mitzo is perfectly located next to Paragon, serving an impressive range of cocktails while redefining the yum cha experience. There’s a menu of over 40 Cantonese-style delicacies, including “supreme specials” such as prettily presented bamboo clams, abalone, and live lobster; try the latter prepared in the style of Singapore chilli crab, complete with buns.

Adults and kids alike (there is no kids menuper se) are invited to indulge in unlimited servings of traditional favourites such as the firm yet juicy steamed shrimp and pork dumplings, or the ultra tasty braised duck with pulled noodles (the kids’ favourite!).

The brunch is $68 per adult, and half price for six- to 12-year-olds; kids under six eat for free; this is definitely a cost-effective family brunch option. Top up $60 per person to enjoy free-flow Veuve Clicquot, wines, beer and select cocktails; I can recommend the Nojito, a twist on the old favourite, with a refreshing burst of house-crafted burnt orange and cinnamon.

Kid-friendly features: There is a fabulous, carpeted kids’ play room with colouring-in activities at cute round tables, and a big screen showing cartoons and movies – Frozen bought us a full kid-free hour!

Tip: While walk-ins may try their luck, for a family brunch I’d book a table in the section closest to the kids’ play area, so you can relax over the food while still keeping the kids in view.

– Amanda Broad

Mitzo Restaurant and Bar
Level 4, Grand Park Orchard
270 Orchard Road
6603 8855 | mitzo.sg

Also at Orchard:

Jamie’s Italian
Located on the first floor of Orchard Road’s Forum Shopping Mall, Jamie’s Italian (open daily from 11.30am) is a great place to bring kiddos for a fun Italian meal. It’s designed to entice youngsters with bright colours and fun presentation, with children’s meals for $9.50 or $13.80, depending on portion size. Options include Jamie’s Proper Picnic Box – a chicken wrap, rainbow veggie crisps, seedless grapes and cherry tomatoes served in a lunch box – and the mini spaghetti and meatballs. Each dish also comes with a Shake-Me Salad, encouraging kids to have fun eating their greens. For dessert, order a brownie, scoop of ice cream or fruit for $3.50. Kids can also keep busy with goodie bags and games while grown-ups tuck into their own delicious meals. Head to the VivoCity branch for kids’ pizza-making parties.

Coyote Tex-Mex Grill & Bar

Coyote Tex-Mex Grill & Bar nachos
Coyote Tex-Mex Grill & Bar

 

When: Brunch is served on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 9am to 3.45pm; you can get lunch from the all-day dining menu Tuesday through Friday from 11am.

Still under the same Spruce ownership, newly opened Coyote offers fan-cooled outdoor seating and air-conditioned, indoor seating. The space can easily cater to bigger family groups, although we’d recommend booking if you want an indoor table. The casual atmosphere made us feel very much at home when we visited for brunch, with friendly staff ensuring that our son had a blue high chair he’d spotted, and matching blue cutlery, plate and cup!

The “Coyote Puppies Menu” offers a good range of healthy and kid-friendly options, from a Little Chicken Chopped Salad ($10) to Tony Tacos ($12) and Quincy Quesadillas ($13), to a relatively “safe” Pedro Pastawith chicken or beef options ($15). All come with a complimentary juice, and some also come with a small fruit salad. From the extensive brunch menu, we adults started with the Coyote Nachos ($15) with pulled chicken (an extra $2), which had an abundance of toppings and just the right level of spice. Then we tucked into the Huevos Carnitas Benedictinos ($19), a clever twist on eggs benedict, with a corn waffle base and barbecue pulled pork, and the Coyote Hangover Breakfast ($26) offering chorizo sausage, guacamole, frijoles rice and a tortilla, spicing up a usual full English! The Coyote Burger with herbed wedges ($20), which also features on the dinner menu, was another firm favourite. There’s a great range of margaritas (one-for-one at $16), wines by the glass (from $10) and soft drinks, coffees and teas.

Kid-friendly features: Besides the relaxed ambience and child-friendly staff, who made us feel that a whining toddler and squawking baby were normal, the play facilities are hard to beat, with a bouncy castle complete with slide, and a kids’ playground with plenty of room for ages two and up to roam. Plus, if you sit outside (and ask for a table overlooking the play area) you have the option to watch from your table while they have fun. Bliss!

– Katie Peace

Coyote Tex-Mex Grill & Bar
320 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park
6836 5528 | coyote.com.sg

Also in Tanglin:

Food For Thought
Head over here from 8am daily for that much needed caffeine fix and some fuel (it’s got great allday breakfast items, salads, mains and pastries – you name it – as well as a nice kids’ menu, which includes chocolate pancakes for $7, among other favourites) while your active youngsters play within view at the outdoor playground, complete with a slide-and-climbing structure.

#B1-00 Botanic Gardens (Tanglin Gate)
1 Cluny Road


Nearby at Dempsey Hill, try:

Huber’s Bistro

Huber's bistro food
Huber’s Bistro

Situated on the ground floor of the new, two-storey Huber’s Butchery at Dempsey Hill, this bistro has a lot to offer when it comes to delicious food and family-friendliness. Not only is it a great spot for weekend family dining, but also the perfect place for mummy meet-ups and weekday lunches, too. Kiddos can play in the enclosed outdoor playground while their grown-ups catch up over a glass of wine and quality food from an extensive menu of charcuterie, sausages and meaty mains – some of our favourites include the Australian pasture-fed lamb chops ($24), warm roast beef sandwich($12.80) and beef burger with bacon and
gruyere cheese ($15.50). You’ll also find soups, salads and desserts, not to mention a great selection of reasonably priced beers, cider, wines and cocktails.

Afterwards, be sure to stock-up on gourmet goodies inside so you’ll be all set for meals the rest of the week. Huber’s Bistro is open from 11am to 10pm Tuesday to Friday, and from 9.30am to 10pm on weekends and public holidays.

22 Dempsey Road
6737 1488 | hubers.com.sg

Au Petit Salut

 

Au Petit Salut Brunch
Au Petit Salut

 

Served from 10.30am to 3pm, Au Petit Salut’s Sunday brunch is a great treat for families looking to indulge in an authentic French spread, and in beautiful lush surroundings. Adults can opt for signature mains like tartare de boeuf, crispy duck leg confit and red wine-braised beef cheeks as part of the threecourse lunch set ($39), inclusive of coffee or tea, freshly baked Viennoiseries and fresh fruits, or opt for the “create your own” main course set with eggs and two sides; à la carte items include Belgian waffles ($24) andsteak and frites ($32), among other favourites. Little ones can munch on eggs with gammon ham or bacon, toast and salad with a glass of juice for $22, or the mini croque monsieur or braised beef pasta ($18 each), before playing in the spacious courtyard while grown-ups unwind after the leisurely (and filling) meal. A customised buffet brunch can be arranged for gatherings of 30 or more guests.

Au Petit Salut
40C Harding Road
6475 1976 | thesalutgroup.com

Shelter in the Woods

Shelter in the Woods- Rotisserie Chicken
Shelter in the Woods

When: Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 2.30pm.

Rustic and charming, this unassuming little French restaurant offers a small à la carte brunch menu alongside a larger menu of rotisserie, charcuterie and homemade desserts. The restaurant is welcoming for small families, although I think big groups would struggle for space. There is a kids’ menu offering four child-friendly favourites including tomato pasta, roast chicken and a beef burger, along with fish and chips ($13), that our son wolfed down with some gusto; a nice touch was the little pot of chopped carrots and peas to entice him to eat his veggies. The adults chose to start with escargot in garlic herb butter ($12.50) and the Shelter Charcuterie Board ($37), which features homemade pork rillette and pâté en croûte, alongside foie gras served with brioche and baguette – divine! For the main event, we sampled two of the rotisserie selections the restaurant is known for: rack of lamb ($45) served pink, and, from the brunch menu, baby French poulet ($28) – both melt-in-the-mouth and perfectly cooked.The kids’ dessert options included a homemade ice cream ($4.80 per scoop), while we opted for a tasty homemade caramelised apple crumble tart ($12) and the unusual pineapple crumble with lemongrass jelly ($14).

Shelter takes wine very seriously (as you can see by the cask-adorned walls), offering a huge list of French wines, as well as beers, cocktails and spirits. We supped on a Chateau Grand Village 2013 ($16 per glass) and Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon Prissé 2014 ($19). It’s worth noting the special offer on Mondays and Tuesdays of one-for-one wines, cocktails, Prosecco and beers. Kid-friendly features: The restaurant offers high chairs, cutlery and plates for children, plus a good kids’ menu. The atmosphere and staff were friendly and welcoming so we felt relaxed despite brunching with an active toddler and a young baby.

– Katie Peace

Shelter in the Woods
22 Greenwood Avenue
6466 6225 | shelterinthewoods.com


Also in Bukit Timah:

Picotin Express
Overlooking the Champions Golf Course, this alfresco-deck restaurant has a kids’ menu (choice of pizza, pasta or fish and chips, a juice or soft drink, and a scoop of ice cream or small chocolate mousse, for $15), and a more mature Western-fare menu including a dozen kinds of pizza ($22). Keepingwith the golf theme, there’s a mini-golf course available, along with a play area featuring a swing set, slide and mini-train. Pancakes ($12) and other breakfast items are served from 8am to 11.30am on weekends and public holidays, and lunch fromnoon.

60 Fairways Drive


Also Try…

West: Café Melba at Mediapolis

 

Café Melba at Mediapolis
Café Melba at Mediapolis

 

Tucked within the media hub at One-North (and right next to Tanglin Trust School), laid-back Australasian eatery Café Melba offers an oasis from business park surroundings and an escape between hectic schoolruns. Famous for its status as one of the best family-friendly cafes on the East Coast, this recently opened location in theWest follows suit with outdoor scooting space and two different kids’ menus – one with purees ($6) and yoghurt ($6), among other items, for one- to two-year-olds, and another with strawberry pancakes ($16), pizza ($16) and other appealing foods for the over-three set, inclusive of juice or milk, and a choice of ice cream – though there’s no bouncy castle at this branch. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy all-day breakfast items, and signatures like the famousMelba Burger ($25) and thin-crust pizzas (from$18). Little ones can get a Kids’ Club Gold Card that will entitle them to a free meal at every visit. Ask the staff for more details. Happy hour is 4pm to 8pm during the week, so you can sip an $11 glass of wine while the kids run amok after school.

#03-01 Mediapolis
1 Stars Avenue
6352 2721 | cafemelba.com.sg/mediapolis


East: La Barca Ristorante

 

La Barca Ristorante
La Barca Ristorante

Serving up a menu of Tuscan food, this lovely spot is a great weekend brunch pick for your entire crew, with a “Kiddiewinks” menu of homemade and non-GMO pastas ($12-16), and meat and seafood dishes ($16). Complete with a bouncy castle, trampoline and a playroom filled with toys, and a TV with cartoons, plus a water slide (and dry towels!) on weekends, this place takes family-friendly dining to a whole new level – a fabulous choice if you’d like to linger over your free-flow Prosecco ($45, available on weekends from 11am to 3pm) and Fiorentina steak in peace.

#01-21 Goodman Arts Centre,
90 Goodman Road
6346 5813 | labarca-sg.com

South: Tanjong Beach Club

Tanjong Beach Club Eggs Benedict
Tanjong Beach Club

This Sentosa spot is always a fun favourite. Parents can enjoy Bloody Marys and weekend brunch specialities like The Weekender Fry-up (eggs, bacon, chipolata, mushrooms, smashed potato, baked beans and toast, $29), while kids build sandcastles and take a swim in the infinity pool after finishing their fish and chips ($14). The beach area is dog-friendly if you want to bring along the entire brood. Tip: Call ahead and book a poolside cabana or daybed if you plan on making a day of it; from there, you can order your weekend brunch (between 10am and 3pm) or lunch.

120 Tanjong Beach Walk
9750 5323 | tanjongbeachclub.com

North: Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife at Singapore Zoo

 

Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife at Singapore Zoo
Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife at Singapore Zoo

 

Offered daily from 9am to 10.30am at Singapore Zoo’s Ah Meng Restaurant, this buffet offers Western and Asian fare – think pastries, cheeses, yoghurts, cereal, fruit, dim sum and roti prata – with enough options to suit even the pickiest child. The real draw here, of course, is the orangutans, who entertain the youngsters simply by showing up to eat their own breakfast of sugar cane and sunflower seeds, not to mention dangling upside down and chasing each other. It’s definitely a fun way for the family to start a day at the zoo. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children aged six to 12 (kids below six are free).
Tip: Get there early for the best seats!

80 Mandai Lake Road
6269 3411 | zoo.com.sg

This article first appeared in the September 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or subscribe now so you never miss an issue!

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