Anyone who’s ever worked in the CBD area can tell you (with all the irony that only those privileged enough to be inundated with endless food options can) that dining in the business district can be a real pain sometimes. The perennial problem: where do you go for food that’s 1) not hawker food but isn’t 2) rabbit food and still 3) won’t burn a hole in the wallet. Oh, such #firstworldproblems.

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Luckily for them then, that JBM Coffee & Dining, a cheerful addition to One Raffles Place Mall, ticks off all three criteria with a flourish. Founder Evangeline Wong (who also owns Blue Mahoe Estate Caffe at Esplanade amongst other lifestyle concepts) has roped in Chef Chamara Fonseka and young barista Shaw Shyne Wei as her tag team of food and coffee providers, and the result is a pleasant surprise we’d never have thought likely in the CBD: generous portions of Italian and French classics, at absurdly reasonable prices.. 

Consider us officially jealous of everyone working in the CBD. 

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Must-tries: It’s hard to pick faves, but if we must, we’d have the Beef Outside The Cubes ($24, above) every other day until we got tired of it. Approximately 120g of grain-fed tenderloin cubes (grilled to a succulent medium-rare pink) is tossed in sauce with mushrooms and served with a choice of mash or fries. Opt for the mash – it’s creamy, luscious and a nice counterpoint to the hearty meat. 

Also worthy of mention: the generously portioned Pork Terrine (with a side of walnut salad and slices of warm brioche) at a jaw-dropping $15, and a lovely meal-ender (and palate cleanser) in the Orange Blossom ($12), refreshing with layers of fresh orange, orange jelly, Grand Marnier foam and topped off with caramel crisp.

Skip: The cold tea concoctions (from $6.50). Nothing wrong with these sweet tea concoctions – they just don’t make an impression next to the far superior food menu. Opt for the coffee drinks instead – only coffee beans of high quality are picked, and then extracted in a variety of ways for a perfect mid-afternoon cup. 

JBM Coffee & Dining is located at One Raffles Place Mall, 1 Raffles Place, #03-23/24/25. For more information, visit www.jbmcoffeedining.com or call tel: 6536-1047.