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Work in the CBD? Here are some Business District Bites!

Whether you’re looking for a great lunch spot, a post-work bite and beer with your colleagues, or the perfect date-night destination, Singapore’s CBD has a lot to offer. Here’s a handful of restaurants to try in and around Raffles Place.

Stellar at 1-Altitude

Seard Hokkaido Scallop Belon oysters morcilla and pancetta puree

As Singapore’s highest gastronomic destination, it’s no surprise that this fine-dining restaurant offers breath-taking panoramic views – and don’t miss sunset cocktails one level up at 1-Altitude Rooftop Gallery and Bar. Focused on using modern techniques to get the most out of the best seasonal ingredients available, executive chef Christopher Millar serves up progressive Australian fare with global influences; this is best seen in the eight-course Antipodes Menu ($190 per person, plus an additional $115 for wine pairing), which reflects his Australian heritage, experiences and culinary adventures.

Stellar has both à la carte and three-course set lunch menus available, as well as three-, six- and eight-course set dinner options, all of which feature exclusive Tajima wagyu beef sourced from Stellar’s very own cattle raised in the Riverina region of New South Wales.

In celebration of 1-Altitude’s seventh birthday this month, Stellar is serving a special winter truffle-based menu throughout July. And, on 5 July, Stellar welcomes chef Francisco Araya of Calia Emporium in Melbourne and co-founder of Michelin-starred 81 Restaurant in Tokyo to cook an exclusive “four hands” truffle-focused dinner with Chef Millar. For more information, visit 1-altitude.com.

GREAT FOR: Special occasions, private parties, classy business functions and cocktails with a view

Level 62, 1 Raffles Place 6438 0410 | 1-altitude.com

Erwin’s Gastrobar

Bar bites

This retro-chic, American-Italian gastrobar is a great goto if you’re looking for an extensive selection of drinks – including a range of boutique Italian wines, bottled international craft beers and German Paulaner beers on tap – and all-day American-Italian favourites, from bar bites and burgers to pastas, pizzas and hearty mains like the eggplant Parmigiana sub ($16), fish and chips ($16.50) and a steak sandwich ($22.50). There are three different salad options (starting from $10) too, if you’re looking for something on the healthier side.

Breakfast is served on weekdays from 7.30 to 11am, offering cheese toasties ($5.50), homemade granola with yoghurt and berries ($5) and a breakfast board with an egg frittata with smoked salmon, avocado and camembert ($15).

GREAT FOR: Breakfast meet-ups, post-work nibbles, Happy Hour (3 to 9pm on weekdays) and casual weekday lunches

#01-01 Ground Plaza, Marina Bay Financial Centre, 8A Marina Boulevard 6634 8715 | erwins.com.sg

Shahi Maharani

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Raffles City, Shahi Maharani (which translates to “royal queen”) is easily reached from the lobby lifts of the Fairmont Singapore. The décor can only be described as opulent, with its colour palette of gold and cream, portraits of nobility, Rajasthani artefacts, stately chairs, wooden tables and plush banquette seating.

However, it’s anything but pompous, with chefs twirling roti and naan bread, and classical Indian music amping up the atmosphere – making it a good spot for business lunches and casual catch-up meals alike. From an extensive menu of North Indian cuisine, some of the signatures include the tandoori chicken (from $16), shah jehani lamb chops (grilled chops smothered with an onion and tomato sauce, and served on a sizzler; $48) and tawa jheenga (sizzling, pan-seared tiger prawns; $40). Also, don’t miss the restaurant’s recently reintroduced one for-one weekday buffet lunch ($56), and its popular Sunday buffet lunch ($40 per person).

GREAT FOR: Business lunches, private functions (the private room holds up to 18 guests), and relaxed meals with friends and family

#03-21B Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road 6235 8840 | shahimaharani.com


Take your tastebuds on a world tour with a French starter, a Chinese main and a Japanese dessert, as this rooftop restaurant-bar, helmed by executive chef Sam Chin Han Ling, uniquely serves all three cuisine types. It’s not a fusion restaurant, however; rather, there are three individual kitchens from which diners can order different complementary dishes.

Me@OUE recently introduced a four-course chef’s tasting menu (from $98), which represents all three cuisines, as well as an omakase menu that features a fresh, whole fish flown in from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market; the chef can prepare the fish three ways – Japanese, French and Chinese-style – so you just need to choose which cooking method and flavour you’d like. This also goes for the highly prized Kumamoto wagyu that can now be found on both the tasting and the à la carte menus – choose from a raw tartare ($52) or wok-fried kung pao version ($60), or ask to have the meat Japanese charcoal grilled or pan-seared and butter-basted the French way (from $88, depending on the cut).

Psst! Don’t miss pre- or post-meal cocktails on the terrace – this place has unbeatable Marina Bay views.

GREAT FOR: Power lunches, romantic date nights and alfresco cocktails

Me@OUE is 50 Collyer Quay, OUE Bayfront|6634 4555 | me-oue.com

Ola Cocina Del Mar


Helmed by Peruvian chef Daniel Chavez, this Spanish spot has a cosy, homey feel with none of the stuffy vibes that you may find at some other CBD eateries. The open-kitchen design makes the counter the place to sit, as it’s where most of the action takes place, especially at lunchtime when it’s packed to the gills.

While chef Daniel originally devised a strictly Spanish-style seafood menu, he adopted a Latin twist after requests from patrons that his Peruvian-inspired “specials” become mainstays, along with various meat options. Signatures here include the pulpo a la brasa (grilled octopus; $24), fish ceviche with lime, chilli and red onions ($24), cochinillo “Ola” (whole roasted suckling pig with orange caramel, and sweet and sour sauce; from $48) and churros with warm chocolate sauce ($15), plus six different paellas (from $38) including a squid ink version.

In honour of Ola’s fifth anniversary, the restaurant has rotating daily specials all month long, plus a “Paellada” party on 30 July (12 noon to 4pm), where chef Daniel will play host to chefs Rishi Naleedra (Cheek by Jowl), Asai Masashi (Bincho) and Mario Malvaez (Tono Cevicheria). All four chefs will serve their special takes on the traditional Spanish rice dish ($150 per person, including free-flow food, wine and other drinks). Visit olarestaurant.sg/latestevents for more details.

GREAT FOR: Business lunches and quiet dinner dates

#01-06 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, 12 Marina Boulevard 6604 7050 | olarestaurant.sg

Park Bench Deli


“Go big or go home” should be this sandwich spot’s mantra, as it serves over-the-top, comfort-food sandwiches unlike any others in Singapore. Favourites here include the cheese steak hoagie ($16) with beef brisket, cheese sauce and caramelised onions, the Cubano ($16) with pulled pork, smoked ham, cheese and aji verde sauce on ciabatta, and the beef meatballs and mozzarella sandwich ($17). Of course, the grilled cheese (cheddar and emmental cheese on rye) with tomato soup ($14) is another winner. They’ve also got beef chilli with tater tots ($14) and a sous vide turkey salad ($14), among other non-sandwich options.

GREAT FOR: (Messy) casual lunches and post-work bites

#01-06 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, 12 Marina Boulevard 6604 7050 | olarestaurant.sg

The Daily Cut

A great grab-and-go lunch or dinner option, The Daily Cut is the perfect solution when you’re looking for a healthy, straightforward, protein-rich meal. It’s simple: take one of the pencils provided and fill out an order form, choosing exactly how you want to customise your protein-based bowl. Pick one of four sizes (from $9 to $18) based on how many proteins (chicken, tofu, tilapia, rib-eye steak and barramundi), carbs (brown rice, pasta and sweet potato, among other options), supplements (quinoa, egg white, edamame, sweet corn and over a dozen other ingredients), and toppings (coconut, shaved cheese and almonds, to name a few) you’d like, then go down the assembly line as it’s made in front of you. This is a healthy meal made super-easy. The One Raffles Place location will reopen on 17 July after undergoing renovations; until then, visit The Daily Cut’s other CBD location at Tanjong Pagar Centre for your fix.

GREAT FOR: A quick, protein-packed lunch or takeaway dinner

#B1-31 One Raffles Place thedailycut.sg

Artemis Grill

With unbeatable views of the city, Marina Bay and the sea beyond, this chic restaurant offers a contemporary Mediterranean menu by executive chef Fernando Arevalo that’s focused on artisanal, sustainable and organic ingredients. Summer menu favourites include smoked eel with forest mushrooms and white asparagus ($26), baby kale salad with citrus dressing ($18), and – two dishes that are part of the set lunch menu ($45 for two courses; $50 for three) – braised wagyu beef cheeks, and beetroot gnocchi with basil and feta. Since this spot is always buzzing with an after-work crowd, your best bet is to book ahead.

GREAT FOR: Business meals, after-work drinks, date night or a smart girls’ night out

#40-01 CapitaGreen, 138 Market Street 6635 8677 | artemisgrill.com.sg


La Grand Selezione

Housed in the iconic glass dome next to The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Monti is ultra sleek with luxe bronze and blue hues, and a copper-top bar serving all kinds of signature cocktails – and with a to-die-for view of Marina Bay (have pre-dinner drinks on the rooftop). Chef Luigi Calcagno’s modern-Italian menu is full of options for meat eaters, seafood lovers and vegetarians alike, with freshly made pastas being mega popular. The braised veal osso bucco ravioli with cream of bone marrow, lemon zest and Parmigiano-Reggiano ($34) and the gnocchi with Italian sausage, porcini mushrooms and black truffle ($30) are both fan favourites, while the risotto cacio e pepe ($42) is an absolute must-try – Italian carnaroli rice cooked tableside by chef Luigi in a giant Parmesan wheel and topped with black pepper and shaved black truffles.

GREAT FOR: Dinners to wow guests from out-of-town, romantic dates and swanky business lunches

Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay 6535 0724 | monti.sg

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This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!