Apart from fast food outlets, in the CBD, restaurants selling affordable lunch sets are far and few in between – or so we think! If you’re desperate enough to look so hard that you leave no stone unturned, you’ll find that these seemingly mythological places do exist, they’re simply slightly elusive.
Here’s what I’ve managed to gather after a handful of conviction, coupled with a ton of primary and secondary research. Hopefully, with this list, you’ll be able to survive working in the CBD with a considerable amount of money left in your wallet at the end of each month.
Located in Boat Quay, just a short walk away from Raffles Place MRT Station, Katanashi offers extremely value-for-money set lunches at $12 nett each.
With 10 types of Donburi (Japanese Rice Bowls) to choose from, like their famous Chicken Teritama Don and Unatama Don, there’s definitely something for everyone at Katanashi. They look really pretty too! you can fancy up your Instagram post with these #instagramworthy #foodporn pictures of your lunch.
All lunch sets come with a side salad and a bowl of miso soup.
Katanashi: 77 Boat Quay, Singapore 049865 | Tel: 6533 0490 | Website
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:45am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 11:30pm | Sat: 5pm – 11:30pm | Sun: Closed
Yugo Izakaya is the place to go-to for students or interns working in the CBD area, because their student deals are amazing.
Angus Beef and Tamago Don Set ($10.90), on the Lunch Set Menu, comes with grilled angus beef and tamago (egg), and is served with a side of fruits and green tea.
Under the price of $10, they’ve even got Panseared Salmon Don ($8.90) and Kurobuta Fried Rice ($9.90), so students, you better make sure to bring your matric card.
Yugo Izakaya: 44 Prinsep St., #01-01, Singapore 188673 | Tel: +65 66596606 | Website
Opening hours: 12pm – 3am (Daily)
Now, I know Clarke Quay is celebrated for its name as a night spot for drinking and partying, but you can’t ignore the good food they offer too.
Little Saigon, under the current Clarke Quay promotion, offers this set lunch: Pho Bo with a choice of soft drink/juice. For $10++, this piping hot bowl of rice noodles comes submerged in slow braised beef bone and spice broth, with beef brisket and beef meatballs.
This little deal is available from Sunday to Thursday from 1pm-4pm, and Friday and Saturday from 3pm-4pm.
Little Saigon: River Valley Rd, #01-02, Block E, Clarke Quay, Clarke Quay, 179024 | Tel: 6337 5585 | Website
Opening Hours: Sun – Thu: 12pm – 1am, Fri – Sat: 3pm – 3am
Every weekday from 11:30am – 2:30pm (excluding public holidays), Moi Lum offers a wide range of set lunch choices between their Signature Value Set Lunch ($7.90) or Traditional Cantonese Set Lunch ($8.90) which includes a main course, and a choice of either a bowl of double-boiled soup or a drink.
Tip: pick the soup first, then top up $1 for a drink on top of the set lunch of your choice. Your meal will still be well below $15.
Moi Lum: 38 Maxwell Road, Airview Building, #01-01/02, Singapore 069116 | Tel: 62262283 | Website
Operating Hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm
Amazingly, lunch sets under Itacho Sushi’s Extra Value Set Lunch Menu, on top of its Grilled Fish Set Lunch Menu all fall under $15.
From Unagi Don ($14.60), to Tempura Udon ($11.80), to Fried Pork Cop Curry Don ($12.90), Itacho Sushi makes us spoilt for choices. However, the catch is that the only the rice sets come with miso soup, and you’d have to pay an additional $2 (u.p. $2.50) if you wish to order a canned drink.
Itacho Sushi (ION Orchard): 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #B3-20, Singapore 238801 | Tel: 6509 8911 | Website
Opening Hours: Sun – Thu: 11am – 10pm | Fri – Sat: 11am – 11pm
Also under the Clarke Quay Promotion, The Butchers Club gives us a mini burger lunch set meal: L1 Slider ($10) comes with side of duck fat fries and a choice of soft drink.
If you haven’t heard, duck fat fries are the most amazing type of fries to exist, so make sure not to miss out on this deal if you’re in the area during weekdays between 12pm-3pm.
Do keep in mind that the L1 Slider is pretty small, so I can’t guarantee you full satisfaction. If you don’t mind spending just a bit more, the L2 2 Sliders ($15), as its name suggests, has 2 sliders, so maybe that will fill you up good.
The Butchers Club: 3A River Valley Road #01-01B, Clarke Quay, Singapore, 179020 | Tel: 6837 0675 | Website
Opening Hours: Sun – Mon: 12pm – 10pm | Tue: 12pm -12am | Wed – Thu: 12pm – 2am | Fri – Sat: 12pm – 3am
Amongst the many rows and rows of Japanese and Korean eateries you’ll find at Tanjong Pagar Road, Tendon Ginza Itsuki will be the one with the longest snaking queue — its queue is so long that there’s even a water point outside of the establishment to ensure that queuers stay hydrated.
Tendon Ginza Itsuki only has two items on their menu and serves extremely affordable and deliciously filling set meals. Special Ten Don ($13.90) has two pieces of prawn, two pieces of chicken, one half-boiled Egg, four pieces of assorted vegetables all fried in tempura batter, piled on top of premium Japanese rice.
The other option is Vegetable Ten Don ($12.90) featuring pumpkin, shiitake Mushroom, lotus root, eggplant, amongst other assorted vegetables fried in tempura batter.
The sets comes with miso soup, chawanmushi, and pickled vegetables.
Tendon Ginza Itsuki: 101 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088522 | Tel: 6221 6678 | Website
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30 pm, 5.30 pm – 10pm (Daily)
Hanare is a small joint also located along Tanjong Pagar Road that is extremely hidden and very easy to miss. On the third floor, Hanare makes you work up an appetite while climbing up all those flights of stairs to get to the resturant.
They have three items under $15 on their menu: Pork Fried With Ginger, Fried Chicken and Chicken Nanban, all priced at $12.80 nett.
That’s not all, for $12.80 nett, you get unlimited access to rice, miso soup, Hoji tea and water, salad, pasta, eggs, and fried treats amongst many others. That’s basically a mini buffet you’ll definitely make a food baby with. Let me repeat: $12.80 nett.
Hanare: 99 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088520| Tel: 6222 1976
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10pm | Closed on Sunday
Gyu Kaku has a value lunch set menu featuring rice bowls, ramen and udon all under $15 across all outlets.
Under rice bowls, Gyu Kaku offers Teriyaki Chicken Don ($11), Buta Kimuchi Don ($10), and Gyu Don ($12). Their rice bowls come with salad, kimchi and seaweed soup. If you want to stray away from the conventional rice bowl, I’d recommend you get the Buta Kimuchi Don. It has a nice spicy Korean twist to it.
Gyu Kaku also has Miso Ramen ($12) and Gyu Suji Udon ($14.90) under the noodles option that come with salad and kimchi. Do note that there are a limited number of noodle sets every day.
Gyu Kaku (Novena Square): 30 Victoria Street, #01-01/02, Singapore 187996 | Tel: 6333 4001 | Website
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11pm (Daily)
Tanuki Raw has two outlets in the CBD: Kapok at the National Design Centre, and Orchard Central. Both outlets have a different variety of lunch sets under $15.
Tanuki Raw adds an ingenious playful twist to the concept of Japanese rice bowls with its interesting variations.
I’d recommend going to the Kapok outlet rather than Orchard Central, as they have a larger variety of rice bowls at cheaper prices. At Kapok, get the Garlic Butter Chicken Don ($14.80), or the Salted Duck Egg Char Siew Don ($14.80).
All lunch sets come with miso soup, green tea and a salad.
Tanuki Raw (Kapok): 111 Middle Road, #01-05 National Design Centre, Singapore 188969 | Website
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily)
With eight different innovative fried chicken flavours to offer, Chick And Ken, on top of artisanal bingsu, also brings has affordable lunch sets for us to noms on. Pick a flavour, then choose a side, and you’ll get a cup of iced tea to complete the set.
Your chicken comes in four pieces; two wings, and two drumlets. The more notable flavours are Yangnyeom (sweet and spicy gochujang sauce), salted egg (salted egg with chilli and curry leaves) and sour weed (lemon and apple sauce with seaweed).
Priced at $10.90 nett, you could also upgrade your set with premium sides (fried mushrooms, sweet potato fries, truffle fries or spam fries) with an additional $3, and it’d still be below $15.
Chick And Ken: 21 Lor Telok, Singapore 049033 | Tel: 9150 7257 | Website
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm | Sat: 12pm – 10pm | Sun: Closed
The Wicked Garlic: 10 Anson Road, #01-37, International Plaza, Singapore 079903 | Tel: 8509 2942 | Website
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 9pm | Sat: 11:30am – 8pm | Sun: Closed
Folk Collective at China Square tells the story of yesterday and transports you back to the golden ages at a Bangkok night market that grew out of an abandoned railway station.
From the genuine apothecary wall to the salvaged train carriage benches that line the place, you get a glimpse of the past while enjoying your meal.
Available on weekdays from 11am – 3pm, Folks Collective has four sets ($13.80 each) to choose from, each inclusive of Jasmine Rice, two Thai dishes, and freshly brewed coffee or tea. They also have vegetarian options available, so do enquire if you require it.
Folks Collective (China Square): 20 Cross Street, #01-25, China Square Central, Singapore 048422 | Tel: 6536 6739 | Website
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am-11pm | Sat – Sun: 11:30am -10:30pm
Equilibrium, a modern Italian Bacaro and ristorante, has the Cose Semplici Set Lunch ($13.90) that includes the choice of a main (between pasata, risottos, pizzas or meat), Assaggio Piccolo (starters), Petite Antipasto (traditional first course), cheese, and handmade bread. That’s practically a five course meal at a really low price.
You’d think that there be a catch to such a great deal, but there isn’t. Don’t miss out on this almost too-good-to-be-true meal every weekday till 2.30pm or during the weekends till 5pm.
Equilibrium: 15 Stamford Road, #01-86, Capitol Building, Singapore 178906 | Tel:6384 4069 | Website
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 12am (Daily)
If you love maki (sushi rolls), Rollie Olie serves them with an Asian-California style. Their set meals range from $12.95 to $15.95, which include half a sushi roll of your choice, a salad, and a soup.
Rollie Olie offers up some funky sushi rolls like the country-inspired Dos Amigos ($13.95), which features unusual elements like cream cheese and jicama (Mexican turnip), and K-pop ($12.95) with kimchi.
I’d recommend getting Rollie Olie if you’re looking for a light meal that packs a punch.
Rollie Olie: 3 Temasek Boulevard Suntec City Mall, North Wing PasarBella Suntec, #01-K42, Singapore 038983 | Tel: 8188 1531 | Website
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 10pm | Sat – Sun: 11am – 10pm
I wouldn’t exactly say that Just Acia serves good food, but man, the free flow of ice cream, frozen yoghurt, cappuccino, and soft drinks that come with their set meals are well worth it.
They’ve got Ramen, Udon, Rice Sets and Spaghetti all under $15, with the cheapest item being the Steamed Dumplings Set ($6.30). All rice sets come with miso soup and kimchi as well.
Just Acia (Dhoby X’Change): 11 Orchard Road #B1-45, Dhoby X’Change, Singapore 238826 | Tel: 6338 8071 | Website
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm
Nara Thai’s three set lunches range from $11.90 to $13.90. You could also top up your meal with a drink at $1.90 or with an extra side/coconut ice cream at $3.90.
They also have an exclusive buddy meal to enjoy two mains, a soup and a dessert to share at just $36.90, all available from 11.30am to 3pm on weekdays.
If you want something hearty for lunch, get Set C ($13.90): Ayuthaya Boat Noodle Soup with Pork Slices and Pork Balls, served with Crispy Chicken Wings with Black Sesame, then top up your meal with a Lemongrass Cooler ($1.90) for that added refreshing kick.
Nara Thai (ION Orchard): 2 Orchard Turn, #B3-21, ION Orchard, Singapore 238801 | Tel: 6634 5787 | Website
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Daily)
Choose between Salsa Dory Burger, Handpressed Burger With Cheese, or Buttermilk Chicken & Chopped Coleslaw Burger and your set ($11.90) comes with a side of fries and a soda. Heavy on the tummy, easy on the money.
Do note that although there will always be lunch sets on the menu, they change up the mains every once in a while to spice things up, So if you want to go for a particular dish, I’d recommend you go quickly before it gets flicked off the menu.
BWB Burgers, Wings, Bar: Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, #11-03/04, Singapore 238896 | Tel: 6634 0423 | Website
Opening Hours: Sun – Thu: 12pm – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm | Fri – Sat: 12pm – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Watami has quite a few choices on offer below $15 that fall under its lunch set menu. With the set comes salad, miso soup, and a drink of your choice. What’s more, you can top up your meal from a large range of sides for just a few dollars more.
From its Beef Rice with Hot Spring Egg in Tokyo Style Set ($9.90) to its Kansai-fu Kake Udon with Mini Rice (salmon sashimi rice/chashu rice) Set ($14.90), Watami’s lunch sets are a real steal.
Watami (Ion Orchard): #B3-23, 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, Singapore 238801 | Tel: 6509 9366 | Website
Opening Hours: 11:30pm – 10pm (Daily)
Everything on Jai Thai’s Individual Lunch Set Menu falls under $15, with choices including Tom Yam Rice Set ($8.80), Phad Thai Set ($7.80), Olive Rice Set ($11.80), and many more, each set is served with a choice of drink.
If you’re indecisive on what kind of Thai food you’d prefer, I’d suggest getting the Olive Rice Set or the Pineapple Rice Set ($11.80) that offers a small portion of several dishes like for the Pineapple Rice Set:Thai Sping Roll, Green Curry, Fish with Chilli Sauce and Pandan Chicken.
Jai Thai (Dhoby X’Change): 11 Orchard Road, Dhoby X’Change, #B1-12, Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, Singapore 238826 | Tel: 6338 5766 | Website
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm | Sun: Closed
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