SANDBANK @ Parkland Green ECP

We are back at Parkland Green, the new family-friendly arena at East Coast park. I can tell this is going to be one of our favourite haunts. This time, we were invited by SANDBANK for a review of their second outlet with a twist. Their caption reads: EAT. DRINK. PLUNGE. And that’s just what the kids did.
Sandbank at ECP
We told them they could swim in the pool after finishing their meal. That would no doubt get the kids to eat up quickly. One of the kids said, “But we can’t swim after eating.” Well technically, there’s not much real ‘swimming’ to be done as the kid’s pool is not very big. More for the kids to play around in.

Their menu is very comprehensive, with Bar Bites, Appetisers, Soups, Sandwiches & Pies, Pizzas, Pastas, Mains, Sides and even Dishes for Sharing. They also have a wide array of alcoholic beverages.

A typical favourite of my kids’ is pizza and the Meat Lovers pizza didn’t disappoint. It had chucks of stewed beef, bacon, mushroom, and topped with mozzarella cheese.
Meat Lovers $24

#5 automatically went for the fish & chips, and you have a choice of having it charcoal grilled or traditional beer battered. I was busy settling Kate in and didn’t get a chance to try a bite before the whole thing was gone in a jiffy! I asked him if it was nice and he said “Very yummy”.

Fish & Chips $23

Another staple dish when we eat out with the kids is truffle fries and we all agreed that this was one of the best we have ever tried. Two thumbs up!

One of their signature dishes is Beer Infused Roasted Whole Chicken so we had to give it a try. The whole chicken sat on a beer can in the oven in the open kitchen and the kids were tickled at the sight. Served with mixed mesclun salad. This is enough for 3-4 people to share if you are ordering other dishes.

Roasted Beer Chicken $32

If you have a picky child who can’t find anything to eat, which is rather unlikely given their wide variety of offerings, he can design his own pizza. Choice of cheese (blue, feta, gruyere, mozzarella, etc), choice of topping (parma ham / pulled pork / grilled chicken etc), and choice of sauce (tomato / teriyaki / Pesto / even samba sauce!) Our kids designed their own pizza not because there was nothing else to eat but because it was fun! 

Design your own pizza $21

After they were done with their meal, they happily jumped into the pool and had a great time splashing about and playing with their pool toys and a little ball.

Kate having a swell time

And the adults? We had a good time chilling and chatting, with full view of the sea. Doesn’t get much better than this in Singapore.

Lime Margarita $16

After swimming, they were hungry again. We ordered the Fungi Pasta which I didn’t manage to grab a photo of because it was gone in an instant! The kids said it was very yummy. Don’t know if it was because they were hungry after playing in the pool but they polished everything up. Hmm, I should have asked if SANDBANK wanted more partners. What a winning concept. Eat, swim, dry off and repeat. We can easily spend the whole day here with a bunch of friends. There is also a plunge pool adjoining the kids’ pool, but that is for aged 14 and above.

Eating again
If your kids are planning to swim, it would be good to ask for a table near the kid’s pool so that you can keep an eye on them. Do remind them to be careful as the floor could get slippery with many kids swimming and inadvertently splashing water everywhere.

Sane tip: There are toilets and showers located right next to Sandbank.

Save tip: 10% off main courses until 31 December 2014.

920 East Coast Parkway
#01-28 Parkland Green
Singapore 449875
Tel: 62477988

Disclaimer: We were invited by Sandbank to do a review. All opinions are my own.

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

6 Family-Friendly Restaurants

Here’s a list of 6 of our favourite kid-friendly restaurants, in order of budget.

Maki San Sushi

1) Maki San

What: Sushi / Salad

Why: Design your own sushi and have it rolled in front of you

Where: The Cathay

Price: About $10 per person

More details, click here.

Nook: DIY pancakes

2) Nook: House of Pancakes

What: DIY pancakes

Why: Great fun cooking your own pancakes

Where: Upper Bukit Timah

Price: About $15 per person

More details, click here.

Food for Thought: Botanic Gardens

3) Food for Thought

What: Local / Western / Cakes

Why: Playground / lots of space for the kids to roam / big groups

Where: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Price: About $20 per person

More details, click here.

Cafe Melba: alfresco dining

4) Cafe Melba

What: Pizza / Pasta / Sandwich / Salad

Why: Mini jumping castle

Where: Mountbatten

Price: About $30 per person

More details, click here.

Brewerkz: Microbrewery

5) Brewerkz

What: Western food

Why: Great chillax ambiance, kids menu

Where: Riverside Point (Clark Quay)

Price: About $35 per person

More details, click here.

Shunjuu: Japanese Izakaya

6) Shunjuu

What: Izakaya (grilled food on skewers) / Sashimi

Why: Bite size kid-friendly food, ample space for kids to ride their wheels after dinner

Where: Robertson Quay

Price: About $40 per person

More details, click here.

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Food for Thought @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

It was a rare opportunity that I had my oldest and youngest home with me on a school morning. #1 had a day off from school as she wasn’t taking certain subjects for her ‘O’ levels prelims. Instead of my daily jaunt with Kate at the playgrounds, I decided to take them for a leisurely breakfast. We needed a cafe that was open early and where Kate could roam for a bit after breakfast. Food for Thought nestled in our beautiful Botanic Gardens was a perfect choice.

Ample seating

This eco-conscious cafe is very kid-friendly and has several configurations of seatings to accommodate groups of different sizes. It is very spacious (no problems with strollers), and has a playground right outside.

Grilled Ham & Cheese $9

We ordered the Ham & cheese and the mixed berries pancakes. All their pancakes are served with fresh cream and gula melaka syrup. Kate loved the pancakes and helped me finish half of it!

Mixed Berries pancakes $11

After she had her fill, she went off to play by herself in the little playground outside. It’s great that the outdoor area is separated by glass walls so we could keep an eye on her while we finished up our breakfast. Even though the playground is outdoors, it is pretty much shaded by trees so it wasn’t that hot.

Deep in thought

This signage cracked the both of us up! Check out rule #2. Hmm, are adults so deprived of fun? Perhaps they also need to run around and de-stress.

Small but fun playground

Right above Food for Thought, there is a little koi pond and Kate was mesmerised by the fishes. We spent some time just hanging around enjoying the lush greenery. What a perfect morning. Lovely. Just lovely.

Sane tip: Bring some wheelies along and let the kids loose in the beautiful gardens. Will do that when I take the whole bunch of them here the next time! Parking is right outside Food for Thought.

Save tip: Early bird special (8-10am) – Chicken laksa or Mee rebus @ $5, add coffee/tea for an extra $1

Food for Thought
Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road (Tanglin Gate)
Singapore 259569
Tel: 64791080

Opening hours:
Daily: 8am – 9pm

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Maki San: Sushi @ The Cathay

#1 mentioned to me some time ago that there is a cool sushi place which is popular with the teens. You get to pick and choose the type of filling you want to put in your sushi. Sounds great to me, as the kids enjoy such fun food places.

So here’s how it works.

Step 1: Take a sheet of menu list which is placed right there at the glass display. See it? Yup, the purple list is for Sushi and the green list is for Salad. The kids went to take a look at the ingredients to decide what appealed to them.

Step 2: Tick all your selections. You get to choose the Wrap (Traditional Nori or Healthy Soy – extra $1), the Essentials (fillings), Specials (meat or fish, optional), Sprinkles (chicken floss, sesame seeds, tempura crunch etc), and Sauces (yuzu sesame, teriyaki, wasabi mayo etc).

Step 3: Queue and pay. That’s it!

They had a wide selection of Essentials to choose from such as zucchini, mushroom, tamagoyaki (japanese omelette), corn, avocado, tuna mayo, crab stick, ebiko and more.

The kids stood and watched their sushi being rolled on the spot. They were placed in such pretty boxes. The kids couldn’t wait to open them! The japanese sure know all about presentation. Half the battle won, when it comes to kids and food.

Irresistible parcels

For the Little San ($7.90), you get a choice of 3 Essentials + 1 Sprinkle + 1 sauce. For the Mega San ($9.90), it includes 5 Essentials + 1 Special + 1 Sprinkle + 1 sauce.

Mega San $9.90

I tried the soy wrap with brown rice. Not bad for a change. The only gripe we had was that we didn’t quite like the sauces. Next time we would probably skip the sauces. Besides sushi, they also have salads from $7.90 to $11.90. For the base, you can choose from mixed veggies, cold pasta, brown rice, cold soba or sweet potato noodles.

Healthy version for mummy

The crowd seemed to be mainly young people. Made me feel young too! The sitting area is not that big and might get crowded during mealtimes on the weekends.

Tucking into their own creations

Sane tip: We had a very enjoyable dining experience and they were more than eager to finish their very own sushi rolls. It also gave me some ideas for new ingredients for our DIY sushi nights at home.

Save tip: #5 couldn’t finish his Little San. If your kids are not big eaters, 2 can probably share a Mega San.

Maki San
2 Handy Road #B1-17
The Cathay

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Starz Restaurant – Hard Rock Hotel

We started off the June holidays with a family dinner at Starz Restaurant at RWS. They are currently having a kids eat free promotion which is just perfect for us.

Sushi selection

They have a Japanese section with an assortment of sushi for the kids and salmon and tuna sashimi for the adults.

The kids were really happy with the spread of food, and even #5 who is a picky eater ate a lot. He had the pasta, chicken rice, roti prata, mushroom soup and potato wedges.

Kate loved trying out all the different food and she fed herself for 2 whole hours! She was in such a good mood that she said hi to every waitress who came by to clear our plates.
Pasta, corn, veggies, meat

She even said hi to the people sitting at the next table and struck up a conversation with them. She kept saying “Nice?” and nodding her head enthusiastically. They found her so adorable that they entertained her and made her laugh.

“Good meal right?”

The chicken curry was really quite good, especially when eaten with the prata.

Chicken curry

For the adults, they have fresh oysters, fresh prawns, clams and mussels at the cold section.

Seasonal oysters

The local selection included items like sliced fish, prawns, pandan chicken, otak otak, laksa and drunken prawns in herbal soup. They also had a small salad section.

Prawns and sliced fish

The dessert corner…

Assorted cakes

What we really liked was the gelato. I normally don’t eat ice cream at buffets, but the kids kept saying it was really good so I tried the yam, green tea and apple flavours. Yup, I’d have to agree the kids are right!

Homemade gelato
Cheese section

The last time we came here was 1 year ago when they had this same promotion. This round, when we were deciding where to eat, this was one of the options I gave them and it was a unanimous decision. The strange thing was, they all remembered it as the hotel buffet with the very posh toilet! Somehow, they really liked the cool and adultish vibe of this place and they had very good memories of it.

Outside the restrooms

#1 actually had her ‘O’ levels chinese paper the next day, so she was busy revising. The amazing thing about her is that she can study anywhere. Some friends were telling me how impressed they were with her because during her PSLE days, our house would be filled with many neighbourhood kids yet she could concentrate even with all that noise and activity going on around her.

Chillaxing to digest all that food…

My verdict? The selection is not huge like in some buffets, but it is definitely sufficient to feed even the fussy eaters. Considering it is a buffet, the standard of the food is quite good. But what I felt was worth the money was the whole dining experience. Don’t ask me exactly why, but the kids just love this place and they were laughing and enjoying themselves the whole time.

“Awesome meal!”
Located at the lobby of Hard Rock Hotel
Sane tip: Kate really loves eating out with the whole family, especially if it’s a buffet. She was busy trying a little bit of everything and I even managed to enjoy a leisurely dinner.

Save tip: Kids Dine Free promotion: Up to 4 kids aged 4-12 years old dines free with every 2 paying guests. I was informed that this promotion should last till at least August 2014. Without the promotion, I really don’t think it’s worth the price, but since the kids get to eat for free, we’ll definitely be back to try the high tea!

Starz Restaurant
Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Lobby
Resorts World Sentosa

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Cafe Melba @ Mountbatten

Took our mum out for dinner with my siblings over the mother’s day weekend. I wanted a place where the food had enough variety to suit both the kids and the grandparents and where the kids could stretch their legs. This place fits the bill, and I just love the laid-back ambience.

Indoor and outdoor seating available

There was a little gravel-filled pit which the kids all seemed to be poking straws into. Kate was obviously having a great time imitating the older kids.

Gravel-filled pit

As it was a weekend, they had 2 little jumping castles to keep the kids entertained.

Best suited for those under 8

Their food was decent, with a selection of mains, pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and salads. They also have a kids menu priced at $15 each, inclusive of a drink. The kids said that the truffle fries ($13) here are one of the best they have ever eaten. And yes, they have eaten a lot of truffle fries.

Peperoni pizza $18

They also have fusion dishes like this crayfish pasta, and we also tried their beef rending. While the standard of their food was nothing to shout about, at least they were very accommodating with the needs of the old folks and our requests to remove certain ingredients were accepted readily.

Crayfish linguini $27

I couldn’t resist ordering from their All day breakfast menu.

Eggs benedict $20

Sane tip: Love this little gem of a place tucked away at the Goodman Arts Centre. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed, parking was easy, and the kids had lots to occupy themselves with after dinner.

Save tip: The prices are actually a little above average, compared to similar cafes.

Cafe Melba
90 Goodman Road
Goodman Arts Centre
Block N #01-56
Singapore 439053
Tel: 64406068

Operating hours:
Mon – Fri: 10am – 10pm
Sat / Sun: 8am – 10pm

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Brewerkz @ Riverside point

I used to think that Brewerkz was only for the guys to hang out and have their fill of beer, but having had a meal there, I discovered that it is a very family-friendly place. Good food, great chillax ambience, and there’s something to please everyone. They dish up good, hearty, western food, and their menu is comprehensive enough to cater to even the fussiest eaters.
Pork Knuckle $34, Truffle fries $11

You can choose from a variety of sides to go with your main meal. The kids loved the truffle fries which meant I had the sweet potato fries mostly to myself. Yum!

Rib-eye with Sweet potato fries $44

The kids don’t normally eat burgers, but they saw some other diners relishing their burgers and they felt like being very ‘western’ so they ordered a Cowboy burger. Utterly satisfying.

Cowboy burger with Onion rings $24
Meat lovers pizza $23

#5 is the only one still keen on eating ‘Kids’ meals’ so he ordered a Fish & chips. The kid’s meals come with a drink and a scoop of ice-cream. 

Kids Fish & Chips $15

They provide an activity sheet and crayons to keep the kids busy before the food arrives.

Kate had a swell time as she seldom gets to accompany us out for dinner. Brewerkz opens from noon till late, so we were able to have an earlier dinner which suits us perfectly.
Can’t smile yet.. mouth full
It was really lovely and breezy dining by the riverside. Somehow it felt like we were elsewhere on a family vacation.
Alfresco dining

After the kids had their fill, they had ample space to stretch their legs while the adults carried on enjoying the leisurely meal.

Riverside fun
Boat watching

The daddies are definitely spoilt for choice with a wide range of beers here at Singapore’s oldest microbrewery. Their top 3 best-selling beers are Golden Ale, Pilsner and IPA.

Mind-boggling array of beer

Beer prices depend on the hour

Their riverside point outlet is a massive 500 seater restaurant which easily accommodates parties and private functions.

Indoor or outdoor seating available

Sane tip: We had a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience, courtesy of Brewerkz. Will definitely be back!

Save tip: Beer prices are tiered, with the cheapest between the hours of 12-3pm. Next tier is between 3-6pm. Also watch out for happy hour, beer of the week goes at a cool price of $5.

Disclaimer: Brewerkz sponsored our meal. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Imperial Treasure @ Asia Square

We love having dim sum as it’s just so family-friendly. Everything is in bite sizes, we can order a lot of different dishes to suit everybody, and there’s always something that Kate can eat. A family friend invited us for lunch at the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck restaurant over at their Asia Square branch. I have to say that this is probably one of the best dim sum places in Singapore.

Prawn Cheong Fun
Har Kao (shrimp dumpling)
Chicken feet
Pan fried carrot cake
Glutinous rice
#2 asked what kind of bun is this? And #4 immediately replied, “Oh, the char siew bun that we kept eating in hong kong, which was supposedly the best in the world”.
Baked char siew bun

This restaurant is more spacious than those in town so it feels more comfortable and there isn’t a din like in most cramped chinese restaurants.

“Huh, more food!”

Kate had enough, so she kept herself entertained with a ziplock bag and her face towel.

Put in, take out, put in, take out
Sane tip: We like to lunch out with my parents on weekends especially when the helper is off, but we really dislike the crowds in the shopping malls. This place is perfect! The food is good, there’s ample car park space and the rest of the building is virtually a ghost town on weekends as it’s in the Marina Bay financial district. And because it’s not in the malls, we don’t have to end up ‘accidentally’ shopping, which the hubs is really great at doing.

Save tip: We don’t know what the bill came to, but I guess we’ll have to leave this place for special occasions as I’m sure it’s not cheap! Next time, perhaps we will try the peking duck…

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~