Family-friendly restaurants serving different Asian cuisines

Expand your cutie’s horizons ― take her on a gastronomic journey around Asia at these kid-friendly eateries!

1. TSUTA

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9 Scotts Road, #01-01 Pacific Plaza, 6734-4886
11am to 10pm, daily

If your noodle-loving kiddo is still on the fence about ramen because he doesn’t like the strong-tasting broth, then a trip to Tsuta might just change his mind. The world’s-only Michelin-starred ramen eatery set up shop on our shores (the first out of Japan) some three months back to much fanfare ― and long, long queues.

This 18-seater open-concept outlet serves only two ramen flavours ― the richer shoyu (infused with black truffle) and the thin yet tasty shio broth (a chicken-seafood blend). The latter might sit better with your mini-me because it’s lighter in flavour, although it’s a tad on the saltier side, thanks to the addition of Okinawan sea salt and Mongolian rock salt. Order the shoyu for yourself if you’re a truffle lover or want to compare broth bases.

Both types of ramen come with springy handmade whole-wheat and whole-grain noodles. Each bowl is then topped with thick, succulent char siew slices, thin slivers of braised bamboo shoots, plus an onsen egg hiding some gooey goodness ( just imagine junior’s eyes lighting up with excitement at this!).

Prices range from $15 to $22.80, and orders are made via an electronic payment booth before you take your seat.

To top this experience, your little fella may actually sit this close to the chefs and take in all the backend ramen-making action in real time. Who knows? This might even inspire him to be the next MasterChef!

2. SAIGON ALLEY

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Novena Gardens, 273 Thomson Road, 6256-0261
Open from Monday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 2.30pm (lunch), and 6pm to 11pm (dinner).

Don’t let the nondescript exterior fool you because once you enter this cosy 40-seater eatery that shares space with Nickeldime Drafthouse, you’ll find that Saigon Alley serves rather delightful home-style Vietnamese dishes redolent with fragrant herbs like mint and coriander.

Order the appetite-whetting Northern Vietnamese Beef Salad ($12++) ― the tart and strong flavours of greens like basil, laksa, coriander and spearmint is the perfect accompaniment to the pink and tender meat.

If no Vietnamese meal is complete without pho, Saigon Alley has a pretty decent beef or chicken Pho Bo ($14++). Painstakingly boiled for 8 hours, the broth is rich and flavourful ― they even offer a vegetarian version for non-meat eaters.

Kids will love the Banh Mi ($10++), a crusty baguette filled with chicken liver paté, pan-fried sliced pork, and pork sausage, among other ingredients. Feeling peckish? There are loads of options here ― from the Lot Leaf Beef Rolls ($10++), to sweet and juicy Roasted Chicken with Vietnamese fish sauce ($12++)

Round off the hearty meal with Fried Banana with Ice Cream ($5), reminiscent of our goreng pisang, plus some strong Vietnamese coffee ($5.50++). Ahhh… bliss!

Up next, succulent Hong Kong roast meats, plus classic local dishes with a twist.