One of the challenges families with young children face when looking for dining options is that there seem to be very few places where kids can be well-entertained and meaningfully occupied that free our minds to catch-up with each other or with our friends.
In fact, more often than not, children sometimes get unfairly chided(or frowned upon) for either being too boisterous in restaurants or being restless and running around (dangerous!). What happens next is that parents would whip up the smart devices to contain their children so that they do not become a nuisance to other diners and we can eat our meal in peace (we too are guilty of that, with a 22 month old active toddler). This hardly counts as socializing and defeats the purpose of a meal.
Recently, we found an answer to this dining dilemma: Timbre@Gillman.
What makes Timbre@Gillman different from other dining establishments is that they have introduced a thematic Saturday Social BBQ specially to cater to families! Every Saturday, Timbre@Gillman provide activities that are highly engaging, fun and does not cost any extra! Best of all, they station staff to take care of our kids while they play! Yes! During our visit last Saturday, these young minders were active, attentive and engaging. They were not only there to ensure that the activities went well but were also monitoring the safety of our kids; gently encouraging and having fun with the children present.
Talking about games and activities, the team at Timbre have it all planned out according to each month’s theme. From face painting, mask making to large bouncy castle and bouncy pirate ship – the iconic pirate ship bearing Timbre’s own mast no less! It was difficult to keep our kids on the table! The activities were held in big open field next to the restaurant where the kids can just run and roam freely, all within sight of parents. The theme for May is ‘Superheroes’ and it was fun to have parents and children dressed in cute Superheroes garb. Under the guidance of the art vendor hired by Timbre, Dana made a superhero mask out of felt material. We were impressed. It was Buddy’s first outing to Timbre and he enjoyed himself on the big bouncy castle. The younger kids were also captivated by the bubble play.
Food wise, the selection is largely Western fare – Pizzas, Pastas, Sandwiches, Salads, Sliders and of course, nicely grilled meats. The quality is consistent with Timbre’s brand: delicious, fresh and well-cooked. In fact, on Saturdays when the families are around, the open grill is moved out to the dining area for food to be prepared on the spot for all diners to see and quite honestly, having a grill there just adds that family-gathering relaxed feel! Excellent! Service there was prompt, friendly and personable (staff would come round often to top up our drinking water and clear the plates) – no mean feat for a venue teeming with families and kids. Honestly, it’s hard to find such sincere service anywhere else now.
As with any Timbre venue, there is a live band to add to the vibes. Since this is a family-oriented Saturday Social BBQ evening, the band ‘Unified’ played generally light contemporary pop, think Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Beatles etc. without the heavy beats.
The drum-set was replaced by a Cajon and the music set they played was mainly acoustic. This is really a thoughtful arrangement so that parents, friends and children can still engage in conversations without having the music drown everything out. What is even more fun is that music dedications can be made via SMS and children were invited to take the mic to belt out popular songs along with the band! Our daughter and her little friend Ewan (from A Million Little Echoes) were spontaneous enough to do just that!
We celebrated Angie’s birthday as well as Mothers’ Day that evening and we were not alone! There were other families there celebrating various occasions, everyone was just lapping up the cosy, laid-back atmosphere where personal space blends well with meaningful activities for the kids, allowing everyone to mingle with a peace of mind. Timbre@Gillman’s Saturday Social BBQ is a gem for families. We will definitely return!
Tips for Saturday Social BBQ
- Dress light and casual. The activities are held outdoors and parents who want to keep an eye on the kids would sit in the alfresco area, so some humidity is to be anticipated.
- Slap on mosquito repellents. Mozzies tend to be more active at sun-down, when the Sat Social BBQ starts so best to come prepared.
- Call to make advanced reservations, the place can get filled up rather fast!
- Order food for your kiddos from the Kids Menu – they are yums (and affordable too)! For the adults, we would recommend the Roasted Duck Pizza and the Ribs, so finger-lickin’ good.
- Join in the fun by dedicating songs with the live band.
Timbre @ Gillman
9A Lock Road, Gillman Barracks
Open Monday to Thursday, 4pm to 11pm; Friday, 6pm to 1am; Saturday, 4pm to 12am; Sunday 12pm to 9pm
Telephone +65 6694 4201 (Call after 5pm)
Hop over to read these Mommy Bloggers’ reviews of Saturday Social BBQ: