Kid-friendly restaurants with playgrounds attached are all the rage in Dempsey Hill making this enclave one of the best places for families to go for a meal and a play.
Once this post circuit breaker is over we can’t wait to get ourselves to Dempsey Hill (and adjacent Loewen Gardens) with the kids. With the recent opening of yet another kid-friendly restaurant, The Pantry (where kids can access the playground that used to be Maggie & Rose, for free), Dempsey has upped its game yet again for families. Some of our favourite kid-friendly restaurants in the hood include Open Farm Community, Huber’s Bistro, TBB Safari, and Baker & Cook Loewen as they all have something to offer little people to keep them busy while mama and dad have a meal or coffee. Here’s why Dempsey sports some of the most kid-friendly dining destinations in town!
The Pantry – NEW!!
Why you’ll like it: Good food and playground galore for kids
Part of the Kids21 family and the COMO Dempsey lifestyle enclave, The Pantry is the newest family-friendly restaurant in Dempsey. If you have preschoolers you will be excited to see that the playground next to Kids21 (that used to be Maggie & Rose) is now open to diners at The Pantry for free! How exciting is that? Smaller kids and toddlers may find the treehouse style playground too difficult to access so there’s also some play equipment right next to the alfresco seating at The Pantry where parents can keep a close eye on kids. Plus there are studios above The Pantry, which offer children’s activities that patrons of the restaurant can enjoy.
Food: During the circuit breaker there is no dining in (nor can you visit the playground just yet, sniff) but you can get a taste for the family food on offer by ordering their takeaway sets – the Family Spread ($25 pp), Family Treat ($35 pp) and Family Feast ($40pp). Each family meal bundle offers starters (like a Zucchini soup and a Cauliflower Salad), snacks, a main (like Lamb chops or Cottage Pie) and a dessert, and is great for adults and little ones alike. Once we can dine in, look out for their woodfired pizzas and a larger menu to dig into.
When to go: Monday – Sunday 12pm – 10pm (Last Order 9pm)
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 play area, Boules Lawn and a garden to explore. There’s a shaded sandpit with sand toys to play 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
Why you’ll like it: Super coffee and pastries, relaxing vibes
This safari-style glamping tent is pitched up over where the Open Farm cafe used to be (next door to Open Farm Community which remains unchanged). This is where you’ll find Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari (open from 8am, hurray!). The canvas tent (with windows to keep a little light) is laid with rugs and camping style deck chairs, and open to the elements so it feels like the tropical garden has come in (don’t worry, there’s aircon with special eco-blowers to keep it cool but not freezing!). The shared play area with Open Farm Community and sand pit remain alluringly close by.
Food: On the menu in addition to the usual famous TBB croissants there are signature drinks exclusive to this branch (TBB’s fifth!). There’s a rainbow of lattes (turmeric, blue pea and beetroot), as well as power breakfast jars. Many of the dishes use edible plants and flowers (like turmeric roots and rojak flowers to pack antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties into your meal), all sourced from the 3,000 square foot connecting garden.
Why your kids will love it: Sandpit play area, Boules Lawn and a garden to explore.
TBB Safari, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819, www.tiongbahrubakery.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 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
Baker & Cook Loewen
Why you’ll like it: Great coffee and food
The new Baker & Cook and Plank Sourdough Pizza at the corner of Loewen Road (in the space formerly occupied by MOCA) is so popular thanks to is awesome little kids wooden playground, a first for Baker & Cook!
Why your kids will love it: On the playground you’ll find a bouncy swing, little treehouse, ship, and ride-ons, along with tonnes of green space perfect for running around and getting the wiggles out.
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