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Lavender & Jalan Besar Lunch Spots

Lavender & Jalan Besar Lunch Spots

Trying all the different places from cafes to hawker centres near where I work, basically!
C Ang
C Ang

I’m always a little wary whenever I go to places which talk about how healthy their food is before discussing how tasty it is. Luckily, The Bento People didn’t disappoint at all on flavour! So if you’re looking for food that is as tasty as it’s healthy, this is a good place.

I got three dishes (bulgogi + tofu, black fungus and red rice) for $9.80 and tea for $1.50, but do note that there’s a very high chance you’ll spend more than that. This is as more than half the menu and dishes cost like another $1 or $2 to add, so expect costs to go up.

Money aside, the food is really pretty decent. The black fungus in miso was wonderfully savoury, and the red rice had a nice, nutty texture. The portion sizes are decent, too, leaving you feeling quite happily satisfied. They can get a bit crowded at lunch, but service is usually quick, so no need to worry there.

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Let’s get it out of the way – if you want beautiful pictures of pretty foods, go to like any of the hundred cafes (an exaggeration, but probably not by that much) in the area. This place is for those who just want to eat some good shit.

The rice? Honestly, a little forgettable. But you aren’t here for rice, you’re here because of the sio bak. Surprisingly light, deliciously crisp and perfectly roasted, it manages to hit all the right notes at once. You won’t get that greasy, gelak feeling from the meat here; if anything, you’ll just want to order a second plate.

The store itself is standard for hawker centres and pretty easy to identify with the long queue. I’d rec the sio bak (obviously) for the first time you come here, but do consider giving its other offerings a try as well; they are, after all, roast specialists. I’ve had the duck and it was pretty solid too.

So, the rundown. This is an interesting vegetarian restaurant with a surprisingly huge variety of food – everything from the $5 chicken rice lunch specials to bulgogi, bento boxes, burgers, metal pot soups, deserts… you name it, they’ve probably got some veggie variation on it.

Going through the menu and looking for stuff to try was fun! Waiting literally half an hour at lunch before my food came, not so much. And I wasn’t the only one; I saw at least a couple of people coming around the same time as me waiting as well.

As for the food, it’s actually pretty good. I had the ang siew braised meat with rice for like $7, and it was delicious! The rice was pleasantly nutty and fluffy, too. Overall, everything’s well cooked, and the mock meat is pretty convincing.

Let’s say you want to let your Muslim or vegetarian colleagues try some Chinese food, well, this is a great place for that. Just don’t go down during a busy period, unless you want to sit around forever, lol.

This time for their straightforwardly delicious sake set meal for $17.90++ A good helping of fresh salmon, some just lightly grilled to bring out the flavour, all set on top of fluffy seasoned rice.

Add some ginger, actual grated wasabi and clear mushroom and spring onion soup (a welcome change from the typical miso usually served) and you have yourself a fantastic lunch.

Though there’s only 12 seats at a counter, I’d suggest sitting close to the door if possible - you get a better view of the action that way. Today when I went, they were getting a huge salmon delivered and it was actually pretty entertaining to watch it get broken down.

Next thing on the list of food I have to try here is the Omakase!


It’s easy to see why the rosti here is popular — it’s only $14.50 for a decently sized portion with a good heaping of smoked salmon or veal sausage, and that’s with no sneaky ++ or extra costs involved. Light, savoury and the perfect brunch or light lunch, you really can’t go wrong with this.

But don’t just come here for that! They’ve actually got a surprisingly extensive menu covering everything from sandwiches and croissants to full on, hearty mains, which makes it a great place to bring a group of friends or colleagues at any time of the day.

Overall, Oberstrasse is a lovely, unpretentious little joint that does everything right. Service is friendly, food is good, the price is just right for what they’re offering, no hidden charges, water on the side… here, it’s the little things that add up to make a great cafe.


While there aren’t a lot of reviews on Burpple yet (it’s only been 3 weeks since they opened here), this place is PACKED during lunch. And deservedly so – they serve authentic, delicious Thai food at surprisingly cheap prices, with no mandatory lunch sets, so you can just get what you need or share with friends; whatever works best for you.

This bowl of Chicken Pad Thai? An affordable $5.50. Granted, the Thai Iced Milk Tea I ordered to go with it was $3, but the glass was huge and it was delicious enough that I really didn’t mind at all. As for the Pad Thai, the portion isn’t humongous; rather, it’s just enough to leave you feeling satisfied without being stuffed.

I’d definitely suggest going here with friends, if you can find a table. That way you can order a bunch of the delectable sides they have for sharing, which I couldn’t do alone. Anyway, if you’re in the area and craving for Thai food, try this place! It’s honestly restaurant and cafe quality, including ambience wise, but for a fraction of the price.


As far as I'm concerned, every day is a good day to eat the super shiok pig's organ soup that Cheng Mun Chee Kee makes. This is one of the OG soup stalls - they're very much no fuss and no frills, which is great because that means all the focus is on serving up the amazing soup they have.

What makes the soup here so good is that it comes packed full of a ton of flavourful parts, but somehow (don't ask me how) the overall balance is light, savory and surprisingly delicate considering how much they manage to pack into each decently sized bowl. I have no idea how they do it, but it's very impressive.

Frankly, just the soup and the rice is more than satisfying enough, but if you want to spoil yourself them you should totally get a rou bing / meat patty on the side. And don't wait for a rainy day to go down - if you're in the area, this is a real must-try!


I've been here a few times now, and I have to say it's a real value for money lunch spot. Quan Co Ba serves up fresh, delicious Vietnamese food for half the price you'd pay if you were in a regular sit-down restaurant, and they have everything you'd expect.

I personally enjoyed the grilled chicken with bee hoon ($6) the most - it's a deceptively simple name, and the bowl comes with a healthy portion of savory chicken, soft noodles, assorted vegetables and peanuts. It's surprisingly refreshing, and a great lunch on a hot day.

To put the price of food here into perspective, a super filling, toasty and fresh Bahn Mi is $5. A McGriddle a la carte is $5.40. Between the both of them, what you get here is more than worth it.


In an area where nearby cafes charge easily $18-20++ for pasta and beef bowls, Southpaw is an understated gem serving up fresh, great tasting and genuinely delicious lunch sets that in my opinion are the best at their price range.

This is the sashimi unajyu - at $26 (including GST), every part of it is just mouthwatering perfection. The chef is fantastic, and its roots as an omakase place show through as he carefully puts together each bowl with huge attention to detail.

If you're coming here for the first time I'd recommend the chirashi bowl, which is just a beautiful work of edible art. But if it's avaliable, the wagyu is also seriously good. Anyway, definitely go visit! I'm honestly surprised it's not packed every day, with the kind of food they have.


C Ang

Level 4 Burppler · 27 Reviews

I like writing more than I like taking photos, can you tell?

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