Welcome to Family Fun Friday! Every FRIDAY, I will recommend a FUN place / activity for families. And at the end of the post, you will find a linky with Family Fun posts from other bloggers. If you have Family Fun recommendations, feel free to add your link at the bottom of the post!
This week, I am super excited to share with you this new eatery at Sembawang Shopping Centre, La Pastificio.
After waiting for don’t-know-how-long, there is FINALLY an eatery with play area up here in the North!
La Pastificio Kids Play Area
This small play area at the entrance of the cafe attracted a lot of attention from passers-by. It was located right smack next to the main entrance of Sembawang Shopping Centre.
When my hubby saw it, he was like, “Huh, so small. You sure you want to go in?” But before the daddy gave his approval, the kids were squealing, “Playground! Playground!”. They dashed in, removed their shoes and started playing. Kids their age don’t care whether it’s just a small cooking set or a gigantic ball pit. To them, play is play. And I don’t care either. I am on a mission to visit all the eateries with play areas in Singapore. Even if it turns out to be absolutely terrible, the money I paid for the visit is still money well-spent. Because I save my friends and readers from going through the same miserable experience.
Alright, back to the play area at La Pastificio! The centre of attention, as far as boys were concerned, was the small train track.
I didn’t think there was anything to rave about, since the boys had tracks, complete with THOMAS trains, at home. But they seemed pretty elated because the trains here were ‘Spiderman trains’ and ‘Bumble Bee trains’.
And then there was the bead chaser. For some reason, restaurants seem to think bead chasers are the most awesome toy to be included. (Think Buffet Town, Fika, Ju Shin Jung, Royals Cafe, ToTT.. You get the drift.)
You would think a 4 year old would have outgrown bead chasers. Apparently not.
And the kitchen set. Yes, always a winner.
Especially when it is so new that the lights still work. And that plastic covering hasn’t even been removed!
The play area may not be big, but I have seen smaller. It was enough to keep kids entertained long enough for a quick casual meal. The restaurant was very new and naturally everything looked pretty well-maintained for now. Stuff like kitchen sets, trains and tracks can be extremely difficult to maintain, so let’s see if it will remain so neat and clean.
The one thing I was not very happy with was that they allowed children who were not dining there in to play. There was a family who was dining at Burger King next doors and their 3 kids ran over to play while the adults continued sitting and eating at Burger King. I raised this up to the staff and he told me they weren’t very strict about it if the restaurant was not crowded. But they will stop the kids from coming to play if the restaurant was packed.
Now, they might not have a problem with this, but I do. You see, MY was playing with Bumble Bee trains when Burger King boys came over. One of the Burger King Boys started playing with Spider Man trains and the other two DEMANDED 2 year old MY to hand over Bumble Bee trains to let them play. MY retreated and ran to my side. But the 2 Burger King boys continued to pursue him to our table, and in front of me, tugged at MY’s hands to ask him to give them the train. I go to playgrounds A LOT and I know squabbles like these are inevitable. I usually do not tell other people’s kids what to do, because by this time, both sides’ parents would have stepped in to mediate. But Burger King boys’ parents were… at Burger King. Oblivious to anything happening at La Pastificio. It was only at this point that a staff (not the one I spoke to earlier, another staff) came over and told Burger King boys to stop harassing MY and that they were not supposed to be playing there.
The other reason I was not happy with the policy of allowing non-patrons to just come in and play is really none of my business. I told the staff (the first one), look, if you just allow kids to run in and out like that, very soon one of them would run off with a toy. The staff told me confidently that they were keeping a close watch on the play area to ensure this doesn’t happen. Personally, I felt he was too gullible. If indoor playgrounds with staff manning the exits can have their trains stolen, what makes them think they can safeguard their toys? And while serving the diners at the same time? But like I said, it was none of my business. If the toy gets stolen, it’s their loss. They would have to spend the money to replace them. If they don’t replace them, they will lose customers. Period. I have given my feedback, up to them what they want to do.
La Pastificio Food and Menu
Here is their ala-carte menu. Sorry for the grainy photos! The kid came over and pressed some keys on my laptop while I was editing the photos and the photos all ended up grainy.
Please note that they charge GST but no service charge.
Speaking of which, hellooooo, update your website please? At point of writing this post, the website says “we charge NO GST and NO SERVICE CHARGES”.
I ordered a grilled chicken with mushroom sauce and iced latte.
For the chicken, I felt they needed to work on the presentation. When the plate was placed in front of me, my first impression was that it looked like those chicken chop I get from coffee shop Western food stalls. But taste wise, it was surprisingly good! And that iced latte, one look can tell it was too diluted – too much milk, too little coffee. Reminded me of Meiji Coffee flavoured milk. I need my caffeine!
They had some cakes, but earlier that day, Nat and I just shared 4 slices of cakes (which is a story for another time), so I passed. Here’s a photo to show you the selection available and pricing.
What I liked most about La Pastificio was that the condiments, utensils and WATER was there for customers to help themselves to. So many eateries these days are charging for water. I was super happy to have free flow of water without feeling paiseh to ask waiters to keep replenishing my cup.
I think most parents in the North would rejoice over having a family-friendly eatery here at last. As unhappy as I am over their policy of allowing non-patrons to use the play area, having a play area is still better than none. The food was quite nice and reasonably priced. And water was free. So this is one eatery that I would return to.
Address: Sembawang Shopping Centre #02-20A,
604 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758459
Getting There: Free shuttle service available from Sembawang MRT.
Available 10.00am – 10.00pm daily
Average 20 mins interval
Tel: +65 9882 5166
Opening hours: 10:30AM – 9:30PM Daily
My Singapore Eateries with Play Area Page
Looking for more eateries with play areas? Visit my Singapore Eateries with Play Areas Page!
Hope you enjoyed this week’s Family Fun Friday sharing! Check out the blog posts in the Family Fun Friday linky below for more great activities for the family, or add your post if you have a FUN family activity to share!
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