This often means food courts and casual eateries become the default options, but fret not. Dispelling the notion that you should leave the kids at home to have a nice meal, here is a list of 7 Michelin-recommended child-friendly restaurants in Singapore that run the gamut from fine dining to outdoor brunch and communal Chinese to modern Indian.
What Our Inspectors Say: “It’s all about nature and locally sourced, seasonal ingredients at this single-storey glasshouse, which is surrounded by a beautiful garden where many of the herbs and plants for the kitchen come from. The restaurant is bright and colourful and the kitchen, under the guidance of Ryan Clift of Tippling Club, uses influences and flavours from around the world. Come in a group – the place is always full of life and there’s usually plenty of noise.”
What Parents Say: “My kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the two sand playgrounds while we sipped drinks and watched them from alfresco tables nearby. We ordered from the “Little Diners” section for them which included things like lasagna and fish pie. It’s a fun place for older kids who can play independently.”Zaffron Kitchen
What Our Inspectors Say: “Housed in a modern building on a busy road, this bright, modern Indian bistro comes with metal framed chairs, exposed brick walls, old tiles and an open kitchen. While the look and the technology used are very 21st century – menus are presented on an iPad– the cooking is much more traditional, with dishes from the tandoor being particularly tasty. The restaurant is also family-friendly and comes with a small play area for children.”
What Parents Say: “The play area with all its toys and TV is a great way to occupy the kids while the grown-ups eat and talk. Surprisingly, the children enjoyed eating from the regular menu—I suppose garlic naan and tomato-ey butter chicken is a good substitute for pizza! Plus, the service staff seemed to genuinely like kids and were super friendly and accommodating.”
What Our Inspectors Say: "Not only does this smartly dressed restaurant offer great views of the marina, but its assured service and discreet atmosphere also make it a great choice for those on a date. The creative and contemporary French cuisine comes with pronounced Asian elements, with much of the produce sourced from Japan. There is a choice of three set menus: ‘Classic’, ‘Discovery’ and ‘Prestige’, all of which are available with wine pairings."
What Parents Say: “Read online that this fine dining restaurant was kid friendly. Didn’t disappoint, we all loved it! The service staff were accommodating and the four-course menu for kids ($85) is great for children from three to 12 and looked just as appetizing to the grown-ups.”
What Our Inspectors Say: “Art and sculptures aren’t the only treasures found in the National Gallery – on the 2nd floor is this restaurant from Violet Oon, Singapore’s own national treasure and one of its greatest ambassadors. The handsome, panelled 1920s-style dining room is an ideal backdrop to the cooking which, through its spicing, contrasting textures and enticing aromas, showcases Singapore’s unique culinary heritage. This is a restaurant with genuine charm.”
What Parents Say: “The place can get quite crowded and noisy for such an upmarket place, but that also made for good camouflage for our not-so-quiet kids. The service staff made sure we were comfortable and the kids enjoyed the chicken rice. It’s a good dining option at the National Gallery after a day out at the museum with the family.”
What Our Inspectors Say: “Putian people are known for putting their guests before themselves – and service is certainly friendlier here than in many similarly simple restaurants. Opened in 2000, this was the first branch of this small chain which has another 8 or so shops in Singapore. Dishes may not always resemble their pictures on the menu but are fresh and tasty. Signature dishes include seaweed with mini shrimps, braised pig intestine and stewed yellow croaker.”
What Parents Say: “Our waitress sanitized the baby chair and helped us secure the bubs inside it and gave her her own kiddy plate and cutlery set! She’s too young to feed herself, but she loved nibbling the soft and luscious signature lor mee from our bowl.”
Liao Fan Hawker Chan
What Our Inspectors Say: “What started at a stall in Chinatown Food Centre lead inevitably to Chef Chan going into partnership and opening a restaurant. Equally inevitable is the size of the queue – it forms well before opening time, such is the reputation of his delicious soy sauce chicken rice and roast pork. The new premises may provide more space and seating but, just like back at the hawker centre, you’ll be sharing your table with others.”
What Parents Say: “You won’t have to wait too long at the air-conditioned outlet at 18 Tai Seng during weekends. There are high chairs and my kid loves the rice swathed in the sweet-savoury char siew sauce and crispy roast pork. The soy sauce chicken is so tender and easy to break down for little mouths.”
What Our Inspectors Say: “Lunch is perhaps the best time for the green-fingered to visit this restaurant tucked away in the corner of the Flower Dome – not only to appreciate the bright, glass-enclosed room and the Mediterranean garden but also because you get a good value set menu and free entry to the world’s largest greenhouse afterwards. The European menu displays a number of influences and the kitchen uses plenty of modern techniques; dessert is a highlight.”
What Parents Say: “Dining out with kids is usually a strenuous exercise and it certainly helps that the climate in the Flower Dome is so lovely and cool. Bring a light sweater for the children. The Stokke highchairs are a nice touch. There’s a complimentary buggy service that the boys loved riding on and after your meal you can take a free walk through the dome to run off any of their excess energy.”