The great thing about working in the CBD (Central Business District) is the wide variety of dining options (or that you can find true love in a temple) available. From hawker centres to cafes to elevated dining, there is definitely something for everyone if you’re looking for some dinner #inspo or… places to drink.
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There is one drawback though and that is the horrifying lunchtime hour. You have to mentally prepare yourself to squeeze through a whole lot of people that are rushing and worst yet, you might have to settle for something else because the joint you wanted to go to is simply too crowded. Lunchtime disappointment at its finest.
Well, not to worry. We are here to help you out by highlighting 5 must-try (each with their own unique points) lunch spots in the CBD and the best time to head there. Of course, with recommended dishes, similar to our Bib Gourmand joints as well. You’re welcome.
Wholesome bowls at Grain Traders
Serving up customisable bowls that promise not only to satiate but nourish you with wholesome ingredients (maybe you should stock these guilt-free snacks to complement your lunch), Grain Traders at CapitaGreen offers a mix of South American and Asian Flavours. Think Mixed Bean Pico De Gallo, Coconut Curry, Salsa Verde and more prepared using healthier techniques such as sous vide, grilling, roasting, baking and pan-searing.
You get to design your own bowls or pick from one of their signatures. We highly suggest creating your own bowls, but browse their menu here before heading there, to ensure that you don’t hold up the line.
Time: To avoid the massive lunch traffic, head on down after 2pm.
Grain Traders: 138 Market Street, CapitaGreen, #01-01, S(048946)
Sharing plates at Club Street Social
With a new all-day sharing plates menu, Club Street Social is definitely a place you’d want to check out. Encouraging the spirit of social dining, you get to enjoy an extensive list of small plates, charcuterie, cheese platters, bar snacks and desserts, shared amongst friends.
We’re talking crisp scotch eggs with savoury pork sausage topped with housemade red onion chutney, piping hot churros with balsamic strawberry dip and vanilla mascarpone, the list goes on. If you can’t wait till your next visit, here’s another option to get your churros fix.
We recommend their beef short rib fritters that are paired with in-house horseradish. Crispy on the outside, the juicy beef short rib fritters packs an intense burst of umami while the horseradish helps to cut the dish.
Time: It tends to get really crowded from 12:30pm onwards all the way to 3pm, so we recommend getting there at 11:30am to beat the crowd.
Club Street Social: 5 Gemmill Lane, S(069261)
To-die-for sandwiches at Park Bench Deli
The chefs wanted to share their love for decadent over-the-top sandwiches and so they started Park Bench Deli as a pop-up deli. They sampled numerous recipes and finally set up their brick-and-mortar store that serves all sorts of sandwiches. From ham and cheese to bahn mis to peanut butter jelly with crushed cereal. So if you’re ready for bold sandwiches, Park Bench Deli is your next lunch spot.
Melted cheese dishes are on trend so you have to try their Grilled Cheese Sandwich. A worthy opponent to all the other melty grilled cheese videos you have been watching online. We love that it is made with toasted rye bread that lends a subtle sour and earthy taste to cut the velvety cheddar and emmental cheese. In between bites, refresh your palate with their tangy tomato soup and you’ll be ready for more.
Time: Anytime before 1:00pm or after 2:00pm will be a safe time to grab a seat.
Park Bench Deli: 179 Telok Ayer Street, S(068627)
Nutritious poke bowls at A Poke Theory
Poke bowls have been a rather popular dish these days and we couldn’t help but try out most of the joints offering them in Singapore. Touted to be protein-rich, it is healthy and yummy to have. Not to be confused with bara chirashi, poke originates from Hawaii and it refers to a raw fish salad. Typically in Singapore, poke is served with rice or alternative grains and such a bowl can be found at A Poke Theory.
You build your own bowl by first choosing the grains you like before topping on the fish and vegetables. We suggest trying the lemon herb quinoa with avocado miso salmon if you’re looking to incorporate more alternative grains into your diet. Avocado is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which is a beneficial fat and quinoa packs a high amount of protein when compared to most grains, making this bowl a real healthy choice.
Time: It is extremely busy from 12:30pm to 3:30pm (trust us, we tried), so you should get there around 11:45am for a comfortable dine-in experience.
A Poke Theory: 27 Boon Tat Street, S(069623)
Indulgent mains at The Providore
A cafe with exquisite retail products, you might know it first from its outlet in Mandarin Gallery. The branch at Raffles Place focuses more on their dining concept, with both indoor and outdoor seating and a takeaway counter for office-friendly pick up meals. If you’re looking to indulge in a decadent plate of mains, then The Providore is your go-to for lunch. Choose from Bomba Paella Rice, Grass-fed Beef Burger, Pan-seared Ocean Trout and more.
You should try their Lobster Mac and Cheese, prepared with shaved fennel and fresh dill, baked in a cast iron pan. What we really love is the juicy pieces of lobster, complemented by the creamy mac and cheese. We suggest ordering a cup of tea) to help with the digestion because this is one hefty dish. Opt for these teas if you’re looking to have better skin.
Time: The crowd starts thinning down around 2:00pm so we suggest getting there about 2:30pm to secure an indoor seat if you’re too afraid of the heat.
The Providore: 7 Raffles Place, S(048625)