Our resident foodie columnist Beate on why Dempsey Hill offers the best kid-friendly dining in Singapore!
Have kids? Get yourselves to Dempsey Hill (and adjacent Loewen Gardens)! With the recent opening of one of our favourite kid-friendly restaurants, Open Farm Community, and the re-location of Huber’s Bistro we thought it was time to revisit and round up the best of kid-friendly dining in Dempsey.
Open Farm Community
Why you’ll like it: Super food, beautiful atmosphere
This place is a beauty – the lush green jungle gives way to a carefully manicured herb garden with everything from saintly stevia to Indian borage (good for coughs apparently). Indoors is appropriately modern glam with an open kitchen and great lighting. There’s covered alfresco seating beside the herb garden with a few coolers blowing to keep things sophisticated. If your kids are noisy go for the outdoor option unless the sweltering sun makes this impossible (the acoustics inside can be loud which doesn’t pair with boisterous voices).
Food: With a menu designed by Ryan Clift (Tippling Club) expect modern interpretations of classic dishes, often with an Asian or global twist and with as much as possible sourced from the gardens. Favourites from the weekday menu include Charred S.A Lamb Rump ($32), Caesar Salad with house smoked chicken and jamon ($22) and home made pastas: Mud crab Spaghettoni with Thai Curry ($26) and Strozzapreti with 48hr Braised Oxtail ($28). This deep flavoured unctuous Barolo sauce, with al dente Strozzapreti pasta and tender oxtail meat is a winner. Brunch on the weekend sees a few extra dishes like Buttermilk Pancakes and Eggs Benedict. Servings are on the small side so order wisely. It’s also very wise to order dessert, specifically the Lemon Tart with homemade basil ice cream ($17).
Why your kids will love it: Sandpit, Wooden Cow, Slide, Ice Cream. There’s a shaded sandpit with a big wooden cow standing in it! What’s not to love? You can actually climb into the cow’s stomach and slide out of it. A pig keeps him company and there are plenty of sand toys to build sand masterpieces with. Plus, for big kids there’s a boules lawn, too.
Kids’ menu: Not a nugget or chip in sight! Instead think posh kids nosh like Open-face Bolognese Lasagna ($22) or Rustic Fish Pie ($18) with fresh thyme from the garden. We love this approach – kids food should be real food not junk food so double thumbs here. You will love Your kids will love the Homemade Trio of Ice Cream $15, a big enough bowl to cope with a few stolen adult sized bites.
When to go: Mon – Fri: 12pm to 3pm (Lunch), 6pm to 10pm (Dinner); Weekends/PH: 11am to 10pm.
Open Farm Community, 130E Minden Rd, Singapore 248819, Tel: (+65) 6471 0306, www.openfarmcommunity.com
Huber’s Bistro @ Dempsey
Why you’ll like it: Great Beer, Good Swiss-German food and a chance to pick up some shopping.
The space is huge! You can do your shopping at Huber’s massive supermarket, deli and butchers (with a soon-to-come customised meat dry aging cabinet), then pop down to the Bistro, order your food, whizz the kids to the fenced-in playground to expel some energy while one of you gloats at scoring the ‘choping the table’ card, feed the family and by the end have three major ticks off your day (shop, eat and tire-out-the-kids).
Food: The bistro hasn’t been hugely glammed up in its move but there are more seats (50) both indoor and alfresco. It’s a popular spot so you may have to queue – just grab yourself a beer from the great German-Swiss selection (from $8.50) and perhaps take a stroll around the landscaped gardens. Pricing at Huber’s is pretty slick (which is probably why it’s so in-demand) – popular dishes include the Charcuterie Platter of Parma, San Daniele, Salami and Mortadella $14.80, a very good 21 Day Dry-Aged Burger $17.50, plus new dishes of Lamb Chops $24 and Angus Fillet Steak $28. They do breakfast on the weekends like Croissant, Home Baked Ham and Coffee for $8.50 or – and this we really like the sound of – Weisswurst (Bavarian sausage), Pretzel, Sweet mustard and Beer for $11 (or $7.50 sans beer, but really, why?). Our only niggle (even just environmentally-wise) is the absence of complimentary tap water.
Why your kids will love it: Huge fenced-in, shady playground. A large colourful padded playground complete with swings, helter-skelter slide, climbing areas and a smaller slide. It’s fenced and lovely and shaded, too.
Kids’ Menu: No kids’ menu as such but the Sausage Menu should go down well with littlies like the pair of Wienerli and potato salad (you can swap this for fries) at a modest $7.90.
When to go: Tues – Fri: 11am to 10pm; Weekends/PH: 9.30am – 10pm. Closed Mondays.
Huber’s Bistro @ Dempsey, 22 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249679, Tel: (+65) 6737 1488, www.hubers.com.sg
Tree Lizard Dempsey
Why you’ll like it: Perhaps the only place in Singapore where you can actually sit at your table to have lunch WHILE watching your kids on the playground.
Chances are even if you’re a Dempsey devotee you may not have stumbled upon Tree Lizard. Hidden beside Longbeach Seafood, Tree Lizard is set on a lovely sweeping green space that still feels slightly jungly. The main draw here is the kids’ play equipment and the huge lawn out front coupled with the unique fact that you can sit in the casual restaurant and have a clear view of your kids playing.
Food: The menu spans Brit Gastropub fare (Bangers & Mash $18.80, Crispy Pork Belly with Apple Puree $18.80, Herb Crusted Sea Bass$20.80), to sandwiches, pizza and pasta ($12.80-$16.80). On the weekends they do a Beef Roast with Yorkshire Puddings ($18.80) and on a Sunday kids meals are 50% off with every paying adult. Come on a Wednesday or Friday for a play, kids dinner and a free mojito for you, mama! (Ladies night 5-10pm Wednesday & Friday free flow mojitos and Margaritas (some purchase necessary).
Why your kids will love it: Bouncy Castle, Playground, Board Games! A great playground including a seesaw, swings, high helter-skelter slide, tunnel and rope-cobweb climber tunnel, smaller slide. There’s also a bouncy castle on the weekends, a small plastic wendyhouse and two goals set up for some footie. Plus a stack of board games for wet weather entertainment.
Kids’ Menu: $9.80 dishes like Spag Bol, Mac n Cheese, Pizza and Fish and Chips.
When to go: Tue – Friday: 2pm – 10pm; Weekends: 12pm-10pm. Closed Mondays.
Tree Lizard Dempsey, Blk 25 B1-01 Dempsey Road, Tel: (+65) 68343969, www.facebook.com/treelizard
P.S. Cafe is obviously a family favourite already and notorious for long weekend brunch waits, but they offset that with one of the loveliest stretches of rolling lawn in Singapore — perfect for letting the kiddos expend their energy before sitting down to much on addictively delicious truffle fries, hearty salads, and gorgeous desserts.
When to go: Lunch & Dinner Mon to Sun: 11.30am – 12am; Brunch Sat-Sun &PH: 9.30am-6pm.
P.S. Cafe @ Harding Road, 28b Harding Road, Singapore 249549, www.facebook.com/PS.Cafe
The Pantry has a trampoline to keep the little ones occupied (their swing set is no longer) while you grab a coffee or lunch here. On the weekends we are told the White Lodge outdoor playground is open to café goers.
When to go: Mon to Sat: 8.30 am – 6pm (Closes 4 pm Saturdays). Closed Sundays.
The Pantry, 75 Loewen Road, Singapore 248844, Tel: (+65) 6474-0441, www.facebook.com/thepantry.sg