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CBD Lunch Ideas

CBD Lunch Ideas

Where to for lunch? We've curated this guide so as to feed CBD workers with fresh ideas for this very important question. From nourishing set lunches under $10 at a Cantonese restaurant to unlimited side dishes at a ramen joint and a smart option for business dining, we've got you covered. All places shortlisted are within 10 minutes' walk from either Tanjong Pagar or Raffles Place MRT stations.
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Helmed by Rishi Naleendra, the former head chef of Maca, this newish kid on the block draws the crowds for Naleendra's flavourful take on Modern Australian cuisine. The set lunch ($30 for two-course, $38 for three-course) is great value, so make a reservation for a mid-week meal with your favourite colleague (or perhaps a quick lunchtime date ;)). Expect the likes of delicately cured ocean trout and barramundi with deep notes from charred scallion. The playful dessert of coconut, laksa leaf and green chilli might sound odd, but it is a winning combination.

Korean fried chicken is a good idea anytime, but especially so on cheat days! This Lorong Telok joint offers a great lunch deal ($10.90), and is a decent 10-minute stroll from Raffles Place MRT Station. The set includes two wings and two drumlets, one side with choices like French fries or rice with kimchi, and iced tea. They only allow you to pick one out of eight flavours for the chicken though, so bring as many colleagues as the flavours you want to try!

At the end of Peck Seah Street, this Cantonese stalwart offers set lunches under $10 — perfect for days when you don't want to battle the crowds or the heat at the nearby Maxwell Market. Go for the Traditional Cantonese Set Lunch ($8.90) and pick from one of six hearty mains like Cola chicken wings claypot rice or minced pork and salted fish rice. These wholesome sets include a bowl of homecooked soup and fresh fruit!

Wicked Garlic's second outpost at Clifford Centre is close by to most offices in the Raffles Place area, and a great place to get pasta cravings sorted. Level up the already tasty Aglio Olio ($5.70) by adding five large grilled prawns ($7). Alternatively, go for their $14 set lunch menu which comes with a soup, pasta (no grilled prawns though!) and drink.

There are sandwiches, and then there are Park Bench Deli's sandwiches — generously filled, cleverly put together and packed with punchy flavours. The menu of Lunch Sandwiches (from $15) is concise — whatever you choose is going to be good. Get the Cheese Steak ($16) if you like your lunch very beefy and cheesy. Bring a colleague to share it with, just so you can get the cornflakes-crusted PB & J ($8), a version of the classic peanut butter and jelly combo done very, very right.

Set along the intersection of Boon Tat and Telok Ayer Street, this low-key joint — they call themselves a 'fishmonger cafeteria' — serves up affordable rice bowl lunch sets. Go for the Salmon Sashimi Don ($15), topped with hearty slices of fresh salmon. Each set comes with complimentary iced tea, miso soup and chawanmushi. As they are a seafood supplier, freshness is guaranteed. Seating is outdoors (but sheltered), so leave your jacket at the office.

Wow your clients or business partners with lunch at Lollapalooza, sister to the famed Lolla. While dinners here require some saving up, the set lunch ($38 for three-course, $45 for four-course) is comparatively affordable. Start with the beautiful Burrata with Jamon Serrano, Feijoada & Wild Honeycomb, then opt for the Chargrilled Pork served with Duck Fat Potato Terrine if available (the menu changes regularly). The space is elegant yet laidback, with a comfortable layout that favours small groups.

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You will get more bang for your buck at this humble Chinese restaurant across the road from Daily Juice at Lorong Telok. While they're known for their Spicy Fried Fish at dinner, at lunch time, the individual Hotpot Set (from $11) is what draws in the crowds. Each set comes with a tray of thinly sliced meat, vegetables, rice or noodles, one soup base (chicken, herbal or tom yum) and a drink. On cool days, order the Sliced Pork Set ($12) and opt for the Maggie noodles and the tom yum soup base — the spicy broth will warm your body from the inside out!

Taking over the defunct Ramen Bar Suzuki at Stanley Street is Ramen Dining Tamaranbai (by the folks behind Teppei), a homely concept serving Tonkotsu ramen and Osozai (Japanese side dishes). Any order of ramen entitles you to free flow steamed rice, salad and seven of these side dishes — including stewed meat, aubergines and steamed pumpkin. Come with your colleagues and order their Special Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen ($16.80), addictively spicy pork broth that comes with 2 pieces of charsiu and flavoured egg. Be sure to opt for the belly charsiu if you like it with more fats!

Anticipate a busy work day? Plan ahead so you can still eat well for lunch! Gather your colleagues to pre-order poke bowls a day in advance via email (minimum three orders), and just send someone out to pick it up at lunch time. Go for the standard Nalu (two scoops, $15.90) — 150g of tuna and salmon cubes tossed in original marinade on a bed of brown rice. Top it off with some avocado, flying fish roe and cherry tomatoes. For the full Hawaiian experience, toss the bite-sized pineapples and scallions together with your poke bowl and finish off with a spritz of lime juice!

From noon to 2:30pm on weekdays, this China Square joint serves up a special lunch menu of hearty lunch classics, all priced at an affordable $13.90 and below. The crowd favourite is, without a doubt, the Spaghetti Carbonara with Homemade Guaniciale ($10.90). Expect a huge serving of al dente spaghetti wearing a luscious sauce and tossed with fried shrimp, bacon and a soft boiled egg. Portions are very generous, so be prepared for a food coma. Take the long route back to the office, or save this for when the big boss is out.

Chase away your Monday blues with a visit to Hana Hana, Teppei's second Tras Link outlet. Come for their Monday Higawari (daily lunch special) — the famed Kaisen Don ($17.60) served with a free scoop of Negitoro (minced raw tuna, $8) alongside refillable side dishes such as stewed meat and potatoes or bean sprouts tossed in soy sauce. To beat the crazy lunch crowd, try to get here around noon to snag a seat! Pro tip: The same Kaisen Don and negitoro lunch special is served at Teppei, just next to Hana Hana, on Thursdays!

The top picks, popular finds and newly opened places in Singapore, curated by Burpple editors!

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