Header image courtesy of Pablo Merchan Montes (via Unsplash)
If you are among those who kept Singapore off your radar because you pictured it as a nexus of narrow streets with skyscrapers, bustling with noise and excitement of street vendors, and people piled up on top of each other, then you’re in for a big shocker. Singapore may be strikingly modern with a beautiful marina and architectural wonders, a mecca for arts, culture, and big-name events, with long stretches of luxury shopping malls lining the road on both sides, but it’s also absolutely teeming with kids’ activities and adventure outings. There is an impressive list of restaurants and cafes that will appeal to even the fussiest little eaters.
From photogenic and adorable cartoon dishes to restaurants that come with a play area, here are the top five kid-friendly eateries that will make things a tad bit easier for mums and dads on their next Singapore vacation.
With stunning views of Singapore’s southern shore, sublime coastal backdrops for Instagram-worthy family pictures, Bayswater Kitchen, located off Marina at Keppel Bay, is essentially a celebration of all things associated with the sea. A seafood-centric menu highlighting the freshest catch of the sea and breezy outdoor dining with a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere will help even the most exhausted parents unwind after a long day of sightseeing activities with feisty bambinos.
So, what is it that makes this restaurant so approachable with kids? A great kid-friendly menu for the under-12s with some exceptionally good fish and chips, delicious seafood linguini with loads of tomatoey goodness, foosball, and a ping-pong table. Also, the waterfront promenade is perfect for kids to scoot along the marina after a satisfying brunch while you kick back and enjoy the live jazz that’s sometimes on offer. Sometimes easy is what you need, right?
Bayswater Kitchen, 2 Keppel Bay Vista, Singapore 098382 │ (+65) 6776 077
Ask a mama how she’s feeling on any given day, and the answer is likely to be along these lines—“Tired, but fine” or “Tired… and super busy.” As a mother, tiredness and exhaustion seem to be the common denominator. They deserve a chance to put up their feet and relax, every so often. There’s a certain fuss-free vibe at the Sandbank located at East Coast Park, which opens as early as 8 am and closes at midnight. So, whether your kiddos are early risers or late sleepers, you can walk into this place any time of the day and enjoy kid-centric meals while you relish chargrilled meats, handmade loaves of bread, and ice-cold beers with superb sea views.
But that’s not the best part. Sandbank has a 15-metre plunge pool spanning the front of the outlet, offering an area for a cooling plunge and place to sip on a cocktail as the sun goes down. Imagine yourself dining while the kids are having a splashing good time at the pool—how cool is that? The restaurant windows open onto a deck that in turn spills onto a vast expanse of green lawn overlooking the park, which makes for a perfect place for the little ones to expend some energy post-meal. And if you thought the menu would be all about G-rated dishes like potato frittatas or mac & cheese, you’re in for a treat—feast your eyes on a comprehensive list of barbecued meats and a decently-spiced Indian and Indonesian menu.
Sandbank, 920 ECP, #01-28/32, Singapore 449875 │ (+65) 6247 7988
What could be more appealing than an upscale restaurant with a minimalist interior? This wonderfully relaxed establishment, featuring an 11-hectare cluster of gazetted conservation bungalows, lets the grand views do all the talking and combines an emphasis on freshest ingredients from the area with local charm and stylish panache. If you’ve always wanted your kids to reconnect with nature and find serenity in the simplest things, then Wildseed Café & Bar, standing invitingly on the ground level of The Summerhouse, will fit the bill.
Treat your kids to an afternoon of delightful gourmet sandwiches, pastries, mocktails, and desserts made with a carefully curated range of ingredients of unrivalled freshness plucked straight from the self-sustaining garden, and succulent slow-cooked meat dishes served with vibrant salads and delicious dips. Falafel is served with sauces made of freshly picked carrots and tomatoes that are cooked with loads of herbs and garlic and then reduced further to bring out their natural sweetness. For more fussy eaters, there’s an option to build your own burgers and sandwiches with a range of toppings and sauces. This off-the-beaten-track spot is definitely worth the significant detour out of the city.
Wildseed Café & Bar, Level 1, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Dr, Park, Singapore 798387 │ (+65) 8126 7524
Any place with a unique, expressive theme impresses instantly, and this unconventional fine-dining experience with a jungle theme is a sight to behold, especially when you have your family along. Pre-social media times, the food at restaurants was judged based on its ability to tickle the taste-buds. Come Instagram and Facebook, and it is reviewed on how well it will perform on social media. With a stunning jungle-themed restaurant inspired by an African safari and an impeccable gourmet meal experience catering to both local and international flavours, Tiong Bahru Bakery, a long-standing Dempsey favourite, ensures that every single element contributes to seducing the “happy snappers” and chipper children.
From the outside, the café looks like a massive canvas tent occupying a serene and tranquil spot in the midst of lush green Open Farm Community, with plenty of open space filled with jungle greenery and edible gardens.
Once the high-energy toddlers are exhausted from all the running around, allow them to indulge in bright-coloured smoothies and caffeine-free lattes made from edible plants harvested from the backyard garden that add to the naturalistic experience. For heartier options, we recommend the sweet pastries and signature croissants, famed for their crispy, buttery outer texture, and a plate of sourdough Liége-style waffles on the go. Tiong Bahru Bakery does manage to “bake” the world a better place!
Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819 │ (+65) 6877 4876
Finding an eatery that ticks all the boxes for a family can seem daunting. Fortunately, we have Café Melba—an “all qualities in one” kind of restaurant which is parent-approved, kid-tested, and date night appropriate. Be it parents looking to spend some quality bonding time with their little ones over the weekend or hopeless romantics hoping to win their Valentine’s Day love over a quiet brunch, at Café Melba, you’re guaranteed to leave feeling stuffed and satisfied. With an all-day-long brunch menu featuring stellar dishes, this café is sure to be a favourite for gatherings of all sorts. So, if you like the sound of eggs benedict or avocado on rye at any time of the day, this is the place for you.
Hailed as Mountbatten’s best-kept secret, Café Melba offers a myriad of modern dishes with an Australasian twist. There is an apparent emphasis on the wholesome brunch menu that caters to all needs and age groups. From vegetarian-friendly favourites like the super filling spread of halloumi cheese, avocado, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, baked beans, mushrooms, hash brown, and toast, to chef specials such as surf ‘n’ turf risotto and smoked duck pasta—you’ll be spoilt for a choice with a menu that’s fit for a king.
Almost everything on the menu here is made from scratch. So, if your little ones opt for a sweet treat after a filling breakfast, don’t hesitate to try the freshly baked crispy apple pie with handmade crust and an indulgent choco lava cake with an entirely molten centre. For a post-lunch run-around, there’s a gigantic lawn that houses a bouncy castle, a massive ball pit, and a sweeping area where kids and frolic around, leaving you and your partner in uncharacteristic peace at the table to make the most of their timeless wines and inventive cocktail menu.
Café Melba, 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Blk N #01-56 Singapore, 439053 │ (+65) 6440 6068