Did you know that Tanjong Pagar used to be one of the poorest estates in Singapore? Looking at the towering skyscrapers and fancy office buildings all around today, I find that simply quite unbelievable.
Because of how atas the area looks now, many assume that it’s impossible to find something to eat in the area without splurging.
So, we’ve gone around the bustling CBD area and searched high and low. Here are 14 food spots under S$10 in Tanjong Pagar you can visit without breaking the bank!
Looking for authentic Penang flavours to change up your mid-day meals from the usual dreary routine? Then Jia Yi Wan (加一碗) is the perfect place for you.
The restaurant serves up quite a unique Claypot Mee Tai Mak (S$7.80) which boasts a prominent wok hei flavour. With a raw egg cracked in the dish just before serving, the dish had a really satisfying gooey texture.
The squeeze of lime also brought some much-needed zestiness to cut through the fat, and that completed the dish.
Jia Yi Wan (加一碗): 7 Hoe Chiang Road, Singapore 089313 | Tel: +65 6904 2580 | Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Daily) | Facebook
Renowned as one of the leading cafe chains in China, Mellower Coffee along Robinson Road specialises in house blend coffees. If you’re looking for an aesthetically-pleasing space to while away your afternoon with a cuppa, this is it.
Their Instagram-worthy Sweet Little Rain (S$9.80) comes with a cloud of cotton candy suspended over a steaming Americano. While you meticulously ensure that you get that perfect Instagram shot, make sure you don’t actually miss the main event!
As the cotton candy melts from the steam of the coffee, it’ll drip like tiny raindrops into the cup. This hint of sweetness against the Americano’s sour aftertaste is sure to satisfy you.
3. Ducatus Cafe
Known for being Singapore’s first cafe that accepts cryptocurrency, Ducatus Cafe offers a pretty unique cafe experience. Besides the whole novelty of paying with their currency, Ducatus Coins, the food there is very affordable and takeaway–friendly.
If you haven’t had bak kwa in any way other than on its own, their Chino Bacon & Eggz (S$5.50) will definitely impress. The flatbread sandwich actually resembles a BLT, but an Asian version since there are pieces of bak kwa in it!
The bak kwa was sweet and not too dry, and went really well with the other ingredients to give every bite a unique crunchy texture.
Ducatus Cafe: 138 Robinson Road, #01-01 Oxley Tower, Singapore 068901 | Opening Hours: 7am – 7pm (Mon – Sat), Closed On Sun | Facebook
If you pass by Tanjong Pagar Centre regularly, you’re probably familiar with the occasional long queues at HATTENDO Cafe. This Japanese cafe from Mihara, Japan has a history dating back to 1933 and is famous for their cream buns.
With five flavours — Matcha, Chocolate, Custard, Azuki and Cream (S$2.50 each) — to choose from, you’ll certainly find yourself in a dilemma. That said, however, my go-to has got to be the Chocolate.
I appreciate how the chocolate cream isn’t overly sweet even though there’s already fresh cream in the bun. Simply pair it with a hot cuppa and it’ll be the perfect coffee break.
—Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre—
5. Issan Thai Food
Craving for authentic Thai cuisine but don’t have the time to travel to Thailand? Fret not, because Issan Thai Food in Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre can satisfy your cravings.
The Thai hawker stall serves up a plethora of Thai dishes. However, most customers go for their Basil Rice (S$5.50). It comes with white rice, a sunny side up, as well as a generous serving of basil chicken.
The juicy minced chicken has a wok hei flavour that will surely tantalise your taste buds. It also packs a punch of heat, so spice-lovers, take note!
Issan Thai Food: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-13, Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre, Singapore 081006 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 8pm (Mon – Fri), 11.30am – 5pm (Sat), Closed on Sun
6. Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff
With humble beginnings dating back to the 1950s, Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff is a well-known curry puff maker.
Their persistence in using traditional preparation methods earned them a Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2018. They were also one of the new establishments featured at the Michelin Guide Street Food Festival in 2019.
It’s not difficult to see why the hawker stall’s signature Chicken & Egg (S$1.50) curry puffs are so popular. With a buttery crust that’s thin and flaky, biting into it made for a sensational crackle.
Inside, the huge potato and chicken chunks were also aromatically spicy from the large amounts of spices used to flavour the fillings.
Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-15, Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre, Singapore 081006 | Tel: +65 9235 8093 | Opening Hours: 9am – 2pm (Daily) | Website | Facebook | Instagram
—Amoy Street Food Centre—
Not too far away from Telok Ayer MRT Station is A Noodle Story (超好面) in Amoy Street Food Centre. Serving up Singapore-style ramens, the stall has been receiving the Michelin Bib Gourmand award yearly from 2016 to 2018.
Their signature Singapore-Style Ramen ($8 for small, $11 for medium) had a distinctly local flavour which was reminiscent of wonton noodles. The noodles were springy and quite al dente, with a rather flavourful bite.
The dish also came with a bowl of soup, which was slightly sweet and herbally like bak kut teh. There were even shredded bits of pork in the soup too!
A Noodle Story (超好面): 7 Maxwell Road, #01-39 Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111 | Tel: +65 9027 6289 | Opening Hours: 11.15am – 2.30pm & 5.30pm – 7.30pm (Mon – Fri), 10.30am – 2.30pm (Sat) | Facebook
For those of you looking for something that’s healthy but still hearty, Lagoon In A Bowl will definitely suit you.
Their Mentaiko Salmon Rice Bowl (S$10) is a premium donburi which features a thick salmon fillet, but that’s not all. It also comes with a rainbow selection of other ingredients! Expect blue butterfly pea rice, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, corn and a sous vide egg.
Mixing the egg into the rice yielded a wonderfully creamy and smooth texture. The blue rice was also fragrant with a subtle flowery aroma. As for the salmon, simply blowtorching it created a smoky flavour which hit all the right notes. Simple, yet satisfying!
Lagoon In A Bowl: 7 Maxwell Road, #01-48 Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111 | Tel: +65 9119 2619 | Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon – Sat), Closed on Sun | Facebook
9. Grandma Ban Mee (老妈子板面)
Nothing hits the spot like simple, modest hawker food. And if you love ban mian, Grandma Ban Mee (老妈子板面) does a really good one.
A bowl of their signature Dry Chilli Ban Mee (S$5) comes with ultra-springy noodles and a variety of ingredients. These ingredients include ikan bilis, minced meat, a poached egg, as well as a fiery chilli paste.
Together, they come together in harmony and give the dish a fragrant umami flavour. Prepare to wait for your food though, as these nostalgic dishes are hot favourites especially during lunchtimes.
Grandma Ban Mee (老妈子板面): 7 Maxwell Road, #01-07 Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 2pm (Mon – Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun | Facebook
10. Lian He Shao La Fan Mian (聯合燒臘飯.麵)
For some good roasted meats over rice and noodles, Lian He Shao La Fan Mian (聯合燒臘飯.麵) is the place to go.
Their Char Siew & Roasted Pork Rice (S$3/S$4) comes with a decent portion of barbecued and roasted pork. The siew yoke was crackly and scrumptious, while the char siew made for a good contrast with its succulence.
They also drench their meats and rice with a generous and luscious glaze of decadent sauce. Many customers say it completely takes the dish’s flavour profile to another level because of the extra sweetness it adds.
Lian He Shao La Fan Mian (聯合燒臘飯.麵): 7 Maxwell Road, #01-20 Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 8pm (Daily)
—Maxwell Food Centre—
11. Rojak. Popiah & Cockle (囉喏. 薄饼. 鲜蛤)
The only rojak store in Maxwell Food Centre, Rojak. Popiah & Cockle (囉喏. 薄饼. 鲜蛤) serves their Rojak (S$3 onwards) with an intensely rich sauce. Many customers opt for the addition of century eggs as they further enrich the dish’s flavour with their subtle bitterness.
The stall’s Popiah (S$1.50 for one, S$2.80 for two) is also popular for having delightfully soft skin. Not only that, customers always sing praises about the generous amount of turnips in the filling. The fiery sambal chilli that they pair their popiahs with is also quite a showstopper.
Rojak. Popiah & Cockle (囉喏. 薄饼. 鲜蛤): 1 Kadayanallur Street, #01-56 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily)
12. The Hangar (Coffee Express)
After having a huge feast at Maxwell Food Centre, why not unwind with a cuppa at The Hangar (Coffee Express)?
Here, you can get your caffeine fix with the hawker stall’s Australian espresso-based coffees. They use premium, single origin and speciality Arabica beans in all their drinks that’ll definitely satisfy your coffee cravings.
A cup of their Espresso goes for only S$3, and their Flat White for only S$4! I don’t think you can get such premium coffees anywhere else at such affordable prices, can you?
The Hangar (Coffee Express): 1 Kadayanallur Street, #01-33 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184 | Tel: +65 6291 0127 | Opening Hours: 8am – 3.30pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 3.30pm (Every other Sat), Closed on Sun | Website | Facebook
A small shop along Icon Village, Kakuida’s offers a selection of kurozu-infused drinks, baked doughnuts and unique soft serves.
Their Homemade Kurozu Ice Lemon Tea With Kurozu Konnyaku (S$3.90) had a mellow earthy sourness which was tingling to the tastebuds. With every gulp, the drink was refreshing, not overly sweet and definitely wasn’t in-your-face sour, perfect for kurozu first-timers.
If you’re looking for something else to quench your thirst, their Signature Soft-Serve With Kuromitsu (S$4.50) will certainly do the trick also. They drizzle the milky soft serve with kuromitsu, a Japanese sugar syrup infused with kurozu. You can be sure it’s refreshing!
14. DOCO Donburi
A small five-seater food kiosk in International Plaza, DOCO Donburi serves up wholesome meals for under S$10. You can expect a menu featuring bowls of donburi and natural coconut desserts.
Of the three donburi bowls they offer, the Sh-nack Don (S$9.90) was the standout. It comes with a generous portion of grilled beef that they marinate with their pepper and in-house teriyaki sauce. They then blowtorch it to give it a warm sizzle which made it all the more juicy.
The umami beef also went very well with the salty fish sh-prinkles. Amalgamating everything together was then a luscious onsen egg which was creamy and satisfyingly gooey.
DOCO Donburi: 10 Anson Road, #01-16 International Plaza, Singapore 079903 | Tel: +65 9049 9926 | Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun | Facebook
There’re so many quirky yet affordable places to eat in Tanjong Pagar. We’ve merely cracked the tip of the iceberg with these 14 places.
That said, let us know if you have any other go-to spots in Tanjong Pagar for lunch! There’s certainly no such thing as having too many things to eat in an area.