Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the comprehensive raffles place lunch list

To those who’ve wandered into InternshipLand, or have found themselves clueless at lunchtime – this is just for you.

When we started our training contracts, we had no clue where to go for lunch. The practice trainees would meet in a huge group outside the building and when we reached a critical mass, we’d follow the first person who spoke up and amble to said lunch place. Needless to say, this usually wasn’t very appetizing and after leaving Banquet (underground food court with non-existent ventilation system) reeking of food exhaust one time too many, we decided to explore Raffles Place on our own. We’ve listed out almost every place we’ve lunched at in the past 5 months and asterisked those we really liked.

Most of the options are unexceptional but it’s just lunch and we just have an hour so the places listed have been included for accessibility and variety rather than quality. Of course, we’ve not listed any truly terrible places (like Banquet…) but don’t expect a Michelin starred experience either. We’ve also been relatively budget conscious in the compilation of this list, budgeting about $5 per person for a one-dish lunch on average, unless otherwise stated. Happy eating!

XJ and J xx

p/s If there’s anything you like that we’ve missed – please leave a note. We’d like very much to know!

Coffee shop style i.e go armed with packets of tissue to ‘chope’ your seat
Philip street
Tom yum* / regular fish soup 17 Phillip Street #01-01 /02 Grand Building
I usually ask for “sao la” (less spicy) so I can enjoy the flavour without having to drink a reservoir after.
Fish soup and roast meat 15 Philip Street #01-00 Tan Ean Kiam Building
Good for bigger groups because the boss reserves the tables upstairs for big group walk-ins

Hans at Great Eastern Building 1 Pickering Street
Also able to accommodate big groups

China Square
Da Lu Prawn Noodles* 22 Cross Street, #01-54/55 China Square Central
Don Pie shop also sells, surprise surprise, great claypot pepper crab bee hoon
20 Cross Street, #01-34/35/36, China Square
Puay Heng Fish Ball Noodles/Bak Chor Mee 23 China Street
Nam Seng Wanton Mee/Hor Fun/Fried Rice  25 China Street #01-01 Far East Square
Hock Lam Beef Noodles 22 China Street some of our friends go more for the cute waitress than the noodles…
Market Street Food Centre 50 Market Street
sit on the third floor, easier to get seats, less smelly.
Tiong Bahru Wanton Mee #02-32
Transit Market Claypot Rice* #03-13 the chicken with lapcheong is divine
Seng Lee Cai Fan is $2+ #03-17
Nurnanmi Nasi Padang* #02-07 the chicken goes superbly with the achar

Mei Xin 50 Market Street #01-32 (food court on ground floor of Golden Shoe) for dinner to go. The porridge is very smooth. A bit pricey ($6) and long queue but really yummy.The ban mian is not bad and I swear by concoctions no. 10 and no. 4 at the fruit juice stall.

Market Street
Bao Jin Tian (Bao Today) for noodles and dimsum 55 Market Street #01-01
Kiraku Japanese restaurant below Bao Today (pricey, the beef salad is about $12 and that’s about the cheapest item on the menu)
Coffee Shop Style
108 Eating House #01-08
Bak Chor Mee
Chicken Rice
Hup Lee Cafeteria* #01-35
Fish Soup – my low-carb option is sliced fish soup without noodles / rice.
Arcade Fruits (next to Hup Lee) Fruit and Fruit Juice. The lao ban niang is a PR whiz. Every time I buy juice, she’s such a sweetie I tell myself I will forever remain in juice monogamy with her. The avocado milkshake is decadent, and I usually have the carrot apple ginger juice.
Chinese soup to go ($4) if you’re in a rush. There are a few shops with vats of soups on display.
3rd floor coffee house (E-something) has great horfun but awful service

Clifford Centre
Platypus Test Kitchen* for pasta #02-02 always something new.
PiNK NutriDeli Cafe for set lunch with brown rice  #02-05

Chevron House 30 Raffles Place
Wang Café* #02-37 Chinese style kopi / the and simple lunch time food like laksa, macaroni soup etc. Once asked the smiley Filipino cashier for a “hot iced lemon tea” and he had the decency not to laugh in my face. +points for customer service!
Cedele* for soups, salads and sandwiches I like the Soup Set A ($10 for big soup and small salad) #02-34/35 and the days when they have pumpkin and apple soup, I’m extra happy J
The Sandwich Shop  #02-07 good option for a light lunch. The “All Day Breakfast” in sandwich form is yums, as is the ½ sandwich option if you’re not very hungry.
Joe & Dough #02-05
Black for coffee and sweets (Drew employees get 20% off!!!)  #01-11/12
Dimbulah for soup and wraps #01-31
Green Bar* the smoked duck salad is a winner, as is the chilli crab salad
The Soup Spoon for more expensive soup – cheaper Chinese soup option at the Arcade

Chevron House Basement
Mos Burger
The Well dimsum
Sun & Moon – they’ll juice the fruit you pick on the spot
The Palace (Korean Restaurant – only hazard if desperate at night

Boat Quay (more expensive)
South Bank Authentic Thai Restaurant 35 Boat Quay
Thai food! Decent set lunches about $12. if x is the number of diners (x must be >1), you’re entitled to x+1 dishes.
Penny Black for pub food 26/27 Boat Quay 6538 2300
Red Dot for Green Beer (!) and Bar Food 33/34 Boat Quay
Moomba Tuckshop for sandwiches and salads 4 Battery Road, #B1-01 Bank Of China Building

Circular Road
Sinar Pagi* 13 Circular Road
Awesome Nasi Padang – if you’re in a big group, call in advance to book a table (seats upstairs for bigger groups) and pre-order. The tauhu telur is AMAZING. Also like the beef rendang, sweet potato leaves, curry chicken (very good!) and sambal prawns.
Molly Malone’s 56 Circular Road 6536 2029
tcc 51 Circular Road

Raffles Quay Underpass
Chopsticks Asian Kitchen - The simplest option is the $7 char siew noodles (with gravy), and if you're feeling extravagant, the $14 crayfish noodles in milky stock is delicious.

Marina Bay Link Mall  8A Marina Boulevard (pricier, at least $15/person or more depending on what you order)
Standing Sushi #B2-51 6634 7068
Ding Tai Fung #B2-05/06
Youmenya Goumon for Japanese Pasta #B2-03 good value pasta sets and a salad bar (1 serving only) in the middle
Munch* for salad from an extensive salad bar with generous servings and soups #B2-19

Republic Plaza Basement (pricier eg iFreshCo set will come to about $13)
A few restaurants “food court” style but more atas. I like iFreshCo* for fusion Japanese food without MSG. There’s also Asian Kitchen!

Coffee for that 4pm drowsiness
Chinese style eg kopi / teh, not the Americano type
Coffee&Toast Raffles Exchange 5 Raffles Place #B1-17/21/22
Fun Toast One Raffles Place (OUB Centre) #B1-13
Teh Tarik Cartel 1 Raffles Place OUB Centre #B1-04
Arcade ground floor on the left as you walk in from Raffles Place
Dilys’ Creation at Clifford Centre ground floor
Stall between Dilys’ Creation and the glass doors opening onto Collyer Quay has yummy toast with home made peanut butter too!

Western coffee i.e Americano
Starbucks at Singapore Land Tower
Coffee Bean at Republic Plaza
**see Chevron House above

Sweet Tooth Satisfaction
One Raffles Place (OUB Centre)
Once Upon A Milkshake #B1-03E
Brownie Factory #B1-01B
Famos Amos Cookies #B1-02A
SwissBake #B1-01

Dessert Hut* #01-06
Mao Kong Bubble Tea (opposite Dessert Hut)

Chevron Basement
Yami Yoghurt #B1-K1
Each-a-cup #B1-06A
Royal cake shop with sliced cakes
Mirana cake shop with sliced cakes

Republic Plaza 9 Raffles Place
Awfully Chocolate chocolate ice cream and cake #01-16
TWG macarons #01-22
Oriole (also sells coffee) #01-23

Eskimo Café & Fruit Dessert Bar 146 Market Street, #01-32A

Post-work Drinks
Five Izakaya Bar 16 Collyer Quay for cheap shots
Roku (6) at 146 Market Street
Harry’s Market Street
Level33* at Marina Bay Financial Centre for high altitude al fresco drinks
Oosters China Square for Belgian Beers
Lantern* Fullerton Bay Hotel
Post Bar* Fullerton Hotel
OneAltitude 63-64 floor One Raffles Place (OUB Centre)
Nueva Cuba Customs House #01-03
OverEasy* One Fullerton
The Blarney Irish Pub Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1
Boat Quay pubs (again, Red Dot is good)

The Atas Section (some have set lunches for $30++, all more upmarket)
Customs House
Sabai Thai #01-02
Kinki #02-02

One Fullerton
Sansui Sumiyaki & Bar #01-05
Forlino #02-06

Marina Bay Financial Centre
Rock great steaks and chic interior

Far End of Boat Quay (nearer South Bridge Road than Raffles Place)
L’Operetta Italian cuisine cooked with deft touch of Japanese chef. Chef trained extensively in Italy, and is interested in opera, too. Hence the name. Suggest ordering a pizza set and a pasta set then sharing between 2.

*our pick

jan 2012 edit: have since left raffles place for the rolling hills of the united kingdom. if you'd like to swing by, the blog continues over at


  1. i also like fresh+co.
    alternatively, the coffee at coffeesmith is great. (collyer quay bridge towards OMB).

  2. thanks spoon! will check out coffeesmith next time the 4pm sleepiness hits.

  3. hi jo!:) *waves*

    Francine here!:) (eh, nick's girlfriend!haha)

    you must add one-caramel to the list - for the 4pm drowsiness! coffee can be alright - but they have cake!!!!!! awesome cake. ask grace, she'll tell you!

    and try viking coffee at equity plaza - look for yanty! tell her i sent you and she'll make you a good cup of coffee!!

  4. hi fran! thanks for the recommendations, and licence to namedrop your name. always happy to sponge off friends' goodwill ;) will defo go by soon.