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Kids eat in style

Children have more than just nuggets and fries options when they eat out, with restaurants introducing fancy dishes for them

Forget run-of-the-mill children's meal options such as chicken nuggets, fish and chips and spaghetti Bolognese.

Fine-dining restaurants and casual eateries here are making an effort to wow kids by serving beautifully plated, uncommon dishes for the little ones.

Think four-course meals, build- your-own burgers, deconstructed Caesar salads and more.

In March, French restaurant Saint Pierre at One Fullerton launched a four-course children's menu created by chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant. The "Flora and Fauna" menu costs $85 a child and is meant to introduce kids to the joy of dining through four taste profiles - salty, sour, sweet and bitter.

For its current menu, the meal begins with a "salty" appetiser of langoustine. It then moves on to a "sour" crispy stuffed purple artichoke. Next up is a "sweet" grilled lobster ravioli. The meal ends with a "bitter" manjari chocolate sphere.

Another fine-dining establishment, Lewin Terrace at Fort Canning Hill, found success with its three-course kids' lunch menu launched in June. So the Japanese- French restaurant decided earlier this month to make it a permanent offering on weekends.

For $20++, little diners get a soup, a main course and a dessert.

The dishes change every month and current options include sweet potato soup and sauteed seabream with cream sauce and vegetables.

Both Lewin Terrace and Saint Pierre serve kids using fine cutlery and glassware.

Other establishments engage children with interactive and colourful dishes that make eating fun.

At Cook & Brew at The Westin Singapore at Asia Square Tower 2, kids are treated to "make your own" menu options such as Build Your Own Granola Parfait using Greek yogurt, organic granola and berries.

Asian fusion restaurant Froth at Ascott Raffles Place, too, offers a children's menu with do-it-yourself options and incorporates food art into some of the children's dishes.

One of these is the Noodle Nest, where two hard-boiled eggs are fashioned to look like birds and perched on a "nest" of buckwheat soba noodles. Froth's marketing manager Sharon Lin says the dish is popular with children.

Restaurateurs say their efforts in sprucing up their kids' menus have yielded positive results.

Eatery OverEasy, which has two outlets - at Liat Towers and One Fullerton - introduced a kids' menu in March, with dishes such as waffles and breaded wings with maple syrup and whipped honey butter.

A spokesman for The Lo & Behold Group, which runs OverEasy, says there has been an "increase of 10 to 15 per cent patronage".

Ms Tina Tan, owner of Hock Lam Beef, says its kids' offerings have increased the footfall to her two outlets on weekends. The children's items come in smaller portions and with a bottle of probiotic drink Yakult each.

Other restaurants are starting to recognise that an attractive kids' menu can help to draw more diners.

In a nod to that, District 10 Bar & Restaurant will roll out a revamped kids' menu in November, with new dishes.

Freelance writer Mabel Lee, 29, took her two children, aged six and four, to Froth last month. She says they had a great time with their dishes, one of which was called Volcano Mash.

"They poured sauce into the depression in the mashed potato, which gave the impression of a volcano erupting," she says. "They loved that they could play with their food."

Diner Yasmine Falbo, who is nine, "couldn't get over the presentation of all the dishes" at Saint Pierre.

"The dishes were so beautiful and delicate," she says, adding that one of her favourite dishes was the chocolate dessert.

"I'm a choco-holic," she declares.


On the menu for children

SAINT PIERRE

What: A four-course "Flora and Fauna" kids' meal ($85 a child) that encompasses the four tastes of salty, sour, sweet and bitter.

Where: 02-02B One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road

Open: 11.30am to 3pm, last order at 2pm (Tuesday to Friday); 6 to 11pm, last order at 9.30pm (Monday to Saturday); closed on Sunday

Info: E-mail info@saintpierre.com.sg

LEWIN TERRACE

What: A three-course lunch which includes a soup, a main course (fish, chicken or pasta) and a scoop of ice cream for $20++. Price includes a juice or soft drink.

Where: 21 Lewin Terrace

Open: The kids' menu is available only on weekends, 11.30am to 2.30pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Info: Call 6333-9905

FROTH

What:Three options, at $8.90++ each: Burger Builder, build your own burger with chicken breast, lettuce and tomatoes and served with fries; Noodle Nest, soba noodles with hard-boiled egg and broccoli; and Volcano Mash, mashed potato, chicken bratwurst, carrot wedges and broccoli.

Where: Level 2, Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, 2 Finlayson Green

Open: 11.30am to 10pm (Monday to Saturday); 11.30am to 5pm (Sunday)

Info: Call 6336-1228

LONG CHIM

What: For $15++, kids get a main, a dessert and a beverage of choice.

Mains are Thai street-food dishes such as grilled chicken with sweet chilli sauce and chicken and rice noodles with Chinese broccoli and pork. Dessert choices are mango sticky rice or banana roti. Beverage options include juices and soft drinks.

Where: L2-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Level 2 Dining, 10 Bayfront Avenue

Open: Noon to 11pm daily, last seating at 10.30pm

Info: E-mail reservations@longchim.sg

TANJONG BEACH CLUB

What: A range of savoury and sweet items, from $9.

Sweet items include doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and Nutella; a Sundae Funday of raspberry jelly, rice crispies, popcorn, mixed berry coulis; and vanilla and chocolate ice cream; and buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup.

Where: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk

Open: 11am to 10pm (Tuesday to Friday); 10am to 11pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holiday)

Info: E-mail book@tanjongbeachclub.com

OVEREASY

What: The kids' menu at both OverEasy outlets here has six items. Offerings include waffles and breaded wings with maple syrup and whipped honey butter ($14); and spaghetti and veal meatballs with organic tomato sauce ($14).

Where: 01-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road

Open: 11am to midnight (Monday to Thursday); 11 to 1am (Friday); 10 to 1am (Saturday); 10am to midnight (Sunday)

Info: E-mail orchard@overeasy.com.sg

Where: 01-06 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road

Open: 11.30am to 2.30pm (Tuesday to Friday), 5pm to 1am (Monday to Thursday); 5pm to 3am (Friday to Saturday)

Info: E-mail fullerton@overeasy.com.sg

COOK & BREW

What: A comprehensive kids' menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as drinks and dessert.

Breakfast highlights include blueberry and banana pancakes ($9); and a build-your- own granola parfait with Greek yogurt, organic granola and different types of berries ($9).

Lunch and dinner menu highlights are deconstructed Caesar salad ($14) and turkey sliders ($14), with grilled turkey, carrots, celery sticks and low-fat cranberry mayonnaise.

Where: Level 33, The Westin Singapore, Asia Square Tower 2, 12 Marina View

Open: 11am to midnight (Monday to Thursday); 11 to 1am (Friday); 5pm to midnight (Saturday); open for private events on Sunday

Info: E-mail cookandbrew. singapore@westin.com

HOCK LAM BEEF

What: Hock Lam beef noodle bowl with ribeye and brisket slices, a mantou and a bottle of Yakult ($5.90).

Where: 01-01 Far East Square, 22 China Street

Open: 9am to 9pm, last order at 8.30pm (Monday to Friday); 10am to 9pm, last order at 8.30pm (Saturday and Sunday and public holiday)

Info: Call 6220-9290

Where: 02-24, Alexandra Retail Centre, 460 Alexandra Road

Open: 10am to 9pm, last order at 8.30pm (Monday to Friday); 11am to 9pm, last order 8.30pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holiday)

Info: Call: 6272-9945

DISTRICT 10 BAR & RESTAURANT

What: A refreshed kids' menu to be rolled out in November will have new items such as peanut butter and jam waffles ($9).

Where: 01-15 UE Square Shopping Mall, 81 Clemenceau Avenue

Open: The kids' menu is available only during the restaurant's brunch hours from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holiday

Info: E-mail contact@district10.com.sg   

OPEN FARM COMMUNITY

What: Housemade pasta dishes such as strozzapreti with tomato sauce and fresh sweet basil ($19), and housemade chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream with sable cookies ($16).

Where: 130E Minden Road

Open: Noon to 4pm, 6 to 10pm (Monday to Friday); 11am to 4pm, 6 to 10pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holiday)

Info: E-mail enquiries@ofcsingapore.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 25, 2016, with the headline 'On the menu for children Kids eat in style'. Print Edition | Subscribe