The CBD has always remained a bit of a mystery to me. All of those office towers, busy streets and lack of outdoor play spaces never really screamed family friendly (let’s not even talk about just how busy it can get on weekdays!). Doing their best to entice families into the city on the weekends however is The Bank Bar + Bistro. A charming restaurant by day and understatedly cool bar by night, this lovely eatery is the perfect place for a weekend meal with the kiddos.
This gorgeous resto kicks some pretty big goals in its catering for families. Firstly, it’s super kid-friendly (the fact that nearly every table in the restaurant on the day we went was seated with young families is testament to this fact!) — there’s highchairs, plastic plates, plastic cutlery and loads of room for strollers. Secondly, the little ones have their own menu that also doubles as a colouring sheet and comes with its own packet of crayons (always a hit with toddlers!). Thirdly, on the weekends kids eat free with each order of a main meal by an adult. And finally, the biggest drawcard — the children’s playroom!
The playroom is set back from the main entrance (it’s on the left as you walk in) and is a closed off room with padded floors, a selection of toys and a big screen that never stops playing cartoons. While it is fantastic for keeping active toddlers and preschoolers busy — our 3 year old happily played in there on his own for over an hour — parents who prefer to keep a closer eye on their little ones will find its distance from the main dining tables a bit of a pain. My husband and I ended up changing tables to sit closer to the playroom just in case our son ducked out without us seeing. In spite of this, the ability to actually eat a meal together in peace while our son played quietly in the playroom scored a big thumbs up from us!
The menu on the weekends is a bit of an odd mix of breakfast or a traditional roast. If you’re craving something hearty then you can opt for either the roast beef or the roast chicken with Yorkshire pudding, roasted veg and gravy. The husband and I split the difference and ordered one of each and were pleasantly surprised by just how tender the meat was in both dishes. I didn’t have to carve my beef with a steak knife (as often happens!) and the husband reports that the chicken was delicious. Our desserts of strawberry cheesecake were lovely and light and packed a sweet berry punch.
If you don’t fancy the full heavy roast then you can choose to chow down on breakfast classics instead like pancakes, french toast or your preferred style of eggs. The children’s menu is the fairly standard spag bol, fish and chips or pancakes type of fare, and our son went for the stack of pancakes with maple syrup and berries. While this mama didn’t even get the chance to try the pancakes (too slow!), the clean plate and the smiling face from the 3 year old proves it was a tasty choice.
If you’re looking for a super kid-friendly Sunday lunch option, then definitely give The Bank Bar + Bistro a shot. The restaurant’s proximity to the Collyer Quay/Marina Boulevard area means you could also take the scooters with you and head towards the water for a post-lunch meander with the kids while taking in the fantastic views of Marina Bay Sands.
The family weekend special menu is available from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The traditional roast also comes with a serve of the dessert of the week and is priced at $25+ per person.
The Bank Bar + Bistro
One Shenton #01-01/04, 1 Shenton Way, Singapore 068803
Tel: (+65) 6325 7125