Looking for affordable meals in the CBD?
Located in the heart of Singapore’s business district, One Raffles Place is designed to provide dining options to people living and working in the district, with a quite a number of not-so-common restaurants and cafes.
For example, there is Healthy Soba IKI which specialises in handmade soba prepared on the spot, and Joah Korean Restaurant serving Korean Chinese cuisine such as Jjamppong and Jajangmyeon.
The first store of the insanely-popular The Daily Cut specialising in nutritional and tasty rice bowls, is also found at the basement of One Raffles Place.
There are many restaurants and cafes serving exciting Asian-style AND healthy cuisine, with dishes priced quite affordably.
Here, you can find appetising meals starting from $5.50, with some restaurants offering $10 – $15 lunch sets. Doesn’t hurt your wallet. Here are 10 Asian restaurants and cafes found at One Raffles Place, with many under-the-radar names.
One Raffles Place #04-29
Tel: +65 6532 2387
The 65-seater Gin Khao is a Modern Thai cuisine restaurant using authentic Thai ingredients and traditional recipes to create well-balanced dishes with flavours of sweet, sour and spicy.
Gin Khao’s signature dishes include the unique and iconic Watermelon Fried Rice ($14.80, $25.80), the first of its kind (and perhaps the only one) in Singapore. It has watermelon balls, prawns, squid, beans, and green onions, and a secret sauce. The inspiration for this dish came about when Gin Khao’s Managing Director was on a trip in Thailand, chancing upon this uncommon dish sold in a secluded eatery.
The Thai Crispy Chang Pork Knuckle ($26.80) is made with pork knuckle marinated in Thai herbs and basted with Chang Beer. It is slow-roasted until the pork skin turns crackling crispy and its meat tender and succulent, with a pleasant hint of the beer basting.
Phat Thai Talay ($14.80)
The Chef recommended Phat Thai Talay is a stir-fried noodle dish bursting with sweet, salty, and spicy flavours, and has wok hei.
Tom Yum Gai ($13.80)
Tom Yum Gai another of its signature dish, is a hot and sour soup based on nam prik, a paste made of roasted chilies, shallots and garlic.
Chunks of skinless chicken breast are the main protein for this soup instead of the usual prawns that go into tom yum.
Other signature items include the Hot Basil Crispy Salmon Fish Skin ($13.80), Braised Fish Maw Crab Meat in Claypot ($18.80), and Tom Yum Spam Fries ($10.80).
One Raffles Place #04-30
Kei Kaisendon is a donburi specialty serving up fresh sashimi and kaisendons. Only the freshest sashimi is used every day, and the other daily ingredients could be slightly different.
With so many choices for Kaisen Don, feel free to start with these recommended ones: Aburi Mentaiko Kaisen Don ($17.90), Unagi Kaisen Don ($19.90), Salmon Kaisen Don ($18.90), Tamago with Chicken Don ($12.90), and Tamago Mentaiyaki Don ($9.90).
Kei Signature Kaisen Don ($12.90 for small, $16.90 for regular, $19.90 for large)
Must-try is the Kei Signature Kaisen Don, the restaurants’ signature bowl which has various top-quality seafood toppings.
It includes salmon, mix fish, Ikura shoyuzuke and chuka wakame served atop Japanese rice. Comes with a salad or rice or both.
While you can have your Kaisendon and eat it your own way, Kei Kaisendon recommends 4 unique ways to best enjoy their signature Kaisendon.
First, you can add a little bit of shoyu and wasabi to add depth to the taste of your Kaisendon. Second, you could mix a little mayonnaise and chili power on a saucer and blend the mixture into your rice bowl. This will give your rice an added creaminess and spiciness. Third, after finishing half of your Kaisendon, pour the special sakurai chicken soup into the remaining ingredients and enjoy your dish as a porridge.
Finally, you can take the special-cut nori seaweed, add a few spoonfuls of rice and sashimi, and wrap them into hand rolls. Pop into your mouth like a sushi.
One Raffles Place #04-48
Tel: +65 6536 9488
Kotobuki has been serving Singapore’s food enthusiasts since 1981, with a casual Japanese dining experience.
Its culinary team is led by Master Chef Murata Tamoya, who hails from Fukuoka, Japan, and specialises in Izakaya or casual dining and the famous Kyoto-style of cooking.
Signature items include Aburi Sake Maki ($22), light-torched raw salmon sushi roll, topped with mentaiko mayonnaise sauce, Unagi Maki ($22) – BBQ eel sushi roll topped with crispy tempura flakes, and California Maki ($12).
When you visit Kotobuki, you mustn’t skip the Hamachi Kama ($18), the prized collar/neck (kama) of a hamachi (yellowtail) as there are only 2 cuts available for each fish. Known to be fattest and most delicious part of the Hamachi that’s best seasoned with Kosher salt and roasted in an oven.
The Kushiyaki Mix ($18) is made of assorted grilled skewers including BBQ Chicken Wing, BBQ Asparagus Bacon, BBQ Enoki Bacon, BBQ Kurubota Pork, and BBQ Egg Roll.
If you’re looking for a noodle dish, order the Tenzaru Soba ($22), a classic Japanese summer dish that’s as popular as zaru soba or udon. It combines two classic Japanese favourites: tempura seafood and vegetables, and zaru style cold noodles served on a bamboo dish.
Bakumori Don ($22- $40)
Reserve the Bakumori Don ($22- $40) when you have that intense appetite, as these are mega sushi rice bowls. Available in 4 different set of toppings, they come with a bowl of miso soup on the side.
Maguro Bakumori Don ($22) is topped with raw and minced tuna, while Sake Bakumori Don ($24) has raw salmon with salmon roe. The Aburi Sake Bakumori Don ($26) is also topped with raw salmon but with mentaiko mayo sauce. Finally, the Deluxe Bakumori Don ($40) is loaded with sea urchin, salmon roe, yellowtail tuna, minced tuna and egg cube.
Healthy Soba IKI
One Raffles Place #04-47
Tel: +65 6438 6022
Healthy Soba IKI aims to make people’s life healthier and happier by serving 100% organic buckwheat from Japan.
This establishment only uses handmade soba, made by mixing organic buckwheat powder with water to create a dough, then kneaded by hand until elastic and smooth.
Only upon order will the dough pass through a machine to create strands of soba ready for boiling. Once cooked, cold water is added to bring out its chewy texture. Finally, the soba noodles are tossed to prevent them from becoming soggy.
The soba dishes are available as hot or cold versions.
Laksa Soba ($13.00)
The Laksa Soba ($13.00) is a locally-inspired creation that combines the health goodness of the organic buckwheat with the iconic flavours of laksa. A must-get.
Herbal Vegetable Soba ($14.00)
For vegans, try the Herbal Vegetable Soba made from 100% natural products and has that clean, homemade taste. The rich flavours of the broth complement the gluten-free soba noodles.
Avocado & Pepper Duck Rice Bowl ($14.00)
If you’re looking for a rice meal, go for the affordably priced Avocado & Pepper Duck Rice Bowl with generous toppings of quality avocadoes, pepper duck, tomatoes, strips of seaweed, and roasted sesame seeds.
Joah Korean Restaurant
One Raffles Place #03-21/22
Tel: +65 6438 6484
Customers at Joah Korean Restaurant will experience traditional Korean food with classic flavours cooked in the most authentic way.
Taste popular Korean fare such as DakGalbi, Korean BBQ, Army Stew, Korean Pancakes, and Ginseng Chicken Soup.
To add more variety in its customers’ choice, it also offers Chinese dishes made Korean-style, such as JjaJangMyeon or Black Soybean Sauce Noodles ($13), JjamPong or Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup ($17), Lemon TangSuYuk ($15); and other Korean dishes of Claypot Beef Bulgogi with Glass Noodles ($15), and Marinated Chicken with/without Cheese ($21/$19).
Ginseng Chicken Soup ($12.90 for half)
The Ginseng Chicken Soup is Joah’s bestselling item. A famous traditional Korean chicken soup boiled with ginseng, milkvetch roots, licorice and other medicinal herbs.
Only young chickens are used to ensure the tenderness of the meat. The whole chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice and jujube, then boiled in a broth with medicinal herbs to draw out its maximum flavours.
In addition, Basement 1 of One Raffles Place serves up a selection of food and beverage options and opens at 7.30 a.m. daily to cater to the early-morning needs of the working population.
Some of the popular food places there include Happy Tummy, Jewel Coffee, Kraftwich by Swissbake, Munch Saladsmith and Rotisserie, QQRice, Seattle Pike Chowder, Smør – A Scandinavian Deli, The Daily Cut, Wheat, and Yuki Onna.
It is not difficult to find long lines for some of them, especially during peak lunch hours. Here are some of the other recommended shops:
One Raffles Place #B1-18
Chalong is a modern fusion restaurant inspired by Thai flavours serving charcoal grilled meat rice bowls. It’s known for using sous vide cooking techniques and finishing the items off using charcoal grilling.
All the beef used here is air flown from New Zealand, while the pork is sourced from free-range Iberico pigs in Spain that are fed 100% on acorn.
Even the simplest ingredient like salt is specially sourced, as Chalong uses only Himalayan salt. Butter comes from Denmark.
All meats and vegetables are grilled in the highly acclaimed Josper Charcoal Oven. Smoked meats are done in-house, smoking them with Applewood to impart more depth in aroma.
All rice bowls are served with mi cuit (half-cooked) egg and Japanese Haenuki rice.
18hr Sous-Vide Iberico Jowl ($12)
Must-try is the 18hr Sous-Vide Iberico Jowl, a signature dish made with in-house premium Iberico pork cheek/jowl marinated in a special combination of Thai spices to impart a uniquely balanced flavour to the meat.
The pork is sous-vide cooked for 18 hours, then grilled over flaming charcoals. The gloriously charred and tender pork jowl is sliced and served with Chalong’s in-house specialty Chili Sauce that’s smoky, sour, sweet and spicy.
The Roast Beef Bowl ($14)
The Roast Beef Bowl features medium rare sous-vide beef served with a white truffle umami sauce.
Sea Bass Bowl ($17)
Try one of their latest additions to the Charcoal Grill Menu, a slab of sea bass marinated with lemongrass and grilled. Served atop steamed Japanese rice, and topped with egg.
XiMenJie Tastes of Taiwan
One Raffles Place #B1-19
Tel: +65 6534 5138 / 9720 9766
XiMenJie is an eatery that specialises in various Taiwanese delicacies, hence the name Tastes of Taiwan. Popular among the busy Raffles Place executives who want fast, convenient, diverse, and tasty meals.
The Salted Egg Crispy Squid Rings ($6.50) are a new snack item in the menu. The taste is unique as the recipe is specially formulated by XimenJie’s founder and chef, and perfected after so many rounds of product tasting.
Another signature item is the Taiwan Crispy Chicken Cutlet ($5.50), which are bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, marinated and dunked into a batter made of corn starch and sweet potato flour. This allows the chicken cutlets to attain a crispy exterior once deep-fried, while remaining moist and tender inside.
Other similarly flavoured new snacks to try are Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($ 6.00), and Salted Egg Crispy Mushrooms ($6.00).
Oyster Mee Sua ($5.50)
Begin your Taiwanese taste exploration with the Oyster Mee Sua ($5.50), a dish made with extra thin salted wheat flour noodles (mee sua), served in a savoury decadent soup with pieces of shucked oysters.
Enjoy this dish while it’s piping hot so as the noodles don’t clump together.
Braised Pork Rice 卤肉饭 ($6.00)
Braised Pork Rice 卤肉饭 ($6.00) is one of XiMenJie’s signature and best-selling items as most of its regular customers always order it without fail.
Its rendition of Braised Pork Rice is not as oily compared to others, and served with a braised egg and some vegetables.
Gado & Grill
One Raffles Place #B1-20
Tel: +65 64521182
Gado & Grill in an Indonesian food joint serving classic Indonesia favourites such as Ayam Penyet, Gado Gado, Grilled Chicken and its own signature dish, Gadomie.
Its Gado Gado ($7.60), also known as lotek, is an Indonesian salad combining blanched vegetables like bean sprouts and string beans, sliced hard boiled eggs, fried tofu, tempeh, and rice wrapped in a banana leaf, then dressed with peanut sauce.
Ayam Penyet ($8.60), an East Javanese dish, is smashed fried chicken served with sambal, sliced cucumbers, lettuce, fried tofu, and white rice. The smashing is done with a pestle against a mortar to make the chicken meat more tender.
If you prefer a grilled version, go for the Grilled Chicken Set ($8.60) instead.
Gadomie Set ($7.60)
The Gadomie Set is another extremely popular item in the menu, a twist of the popular Indonesian Indomie Mi Goreng. It’s combined with Gado & Grills’ very own Chunky Satay™, sambal, a sunny-side up egg, and garlic-flavoured crackers.
All these dishes come with a free drink, your choice of Teh Botol or Honey Kime Juice. Teh Botol, which literally means “bottled tea” in Indonesian, is a popular iconic Indonesian drink – a sweetened jasmine tea usually served cold.
One Raffles Place #B1-17
Tel: +65 6536 6466
NGON, which literally means ‘delicious’ in Vietnamese, features a comprehensive menu offering some of the most popular Vietnamese fare.
Each dish is made from scratch as far as possible, with ingredients sourced from Vietnam to create a truly authentic dish. Herbs and seasonings are carefully selected resulting in distinct and layered flavours and textures. When you dine here, you’ll know what exactly goes into your food.
Banh Mi ($5.90 – $8.90)
The Vietnamese Sandwich a.k.a. Banh Mi ($5.90 – $8.90) will introduce you to the world of Vietnamese cuisine, which is all about combining fragrance, taste and colour. This sandwich uses Vietnamese baguette or French Bread filled with assorted meats and vegetables.
Hanoi Seafood Noodle Soup ($10.90)
For something warm and comforting, go for the Special Beef Noodle ($10.90) or the Hanoi Seafood Noodle Soup ($10.90), a perennial favourite among Hanoians and considered the grand-daddy of the quintessential Thai Tom Yum.
The rich and tangy tomato-based stock is infused with tamarind, prawn paste and herbs. Using silky smooth rice noodles, this soup is topped with fresh squid, prawns and crabsticks.
The Lemongrass Chicken Rice ($9.90) and Chicken Chop Rice ($9.90) are two options if you prefer something more filling.
One Raffles Place #B1-30
Tel: +65 65366447
Located at the corner of the basement of One Raffles Place is Gochi So Shokudo, an under-the-radar eatery that focuses on the premium pork rice bowls, with prices targeted at the office crowd.
Despite being affordable, Gochi-so Shokudo uses only the most premium Iberian pork from Spain. The pork is charcoal grilled to bring out the best flavours from the meat.
Charcoal Grill Iberico Jowl Don ($13.80)
Popular items in the menu include the Charcoal Grill Iberico Jowl Don, made with tender Iberico pork jowl grilled over flaming charcoals for that amazing char-grilled smoky flavours.
Topped with a creamy onsen egg atop steamed Japanese fluffy white rice, the broken egg yolk adds a velvety texture over the whole don.
Iberico Pork Belly Don ($10.00)
The Iberico Pork Belly Don ($10.00) is one of its most value-for-money menu options. It comes with a generous portion of thinly sliced Iberico pork belly, a perfectly executed onsen egg, seaweed strips, and sliced spring onions atop a bowl of hot, fluffy rice.
You could upgrade your meal with side sets, such as a plate of Iberico Belly Enoki and Iberico Miso Soup.
Iberico Loin Tonkatsu($17.80)
Try also the Iberico Loin Tonkatsu ($17.80) which comes with a deep-fried Iberico pork loin cutlet, fluffy bowl of rice, sesame seeds and their special dipping sauce. The skin of the pork loin cutlet has a lovely golden brown colour.
One Raffles Place is located at 1 Raffles Place, Singapore 048616, with direct access to Raffles Place MRT Station.
* This post is brought to you in partnership with One Raffles Place.