From The Straits Times    |


Several restaurants, cafes and bars are rolling out the red carpet for families with not just kids’ menus, but kid-friendly faciliies, usually at no added cost. Think plunge pools, colouring papers, ball pits – features that won’t be out of place in a kids’ patty or play outing. Here are six of such restaurants:

A plunge pool is a surefire way to attract kids and SandBank has a 15m-long one, spanning the front of the restaurant-bar. Divided into two sections, two-thirds of the pool is at a height of 90cm while the remainder is at 50cm to cater to children of different ages.
Menu highlights: For the parents, there is hearty Western fare such as roasted beer chicken ($32, for two to three persons) or SandBank beef burger ($23). On the kids’ menu is a cheese quesadilla ($8.90) and mini salmon burger ($9.90)
Where: #01-28/32 Parkland Green, 920 East Coast Parkway
Open: 4pm to 12am from Tuesday to Friday, 9 to 12am on weekends, closed on Monday
Info: Plunge pool is open till 7pm. Call 6247-7988 or go to

EatPlayLove Cafe
In this quaint cafe with turquoise walls and striped wooden tables, children can get crafty with an array of materials such as colouring pencils and markers, pasta shells, ribbons and paper plates. To get access to these craft corners, parents have to pay $5 an hour on weekends. On weekdays, the same amount gets you two hours.
Menu highlights: The Thai-Western menu offers dishes such as basil chicken with rice and a fried egg ($8.50) and pesto grilled fish ($10.50). The kids’ menu includes macaroni soup ($6.50) and chicken nuggets ($7.50).
Where: #01-07 Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street
Open: Noon to 10pm from Wednesday to Monday, closed on Tuesday, kitchen closes from 3 to 6pm on weekdays
Info: Bookings are recommended on weekends and public and during school holidays. Call 6444-6400 or go to

Timbre @ Gillman
Kick off the weekend with a barbecue party at restaurant-bar Timbre’s Saturday Social BBQ at its Gillman Barracks outlet. The kids can run around in a small field next to the eatery, play in a colourful bouncy castle or smaller tents and get crafty with arts activities. There is a theme for every month. Come June, it will be Arabian Nights, complete with a snake charmer.
Menu highlights: Parents can tuck into porterhouse steak ($48 for two) or baby back ribs ($22), accompanied with a bottle of ice-cold beer from the barbecue menu, while the kids can munch on battered fish and chips ($10) or spaghetti bolognaise ($10)
Where: 9A Lock Road, Gillman Barracks
Open: 4 to 11pm from Monday to Thursday, 6pm to 1am on Friday and 4pm to 12am on Saturday, closed on Sunday
Info: Saturday Social BBQ starts at 4pm. Call 6694-4201 (after 5pm) or go to

Whisk & Paddle
After taking a walk or cycle along the scenic Punggol Waterway, families can grab a bite at this cafe, which has a play area fitted with child-safe mats, castle tents, rocking horses and building blocks.
Menu highlights: Signature items are the eggs benedict with smoked salmon served on a waffle ($13) and duck and lychee pizza ($17). Though there is no kids’ menu, parents and children can share the macaroni and cheese ($16.80) or ham and pineapple pizza ($16.80) – items no kid will say no to.
Where: #01-01, 10 Tebing Lane
Open: 3.30 to 10,30pm from Tuesday to Friday, 9.30am to 10.30pm on weekends. Closed on Monday.
Info: Call 6242-4617 or go to

District 10 at UE Square
A weeknight hangout spot for workers wanting a drink after a long day, this restaurant-bar morphs into a family-friendly space on the weekends, complete with a bouncy castle, special rides and colouring material laid out on soft pads lining the playzone.
Menu highlights: The kids’ menu includes a black Angus mini burger with fries ($9++) or breaded chicken fillet with a mixed green salad ($9++). For the adults, there is the pizza with wagyu beef cheek rendang ($26++) or District 10 brunch beef burger ($22++)
Where: #01-15/16/17 UE Square, 81 Clemenceau Avenue
Open: 11.30 to 12am from Monday to Thursday, 11.30 to 1am on Friday, 9 to 12am on Saturday, 9am to 11pm on Sunday
Info: The bouncy castle is available from 9am to 4.30pm. Call 6738-4788 or go to

Treehouse Cafe
With a play area designed to look like a treehouse, you can see how this cafe got its name. Starting next month, there will be a roster of free kiddie activities every last Sunday of the month. These include art and craft workshops, or balloon-sculpting and face- and hand-painting events. Ad-hoc workshops starting from $20 a session are also available, where kids can learn skills such as making a terrarium or building animals with Lego bricks.
Menu highlights: The cafe’s menu mixes Western and Asian fare. Local dishes include curry chicken with rice or baguette ($15), Hainanese pork chop with rice ($15) and braised lamb shank ($26). On the kids’ menu, pick from Nug the Fries (chicken nugget and fries) to Funny Ball (pasta with porkballs and tomato sauce). Each item on the kids’ menu costs $15 and comes with a drink and scoop of Movenpick ice cream
Where: #01-17 The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road
Open: 11.30am to 9pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11.30am to 10pm on Friday, 10am to 10pm on Saturday, 10am to 9pm on Sunday, closed on Tuesday
Info: Call 6469-0282 or go to

This article was originally published in The Straits Times Life!, May 29 2015.