Working life can be hard, but one of the highlights for me is always lunch. If you happen to work around the CBD area, you’ll know that meals aren’t the cheapest, so any tips on affordable places are always welcome.
Those in the vicinity of Telok Ayer would know of Far East Square, a unique dining enclave that’s a mix of restaurants, cafes, pubs and pushcarts, all housed within a heritage conservation project.
And with new dining spots popping up within the past few months, you’ll want to check out these five affordable food places in Far East Square that you can head to for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in-between.
Inspired by the doughnuts that owner Myron and Shaz enjoyed in Brooklyn, Korio is a kiosk serving up thick brioche doughnuts and a selection of hearty sandwiches. The intrepid duo actually developed their own recipe for the brioche doughnuts!
Made from scratch daily, their doughnuts are so popular that they often sell out before closing time. We tried the Caramelised Biscuits (S$4.20), Peanut Butter & Jelly (S$4.20), and Mango Passionfruit (S$4.20).
If you’re a fan of the Lotus Biscoff biscuits, then the Caramelised Biscuits doughnut is perfect for you. My personal favourite, however, is the Mango Passionfruit. The fluffy brioche doughnut was coated with just the right amount of tangy and sweet glaze—the tartness undercut the sweetness pretty well.
The Cinnamon Sugar Do’Hole (S$4.20) would be great for an afternoon snack. Fluffy, soft and bite-sized, I polished these off without breaking a sweat.
Savoury bites include the signature Grilled Cheese (S$8) and Breakfast Sammy (S$9).
I really enjoyed the Breakfast Sammy—two thick slices of luncheon meat were sandwiched between brioche toast, and slathered with an overflowing amount of Sauce Gribish (French-style egg mayonnaise). It’s incredibly hearty, and I felt that I could even have it for lunch.
Korio: 135 Amoy Street, #01-03, Far East Square, Singapore 049964 | Tel: +65 9771 6491 | Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun | Instagram
Don’t be fooled by the humble exterior of this hole-in-the-wall eatery—the char siew and yong tau foo at Overice are some of the tastiest around.
You’ll get to pick a main, and you can add on sides for S$1.50 – S$2, and beverages for S$2. The sides include Spicy Dumplings (+S$2), Marinated Potato Strips (+S$1.50), Marinated Black Fungus (+S$1.50), Salted Fish Beansprout (+S$1.50), Stewed Mixed Vegetables (+S$1.50), Braised Eggplant (+S$2) and Mapo Tofu (+S$2).
My top picks for the mains are the Crispy Pork Belly Overice (S$8.80), Barbeque Pork Overice (S$7.80) and Curry Beef Cubes Overice (S$8.80). Big eaters can even add on more rice for S$1!
If you’re not a rice person, then try their ramen dishes. My personal favourite is the Barbeque Pork Ramen (S$6.80). Glistening, succulent pieces of char siew came with a bowl of springy noodles and absolutely addictive seafood soup. The broth actually reminded me of a particularly thick and rich prawn mee soup.
Plus, all prices here are nett, so you can easily get a hearty meal under S$10.
Overice: 21 China Street, #01-01, Far East Square, Singapore 049563 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 5pm – 9.45pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun | Instagram
3. Three 日Bowls
For a healthy lunch, I usually turn to salad bowls. At Three 日Bowls, healthy doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste.
This fast-casual dining spot serves up customisable salad bowls and wraps, with an Asian influence.
You can choose from two types of bowls with different price points: at S$6.80 nett, you’ll get the basic salad base, protein, sauce and topping, while at S$8 nett, you’ll also get a choice of carbs. Additional protein will cost you S$2, and any special protein will also cost an additional S$2. For a more well-rounded meal, add on more toppings for S$0.50 each.
The list of protein options is impressive; we managed to try four out of 13: Salmon Sashimi, Crispy Pork Belly, Teriyaki Charsiew and Stuffed Chicken (top-up S$2).
My personal recommendation is the Crispy Pork Belly, though you’ll want to consume it quickly so that the skin crackles when you bite into it.
For toppings, choose from 17 different options. The Tamago Omelette added a splash of colour, or you can also consider the Onsen Egg (top-up S$0.80) if you prefer your eggs runny.
The possibilities are endless when you can create your own yummy healthy bowl—I know I’d love to come back to Three 日Bowls soon!
Three 日 Bowls: 137 Amoy Street, Far East Square, Singapore 049965 | Opening Hours: 11.45am – 2.30pm (Daily)
4. Genius Central
Healthy living takes on new meaning at Genius Central.
This restaurant serves up plant-based dishes that are just as delicious as they are filling and healthy. Stepping into Genius Central was like entering a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling CBD. The space is sectioned according to the different energies—there’s a bar area for networking, a cosy nook for chill gatherings, and lots of communal tables for the digital nomads out there.
Diving into the food, we tried the Genius Bolognese Pasta (S$12.80) and Happiness Bowl (S$13.80), and sampled Guilt-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake (S$6.80), Vegan High Protein Peanut Butter Slice (S$6.80) and Vegan Banana Bread (S$6.80).
It’s hard to believe the Genius Bolognese Pasta doesn’t contain meat when it’s just as scrumptious as any Bolognese pasta out there. The hearty pasta dish is generously slathered with red sauce and comes with carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil and oregano. I loved how it didn’t leave me feeling bloated, but it was still pretty comforting and filling.
The Happiness Bowl was just as impressive, with nourishing ingredients like black sesame-encrusted avocado, heritage black rice, alfa sprouts, roast pumpkin and more. You can also add on Tempe (S$1), Chicken (S$2) or Prawn (S$3), though the latter two would mean the dish isn’t vegan anymore.
With how indulgent the desserts were, I’m really glad Genius Central gave us tasting portions. Yet they’re super healthy too, which is incredible when you taste how creamy and decadent they are.
My favourite was the Vegan Banana Bread. Denser than usual, each bite was adequately sweet yet not cloyingly so.
Genius Central also offers lunch sets for S$11.90. You get a main and a dessert, which is sure to be hearty, healthy and delicious.
5. The Nomads
Those with a palate for adventure might want to head to The Nomads. Serving up reimagined Central Asian cuisine, this restaurant is inspired by the rich history of the Silk Road.
Expand your culinary horizons and get a taste of uncommon dishes. Bar counter seats provide an excellent view of the grill, so you can watch the chef deftly prepare your meal.
We tried the Salat (S$18/S$16) and the Hunter’s Plov (S$36/S$54); both of which dishes that you can’t commonly find elsewhere.
The Salat was an interesting blend of sweet and savoury, with grilled pear, crystalised walnuts and other fruits and nuts atop a bed of seasonal greens. Served with anchovy sauce, the result is a dish that’s simultaneously sweet, fresh and tart, which also briny and crunchy.
For something more substantial, the Hunter’s Plov is a staple dish in most cultures across the Silk Road. Inspired by the traditional version in Uzbekistan, The Nomads offer us a bowl of dry-aged A4 wagyu and Carnaroli Risotto. Topped with pickled heirloom carrots, tea quail eggs and brandied raisins, this actually makes for a fairly hearty meal.
If all the exotic dishes are too overwhelming to choose from, their omakase menu such as The Odyssey of Fire (S$148) serves up 17 courses, hand-picked by the chef. You can find out more about what we thought of The Nomads in our full review.
The Nomads: 70 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Far East Square, Singapore 048462 | Tel: +65 6977 7057 | Opening Hours; 6pm – 11pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun | Facebook
Aside from these five dining spots, you can also pop by other food places in Far East Square like Dean & DeLuca and Makaan Mumbai.
Situated at 47 Pekin Street, Dean & DeLuca offers mouth-watering savoury dishes and tasty sweet treats. Get the Spaghetti Carbonara (S$17) or the Shoyu-Maple Salmon (S$18) for a hearty meal, or pick up the Chocolate Blackout Cake (S$9.50) for a truly decadent chocolate cake.
For spice lovers, Makaan Mumbai at 84 Telok Ayer Street brings us Bombay cuisine. Classics like Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Saagwala, Deep Fried Fish, Naan Bread and more abound, perfect for a meal that’s sure to bring the heat.
Regardless of whether you’re here for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something in between, Far East Square has it all. I know where I’m headed, the next time I’m in the area!
For a limited time only, enjoy daily free parking at Far East Square from 12pm to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm. Visit Far East Square website for more details. Download the shopFarEast mobile app to stay up to date with the latest events, promotions and offerings by Far East Malls.
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Far East Square, a Far East Mall.
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Far East Square
45 Peking Street, Singapore 048775
Far East Square
45 Peking Street, Singapore 048775