My favourite spots for lunch at Raffles Place during the week

Like most city workers, the toughest part about my job is deciding where to go for lunch. After two years of working in Raffles Place, I have developed a love-hate relationship with the area. There is a lot of crappy and overpriced food here but if you are willing to walk the extra mile and sample a few burnt toads, then it is possible to find edible food for lunch.

Lunch is the highlight of my day and I always try and spend under $10 unless it is a special occasion, in which case I might splash out on a $15 lunch. If my meal does not taste delicious, it can throw me into a terrible temper. For that reason, I have created the following guide to grabbing lunch in Raffles Place,  which includes everything from Malay and Chinese food options, to Japanese and Western cuisines. Makan!

Malay Food

Ayam Peynet

This is my personal favourite and a go-to lunch option whenever I am in need of some protein. Ayam Peynet is an Indonesian specialty of marinated and fried chicken that is smashed with a hammer to make it more tender.

The Ayam Peynet food stall located in the NTUC foodcourt of Clifford Centre is one of the best Ayam Peynet’s on the island. Whilst some people argue it is overpriced at $6.30 a portion, I beg to differ. The chicken is a generous size and is consistently tasty and succulent. It comes served with two springy cubes of deep-fried tofu, spicy sambal, a slice of cucumber and white rice.

lunch at Raffles Place

Ayam Peynet
24 Raffles Place, #B1-01/10 Clifford Centre
Singapore 048621

Village Nasi Lemak Bar

When I get a craving for beef rendang my stomach takes me to the Village Nasi Lemak Bar. This lunch joint is a relatively new addition to Raffles Place and serves all your Malay classics replete with coconut rice, peanuts, dried anchovy and runny egg for around $10 a plate. The interior is funky with slick-polished wood bars and a computerised menu.

I am not claiming this place is the Real McCoy. However, it’s not too busy, seating is ample and prices are reasonable. The beef rendang admittedly lacks spice however the gravy is thick and the portion is hearty, offering the perfect lunchtime solace when it’s a busy day at work. This is a great spot to bring a colleague or dine on your own.

lunch at Raffles Place

Village Nasi Lemak Bar
57 Circular Road
Singapore 049412

Chinese

Hup Lee Eatery

Located at the back of The Arcade, Hup Lee Eatery dishes up the best fish soup in the city. Whilst the place looks a bit rustic, the soup is tasty and the portion size is generous, however make sure you turn up early as by 12:00 there are already huge queues forming. The original soup chef serves guests dining in (usually the longer queue) whereas the newer soup chef cooks for those buying to take away.

If you are not familiar with how to order fish soup, be aware of the basic choices 1) fried or sliced fish or both 2) bee hoon noodles or side of brown or white rice, and 3) with or without condensed milk added. The fish soup costs around $6 and is a low-calorie lunch option.

lunch at Raffles Place

Hup Lee Eatery
11 Collyer Quay, #01-35 The Arcade
Singapore 049317

Yong Tau Foo

The Yong Tau Foo counter at the NTUC food court is one of the (potentially) healthiest and tastiest options for lunch at Raffles Place. The counter is a colourful array of delicious ingredients such as vegetables stuffed with fish paste, dried seaweed, enoki mushrooms, broccoli, Thai basil, bok choi, roasted eggplant, soft tofu and tofu wrappers filled with fish paste, sausage, boiled eggs and fried wontons. Select as many ingredients as you want, then choose a soup base (broth, tom yum or laksa) and noodles (egg, rice or bee hoon) and the chefs will prepare your meal.

I say this is potentially the healthiest lunch because if you avoid the fried stuff, there are plenty of fresh vegetables to choose from. I always go for the Chinese greens and tofu in plain broth. The price starts from $4.50 depending on how many ingredients you choose. This stall has the longest queue in the food court so be prepared to wait. If you are a fan of this, you may like my article on Yong Tau Foo in Raffles Place.

lunch at Raffles Place

Yong Tau Foo at NTUC Foodfare
24 Raffles Place, #B1-01/10,
Clifford Centre, Singapore 048621

Roasted Pork at Marina Food House

The roasted pork shop at Marina Food House serves the finest pork in all of Raffles Place. Their roasted pork belly is carved in thick, creamy-white slabs crusted with crispy brown crackling. Each bite tastes so soft and tender. They also serve Hong Kong-style char siew, which is the reddish-coloured barbeque pork. It is more meaty than sweet and it goes well with a portion of egg noodles. The best thing about this place is the price, for less than $5 you can sample both styles of pork plus noodle or rice.

lunch at Raffles Place

Roasted Pork, Marina Food House
15 Phillip Street
Singapore 048694

Japanese and Korean

Healthy Soba Noodle

This is my go-to place when I’m meeting a friend for lunch at Raffles Place. It is located in 1 Raffles Place and it is not too difficult to get a seat if you arrive before 12:30. They offer healthy food and are great value for money for a dine-in restaurant.

As the name suggests, this place specialises in Japanese soba noodle dishes. There are about 10 different types of soba noodle soups you can choose from (hot and cold) including teriyaki chicken, grilled salmon, wild mushroom and kitsune. There are also some locally-inspired soups on the menu including herbal chicken broth and Malaysian laksa. All dishes are made to order and for $15 you can order your soba as part of a set that comes with green tea and a small dessert.

lunch at Raffles Place

Healthy Soba Noodle
1 Raffles Place #04-47
Singapore 048616

Aussie Roll

As an Australian in Singapore, I was ecstatic to discover this place thanks to a good friend. Australian’s have a special way of preparing and eating sushi. It involves creating a long and fat sushi roll filled with raw or cooked ingredients and then eating it with your hands like a sausage roll. It is the perfect no-mess lunch when eating on the go!

Aussie Roll proves yet again that Australians are so innovative, they can always improve upon the original. Whilst not very authentic, my favourite sushi here is the fish katsu, the raw salmon and avocado, and the tempura prawn. For individuals less comfortable eating with their hands, the service staff can cut your sushi rolls into smaller portions.

lunch at Raffles Place

Aussie Roll
9 Raffles Place #B1-05, Republic Plaza
Singapore 048619

WHEAT

Another one of my favourites, I love WHEAT because it is affordable, healthy and really delicious. When I first moved to Singapore, this is the only place I went to for lunch at Raffles Place for the first month! WHEAT specialise in cold salads made with a green soba noodle base. The chain originally started as a German shop selling baumkuchen (a type of German cake) with soba added to the menu as a way to diversify. Now they specialise in soba!

My go-to dish here is the $8 soba noodles with salmon sashimi, which comes with a zesty salad dressing and lettuce. However, their squid ink soba with mahi-mahi fish and pineapple is also delicious. You can pay extra for more protein in your salad however the portion size is already very generous.

lunch at Raffles place

WHEAT
One Raffles Place #B1-32
Singapore 048616

Korean Cuisine at the Food Place

Food Place is a food court located on level five of 1 Raffles Places. Whilst it is not spectacular in itself, there is a Korean Cuisine stall (no name) that dishes up the most amazing kimchi soup I have ever tasted. The soup is zesty and spicy as it is flavoured with that famous Korean pickled cabbage called kimchi. It comes with Maggi-style wheat noodles, prawn dumplings and a raw egg, although I usually ask for the soup with no egg. It costs around $6 and they are generous with the number of dumplings they serve in the soup.

The Korean stall offers a menu of over 15 different dishes, all of which are made to order and all for under $10. However, I always come back and order the same dish for lunch at Raffles Place.

lunch at Raffles Place

Korean Cuisine at the Food Place
1 Raffles Place, 05-07
Singapore 048616

Western Cuisine

Haakon Superfoods and Juice

This is a newish and much-needed addition to the salad shops in the area. Haakon offers a wide range of unique and healthy ingredients that you can choose from to make a custom salad. These include zoodles (zucchini strips), salmon sashimi, edamame, umami tofu, avocado, onsen egg, grilled steak, beetroot hummus and charred broccoli as well as other superfoods. A custom salad costs about $15 for a medium size.

If you don’t want the hassle of choosing your lunch ingredients, there are other dishes available on their menu such as lite green curry chicken, protein platter, avocado vegan bowl and Haakon bibimbap. Haakon is also fast building a reputation for having the best acai bowls in the city.

lunch at Raffles Place

Haakon Superfoods and Juice
1 Raffles Place
Singapore 048616

Daily Cut

Daily Cut is without a doubt the busiest and most popular lunch spot in all of Raffles Places. They serve what I like to term as “cooked salads” because most of their ingredients are hot. Make your own protein and vegetable bowl by choosing from a selection of freshly prepared foods including teriyaki chicken thigh, grilled chicken breast, marinated dory fillet, charred broccoli, baked pumpkin, stir-fry mushrooms, sweet potato mash, avocado, fresh kale or honey-glazed carrots. The ingredients change frequently depending on seasonable availability.

A small lunch bowl costs around $9 and if you have a Fitness First membership card, you can also claim a further 10% discount. This is healthy eating at its best – provided you are prepared to wait in queue!

lunch at Raffles Place

Daily Cut
1 Raffles Place #B1-31
Singapore 048616

Dimbulah at JustCo

When you feel like screaming “fuck you” to the universe, take a deep breath and go eat a white-bread toasted sandwich instead. The Dimbulah cafe at the JustCo co-working space serves really tasty Italian-style panini sandwiches as well as hot milky coffee. They are never going to be Pret-a-Manager or as good as any other European cafe for that matter, but they are good enough.

lunch at Raffles Place

Dimbulah at WeWorks
20 Collyer Quay #01-02
Singapore 049909

And so there you have it, my top spots for lunch at Raffles Place. Where are your favourite places to eat lunch at Raffles Place?

3 Comments

  1. go to this site

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

    Reply
  2. Yuji

    This list is okay but a bit disappointing to see there are no Korean or Malay options on your list.

    Reply
  3. Sandra

    Haakon might be new but the salads fail to live up to expectation… my prediction – it lasts for about 6 months before being replaced with another fad.

    Reply

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