Big family gatherings can get stressful enough, with all the logistics and planning involved to get everyone together. But we still do it anyway, because as we get older, it’s often a rare chance to get the whole family together for a hearty meal.
If you’re looking for places that are great for a communal meal, take a look at our pick of 10 family dinner spots that’ll impress your parents. You can also easily save and view this list of places on TripAdvisor here.
When you think of family dinners, I’m sure you’ll think of hotpot as an option. If you’re looking for somewhere other than the usual hotpot spots, head over to Xiao Long Kan 小龙坎老火锅.
Stepping into the Bugis outlet felt like I was transported to a hotpot restaurant in China. From the seating to the hanging lanterns and partition designs, the interior set the mood for authentic Cheng Du cuisine.
With a wide selection of soup bases to choose from, it can be hard to decide on just one. I’d recommend getting the 三味奔驰锅, which comes with three soup bases. We tried the Traditional Spicy Soup 牛油红锅, Mushroom & Butter 菌汤牛油, and the Tomato & Butter 番茄牛油. My personal favourite was the spicy option, but that’s just because I love all things spicy.
Some of their must-try dishes include the Pork Meatball With Rose 玫瑰圆子 (S$14/one serving, S$7/half serving), the Beef Tongue 澳洲牛舌 (S$20/one serving, S$10/half serving) and the Fresh Mutton Rolls 羊肉卷 (S$16/one serving, S$8/half serving).
Each pork meatball was served atop a single rose petal and had a lingering subtle floral scent. I loved how soft the meatball was too, which made them really easy to eat (and addictive!).
The beef tongue slices had a chewier texture than most meats we’re used to, but I quite liked the slight crunch and springy texture. I was pleasantly surprised that the beef tongue wasn’t gamey at all, which makes it good for people who don’t really like gamey meats.
The mutton rolls are a staple of any premium hotpot place, and I liked that they were really fresh too. Sliced very thinly, each piece was easy to chew and swallow.
With a menu this extensive to order from, you’ll need to bring your family back multiple times to try all of their signature dishes.
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$50 per pax
Taiwan’s a pretty popular travel destination for Singaporeans, so I’m always surprised there aren’t that many places with good Taiwanese cuisine. Lu Ding Ji 卤鼎记, however, definitely makes the cut.
Located near Decathalon in Bedok, this newly-opened Taiwanese eatery offers comfort food that evokes homeliness. Perfect for those days when your family wants to dine out.
Taiwan’s famous for their lu rou fan (minced meat rice), so get a bowl or two to share with your family.
I particularly liked the Jumbo Bowl 巨大碗 (S$12.50) and the Super Bowl 超级碗 (S$22.50), both of which comes with a braised hard-boiled egg. We only tried the tasting portions to save stomach space for other dishes, but they actually come in much bigger portions.
Instead of minced meat, the Jumbo Bowl comes with pork belly cubes and chicken slices, and was drenched with customary dark sauce. Sinfully fatty, the pork belly was tender and full of umami flavour.
The Super Bowl also replaces the usual minced meat with kurobuta pork and wagyu beef slices, making for a decadent and delicious bowl. Well-marbled, the melt-in-mouth beef slices were my favourite part of the dish.
You can also share a fried food platter with your family, so try the Golden Platter For 4 四人份黄金拼盘 (S$24.50). We also got a smaller tasting portion, so rest assured that the actual platter is massive.
With calamari rings, tempura prawns, a chicken cutlet, a pork cutlet, crinkle cut fries, onion rings and sweet potato fries, this is sure to fill your bellies.
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$20 per pax
If your family is tired of the same ol’ Chinese zi char or restaurants, why not try Alijiang Silk Road Cuisine 阿里疆丝绸美食? Located in VivoCity with a stunning view of Sentosa across the water, this Northern Chinese restaurant focuses on cuisines which originated along the ancient Silk Road (丝绸之路).
I liked how the dining space was spacious and lavishly decorated; I certainly felt like a VIP just walking down the restaurant aisle. Their dining concept encourages plate sharing, so order a few of their signature dishes and get ready for a feast.
With such a sumptuous spread, I hardly knew where to start. But after nibbling on a bit of each dish, my favourites were the Alijiang Cane Pepper Chicken 阿里疆辣麻鸡 (配面) (S$26), the Alijiang Hand-Shred Mutton 东乡手抓肉 (S$38/small, S$68/large) and the Alijiang Grilled Lamb In Cage 阿里疆架子肉 (S$42).
The Alijiang Cane Pepper Chicken had a lovely spicy kick and a lingering heat, and I especially enjoyed how tender the chicken chunks were. The spice was similar to the kind you find in mala xiang guo, but slightly sharper with a sweet finish. It was really addictive!
Served on hanging skewers, the lamb meat in the Alijiang Grilled Lamb In Cage had a slight char, just enough to crisp the skin while the insides remained tender and juicy.
Although the Alijiang Hand-Shred Mutton may look plain, this was one of the best mutton dishes I’ve tried. Each piece had a good fat-to-meat ratio and was cooked so tender that it simply melted in my mouth.
With all the unique dishes here at Alijiang, it’ll be an interesting dining experience for your family. Their extensive menu definitely warrants a second or even third visit!
Psst, our readers can look forward to 15% off on food items daily until 31 July 2019. Simply quote SETHLUI15 in the ‘Special Requests’ section when you book on Quandoo!
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$50 per pax
4. The Boiler
At this multi-award-winning Southern American seafood joint, you’ll have to get your hands dirty for one of the best communal dining experiences in Singapore.
The Boiler’s new outlet at Esplanade Mall serves up fresh seafood done Cajun-style, and you can eat the seafood right off the table.
Their signature Boiler’s Bombdiggity Bag (S$149) comes with enough seafood to feed four people. It usually comes with Dungeness crab (900g – 1kg) though it wasn’t the season for them when we dined at the Boiler, so they replaced it with Sri Lankan crab (900g – 1kg) instead.
The seafood bag also consists of prawns, mussels, clams, sausages, corn on the cob and buns. I really liked their signature sauce, The Works (Mild, Medium, Ragin’ Hot), though the Garlic Butter was a close second. I was really impressed by how fresh every ingredient was, so you can rest assured that you’re getting your money’s worth.
If you’re still hungry after all that, you can also try the Grilled Lobster (S$29.90 for half, S$58 for whole lobster). Flame-grilled with caramelised black sauce, the dish has a perfect balance of smokiness with a tinge of spiciness. The whole grilled lobster also comes with crisp potato skins with a cheese dip and coleslaw.
I loved the smoky notes from the slight char, which complemented the sweet lobster meat. Definitely a dish I’d keep for myself (sorry Mum and Dad, you’ll have to order your own).
Bring your family to The Boiler for a scrumptious seafood spread that’s well worth the price!
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$60 per pax
When you think of family dinners, you’ll think of seafood restaurants. And hopefully, you’ll think of Yi Jia South Village Seafood Restaurant 一家南村海鲜 at Macpherson.
The laidback ambience makes the restaurant feel like a homely neighbourhood eatery, and the affordable prices means you can dine here quite often.
Try the Live Mussels 活大头 (Seasonal Prices), and you won’t be able to stop yourself from popping more of these plump and juicy morsels. Steamed with soy sauce and garlic, this simple dish is fresh yet flavourful. Pair it with a refreshing cold beer for maximum enjoyment!
Another good dish to order is the Beancurd With Preserved Vegetables 家乡自制豆腐 (S$10/small, S$16/medium, S$20/large). Smooth with a crisp thin crust, the chye poh (preserved vegetables) isn’t too heavy on the palate so you won’t feel too jelak or that it’s too salty.
Get the Steamboat Fish Head 鱼头炉 (S$30/small, S$40/medium, S$48/large) to share, if you enjoy the fattier parts when eating fish. It comes with a selection of greens, tofu and more, so you’ll be having a balanced meal.
Expected Damage: S$20 – S$40 per pax
6. Le Xiao Chu 樂小厨
If there’s one thing Singaporeans love for communal dining, it’s zi char. No need for anything fancy, what we want the most is unpretentious good food, like the kind Le Xiao Chu 樂小厨 offers.
Besides their original outlet in Balestier, they’re also opening a new one in Jurong.
You’ll have to try their three signature dishes: the Seafood Claypot Porridge 海鲜砂锅粥 (from S$5/100g), White Bee Hoon 白米粉 (from S$8) and XO Crab Soup Bee Hoon XO 螃蟹米粉汤 (Seasonal Prices).
For the Seafood Claypot Porridge, you can choose from a wide selection of ingredients to add on. Aside from basic meats like Chicken (S$8/100g) to more premium ones like Prawns (S$25/250g, S$45/500g) and Scallop (S$25/250g, S$45/500g), you can even add Fish Maw (S$6/100g), Sea Cucumber (S$10/100g) and more. Of course, don’t forget the Live Crab (S$S$9/100g) and Live Lobster (S$16/100g)!
Similarly, you can choose from Seafood White Bee Hoon (S$8/small, S$12/medium, S$18/large), Lala White Bee Hoon (S$12/small, S$18/medium, S$25/large) or Crayfish White Bee Hoon (S$16/small, S$28/medium, S$32/large).
If it’s a special occasion, you can splurge on the XO Crab Soup Bee Hoon too! I’m sure your family would be more than happy with such a sumptuous spread.
Expected Damage: S$20 – S$50 per pax
Le Xiao Chu 樂小厨: 457 Balestier Road, Singapore 329833 | Tel: +65 6265 3863 | Opening Hours: 11am – 4.30am (Daily) | 20 Boon Lay Way, #01-98, Tradehub 21, Singapore 609967 | Facebook
You don’t always have to break the bank to enjoy a feast with your family. At Noodle Thai Thai Kitchen, delicious dishes start from as low as S$6, but they’re sure to fill your belly. The restaurant is no stranger to positive customer reviews, and you can find out for yourself just how good their food quality is.
If you’re around Beach Road, bring your family to this Thai restaurant for an affordable and scrumptious meal.
Treat yourself (and your loved ones) to a seafood spread with the Thai Thai White Curry Seafood 泰式海鲜白咖喱 (S$29). This platter comes with plump prawns, squid, fish and more, so you know you’re in for a lip-smacking good time.
The Thai Style Steamed Squid With Spicy Limy Seafood Sauce (S$16/small, S$26/big) is another must-try for seafood lovers. With a hint of zest from their special seafood sauce that also packs a spicy kick, you’ll find yourself going back for more of this soft and springy squid.
Be sure to try their Signature Jade Noodle 泰国玉面 — you can have it with Basil Minced Chicken/Pork 九层塔鸡/猪肉 (S$6.90/small, S$8.90/big), Basil Fresh Tuna Cube (S$9.90/small, S$11.90/big), or even with a slab of Double Grilled Chicken (S$6.90/small, S$8.90/big).
Take things up a notch with the same emerald noodles, but with clams. Their Signature Jade Noodle Claypot Flower Clam (Lala) (S$12.90) is a little spicy, but the plump clams and the fragrant sauce will have you coming back for more.
Finish your meal with the customary Thai dessert, Organic Sticky Rice With Thai Honey Mango (S$7.90/small, S$10.90/big). With bright yellow hues from the mango, and both white and purple sticky rice, this dessert is a feast for the eyes and tastebuds.
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$25 per pax
Enjoy your meal with a view at City Hot Pot 旺炉 Shabu Shabu, located in the heart of Singapore’s CBD. This local hotpot brand is great for tourists who want to try out local food, or for a relaxed dinner with your family.
Marvel at the stunning view of the CBD from the restaurant, thanks to its location on Level 4 with floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
If you’re here with your family, definitely try the signature soup bases (from S$5.99, +S$1 for Double Soup Base): Fish Soup With Milk 牛奶鱼汤, Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶汤 (+S$2) and Prawn Soup 大虾汤 (+S$3). They offer sets for two pax starting from S$50.99, and sets for four starting from S$110.99.
The restaurant is famous for its delicious Wagyu Ribeye Set 和牛肋眼锅 (S$49.99), which comes with one set of soup, a vegetable platter, a staple like rice or noodles, and sauces.
And like most hotpot places, you can also add on a la carte ingredients starting from S$0.99. They have the usual Meat Dumplings 鲜肉水饺 (S$3.99 for 4 pcs), Fish Balls 鱼丸 (S$3.99 for 4 pcs) and more. But they also offer more premium a la carte ingredients like US Black Angus Short Rib 美国安格斯牛小排 (S$19.99 per piece) and Wagyu Chuck Eye Roll 和牛霜降牛 (S$15.99 per piece).
They even serve up Lobster 龙虾 for S$58.99! Talk about a luxurious meal.
Expected Damage: S$25 – S$50 per pax
Family restaurants don’t always have to mean Chinese fare, as Trattoria Amanda will show you.
This homely Italian restaurant on Stanley Street is sure to bring your family back in time to the Italian eateries in the ‘90s. It almost feels like a cosy neighbourhood family-run dining spot.
Their Sauteed Linguine Vongole With White Wine Sauce (S$26) is a must-try, with flavourful sauce and plump, juicy clams.
Families would love to share one of the 14 pizza varieties that they offer — from the classic Quattroformaggi (S$26) to all-new flavours like the light and aromatic Pistachio E Mortadella (S$26).
The Quattroformaggi is made with Chef Salvatore’s special blend of four unique Italian cheeses, which is also used as a sauce in the signature Amanda’s Cacio De Pepe (S$26), and topped with the world’s best kampot pepper.
You can even make it a family tradition, and head back every so often to try the pizza and pasta variations.
If your family is full of big eaters though, then give the Bistecca Alla Florentina (S$188 for 1kg) a try. This famous Italian classic T-bone steak is great for sharing and would go well with a few glasses of red wine.
Drop by on Saturdays, and young ones below 13 years old enjoy a free scoop of gelato!
Psst, if you’re planning for a special occasion (like a birthday celebration), why not have it right here at Trattoria Amanda? They offer degustation menus and buffet lines, so there’s something for everyone.
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$50 per pax
Fragrant Garden 馨香园 serves up the kind of old school Teochew cuisine you’d expect to find on the occasions your grandma whips up a feast.
Located in Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, this hidden gem of a restaurant used to be a humble zi char stall in Geyland Serai village.
When we talk about Teochew dishes, the Steamed Pomfret In Teochew Style 潮式蒸 is a must-try. Soft, flaky and flavourful, this fish dish is great for sharing too. You should also get their signature Fragrant’s Stuffed Cucumber 荷包海参 too, though it might not be for everyone.
Alternatively, the Teochew Cold Crab 潮式冻蟹 featuring roe crabs is a good bet for seafood lovers too.
The Pork Jelly 冻肉 is something more unique, which takes a few hours of slow cooking to achieve. You shouldn’t miss traditional favourites like the Braised Duck In Teochew Style 潮式卤鸭 either!
Finish off the meal with the popular dessert, Yam Paste 福果芋泥 — it comes with gingko nuts, pumpkin and optional shallots.
Expected Damage: S$20 – S$40 per pax
There’s no better way to show appreciation for your family, than by bringing them out for a good meal.
With such a big group, it’s easier to make a reservation via Quandoo to make sure that there’ll be enough seats for all.
If you have a dinner planned, use our promo code 1000SETHLUI (valid until 30 November 2019) to earn 1000 Quandoo loyalty points. You can redeem the points for a S$15 cashback directly into your bank account during your next successful reservation.
Show your love today and bring your family out for a nice meal — what’s your favourite family dinner spot?
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Quandoo