From sandwiches and salads, to fine dining and cheap beers, here’s our guide to great dining options for lunch in the heart of the CBD
We all look forward to lunchtime; after all, it’s a chance to hightail it out of the office, stretch our legs and grab something tasty to eat with perhaps even a coffee as well. If you’re like us and are lucky enough to work smack in the middle of the CBD, you’re in luck. Don’t let the sea of white collars fool you, Raffles Place in particular has plenty to offer on the food front. Sick of the same-old, same-old? Here’s a couple of cool lunch (and dinner) digs that’ll leave you recharged and ready for the rest of the day.
Whether you’re peckish or positively starving, Providore’s latest opening is sure to please with its wide selection of light bites and more substantial meals. Want to grab a sandwich to go? Pick up the grilled ham & cheese toastie ($14.50) that also packs in grilled zucchini and the Providore’s tomato & red pepper relish. Hungrier lunch-goers can opt for a pan-seared ocean trout ($30) or the creamy lobster mac & cheese ($25.50).
The Providore, 7 Raffles Place, Singapore 048625. Open Mon-Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 9am-6pm.
Want something that’s not overly filling for your lunch break? Swissbake’s brand new concept might be exactly what the doctor ordered. The cafe serves up a hearty selection of sandwiches like the smoked duck and the salmon Kraftwiches. This sarnie joint puts a lot of effort into its healthy multi-grain breads made from nutritional grains like wheat, soya, sunflower seeds, and flax. Despite the central CBD location, Kraftwich is easy on your wallet and won’t set you back more than a tenner.
Kraftwich, #B1-04/05, One Raffles Place, Singapore 048616, p. 6438 5730.
If you’re up for a cheeky lunchtime feast in the CBD, make a beeline for OverEasy at One Fullerton. By night, the hip American diner is a supper hotspot for hungry partygoers, but by day, it serves up hearty comfort food for the office crowd. Dig into the two- or three-course set lunches at $24 and $30. Mains include the crispy fried chicken sandwich and the irresistible “To Die For” burger – wagyu patty layered with cheddar and OverEasy’s special burger sauce. Sneak in some sinfully delicious desserts such as the hot fudge bourbon doughnut holes for a guaranteed food coma, and don’t say we didn’t warn you!
OverEasy, 1 Fullerton Road, #01-06, One Fullerton, Singapore 049213, p. 6684 1453.
MEDZS Bistro & Bar
Need a hearty feed that won’t break the bank? MEDZs does up some spectacular lunch items like the truffle butter roasted spring chicken, a baked salmon fillet with a herbed crust, and the signature MEDZS burger. If work’s got you in the mood for a drink, take a breather and grab two glasses of wine for $13.90 thanks to its all-day happy hour!
MEDZS Bistro & Bar, Clifford Centre, Raffles Place, #01-01 Singapore 048621. p. 6536 1917.
While Hawaiian sun, sand and surf might be an ocean away, you can get a taste of traditional Hawaiian fare at Aloha Poké’s Raffles Place branch at Chevron House. Founded by two Singaporean couples that were bitten by the poké bug while vacationing in Hawaii, this casual, colourful eatery specialises in the traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad. Here, you can either try its signature poké bowls or design your very own tasty bowl by picking your choice of house-marinated poké (Ahi tuna, salmon and vegetarian), two complimentary add-ons, and one superfood from its comprehensive selection.
Aloha Poké, 30 Raffles Place, #01-34 Chevron House, Singapore 048622. p. 6533 0801. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-8pm, Sat 11.30am-3pm. Closed on Sun.
Stellar at 1-Altitude
Take in the spectacular view of the skyline over a luxe lunch at 1-Altitude’s dining concept. If you’re in the mood for a truly elevated lunch experience, head down to Stellar between noon at 2pm on weekdays to tuck into the three- ($48++) or four-course lunch ($58++). The set lunch includes mains like seared sea bream, low temperature-cooked Iberico pork belly, the Josper grilled Tajima wagyu intercoastal, and more.
Stellar at 1-Altitude, 1 Raffles Place, Level 62, Singapore 048616. p. 6438 0410. Open weekends 12pm-2pm 6pm-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm, Sun 6pm-9pm.
The Rabbit Hole Salad & Juice
But if you do happen to be calorie counting and the last thing on your mind is a massive burger, just walk on past Triple O and into this wholesome salad bar. If you can’t be fussed to create your own salad, pick from standard options like the classic chicken Caesar ($12) or the Tokyo miso sesame ($11). Vegan? Not to worry, they also offer a Big Vegan Bowl filled with cherry tomatoes, French beans, tofu and dragonfruit ($11).
The Rabbit Hole, 1 Raffles Place, #04-30, Shopping Podium, Singapore 048616. p. 9048 2929. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7.30pm, Sat 10am-5pm.
Guzman Y Gomez
Just cause you’re strapped for time doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on a hearty lunchtime feed. Pop by Guzman Y Gomez at Raffles City and order some gut-busting Mexican classics like burritos, tacos, fajitas and quesadillas. You’ve got a modest selection of fillings to choose from, both spicy and non spicy, but our firm favourite is the signature spicy chicken (in a burrito!). The food here is takeaway friendly and the service is fast, so you’ll be in and out in no time.
Guzman Y Gomez, 30 Raffles Place, #B1-07 Chevron House, Singapore Singapore 039803. p. 6532 1248. Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-8.30pm. Closed Sat & Sun.
Smør – A Scandinavian Deli
Unless you’re shopping at Ikea, it’s not likely you’ll stumble upon anything resembling Scandinavian cuisine, but tucked away in One Raffles place is this elusive gem. Specialising in Norwegian open-style sandwiches, Smør serves up refreshing lunch bites like the cold, creamy shrimp sandwich with lemon mayonnaise, as well as a smoked Norwegian salmon sandwiches. If you prefer something lighter and less traditional, try the kale & mushroom sandwich with the unconventional addition of roasted almonds and spicy olive oil.
Smør, One Raffles Place, Singapore 048616. p. 9430 1500. Open Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 10.30am-5.30pm. Closed on Sun.
Sometimes, you just want to treat yourself to a big meaty burger and forget calorie counting for a minute. If it’s one of those days, head down to Triple O, order the original combo ($9.90) and sink your teeth into the rather massive, messy and saucy original Triple O burger. What may polarise patrons is the burger’s rich buttery taste that may not appeal to everyone, but hey, it’s an occasional, sinful treat!
Triple O, One Raffles Place, Singapore 048616. p. 6636 0002. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-8.30pm
Joe & The Juice
Need a little vitamin kick to get past the afternoon slump? This hip juice joint will hook you up with fresh pressed juices, as well as a selection of tasty sarnies like the tunacado ($11.50), spicy tuna ($10.50), and the Joe’s Club special ($11.50). If you’ve got the time to kick back a bit, the store’s lively atmosphere and the staff’s juice-pouring antics are sure to be a welcome distraction from the nine-to-five (well, six most likely) grind.
Joe & The Juice, 30 Raffles Place, #01-35, 30 Raffles Place, Chevron House, Singapore 048622. p. 6532 0494. Open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 11am-3pm. Closed on Sun.
Five Oriental (Five Izakaya)
Singapore’s answer to the 300 Yen bar offers pocket-friendly $5 specials all day, errday. Though not everything on the menu is exactly $5, you can pick up some of the more premium bites like the squid ink char siew bao ($6) and the prawn toast ($5.50) for just a little bit more. Like any proper izakaya joint, Five also offers a selection of Japanese beers and choyas for those looking to booze up a little after work.
Five Oriental, 16 Collyer Quay #01-05B, Singapore 049318. p. 9826 1049. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-12am. Sat 6pm-12am. Closed on Sun.
In addition to quick lunchtime bites, Raffles Place also offers swankier options for after work dining like this Italian gem. Towering above the CBD in the Ocean Financial Centre, you’ll find yourself seated in a sheltered semi-alfresco area that, while ideal for business lunches, is equally appropriate for more intimate dining experiences. The fare is as much a treat as the ambience, with delicacies like the poached and pan-seared Sardinian octopus ($42) and glazed Iberico pork belly with vanilla cream potato and yellow peach ($36). Since you’re already treating yourself to this swish culinary experience, go all the way and indulge in desserts like the dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse with a compote of exotic fruits ($16).
Zafferano, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore, Ocean Financial Centre, Level 43, Singapore 049315. p. 6509 1488.
The Black Swan
In case you didn’t already know, there’re numerous reasons why we’ve fallen in love with The Black Swan. Baked bone marrow crostini that melts in your mouth, decadent pan-seared foie gras drizzled with yuzu marmalade, monstrous burgers stacked with bacon and sunny side up; we never leave the restaurant without a happy tum. Adding to the culinary experience is its ritzy yet playful ambience – 1920s-inspired New York décor reminiscent of a Great Gatsby flashback. Further pandering to this vintage fantasy is The Black Swan’s new ‘old’ menu, that pays homage to timeless classics from European bistro fare.
The Black Swan, 19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704. p. 8181 3305. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-10.30pm, Sat 5pm-10.30pm. Closed Sun.
A great one for Aussies who miss their quick-grab sushi rolls. Pick from a variety of fillings – eat one as a nutritious snack or two or three as a light, healthy lunch. Miso soup on the side can help it pack even more of a punch.
Aussie Roll, 30 Raffles Place, #B1-04A Chevron House, Singapore 048622. p 6746 3077.
If you prefer your fruits and veggies as they are, look no further than Sun Moon. This cheery, colourful stall offers fresh fruits and premade salads along with fresh juices. The meals here are wallet-friendly and will fill you up without you having to undo your belt buckle.
Sun Moon, 30 Raffles Place, #B1-02 Chevron House, 048622. p. 6533 2268. Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-7.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm. Closed on Sun.
Joe & Dough
You’re never short on sandwich options in the CBD, but Joe & Dough will sway you with its selection of rustic handcrafted sarnies. Want a classic with a twist? Try the Tuna & Dill sandwich. If you’re after a more exciting sarnie, pick the teriyaki chicken with toasted nori and sliced pineapples or the salt beef and caramelised onion jam sandwich. Make sure you wash it all down with a fresh brewed cuppa Joe of course!
Joe & Dough, 16 Collyer Quay, #02-05 Singapore 049318, p. 6438 2115. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-7pm. Closed on weekends.
Bottles & Bones
Work’s whipped you hard all day and you’re pooped from slogging like a mule – sounds like no better time to bury your head in some booze! A stone’s throw away from the rat-race central of Raffles Place at Chevron House, Bottles & Bones offers a welcome reprieve for post-work zombies who need the elixir of life – and by that, we mean selections of draught beers, craft ciders, sparkling wines and moscatos. Rather replenish your health with some nosh? B&B also cooks up Mexican pulled pork and roast lamb for lunch, and comfort food bar snacks like sliders and Cajun calamari for those looking for a bite.
Bottles & Bones, 30 Raffles Place, #01-42 Chevron House, Singapore 048622. p. 6532 2114. Open Mon-Fri 9am-11pm, Sat 9am-3pm. Closed Sun.
All these options just not enough? Well aren’t you picky. If none of these fantastic options strike your fancy, we’ve got more for you in our One Raffles guide here.