Now that a good number of executives have gone back to the office, restaurants are rolling out set lunches for time-strapped folks who still want to enjoy sophisticated dining. From Michelin-starred establishments with stunning views to intimate Japanese kappo, bookmark these recommendations for your next work-from-office days.
At Jaan, chef Kirk Westaway’s latest spring menu features tender white asparagus braised in milk atop silky asparagus custard with gleaming Kristal caviar, and poached Cornish seabass and roasted Scottish scallop with spring greens – such as pencil leeks, broad beans and samphire. The main course is a UK’s Rhug Estate lamb loin brushed with Dijon mustard, served alongside English green peas and fresh mint, sourced from the hotel’s aquaponics farm. The meal ends with Coffee and Milk Chocolate, a dessert composed of chocolate mousse, hazelnut caramel, coffee biscuits and milk chocolate ice cream.
Four courses for $138 and five courses for $178; a vegetarian option is available
This recently-opened mod-Asian restaurant offers curated lunch sets perfect for the busy Marina Bay Financial Centre lunch crowd. Tuck into a cold appetiser of sashimi-grade yellowtail with pickled zucchini, watermelon salsa and red shiso broth. For the hot appetiser, you get shredded confit duck leg in teriyaki sauce with airy potato mousse and onsen egg; if that’s not quite satiating, add on a dish of grilled Hokkaido scallops with a porridge of organic oats. The star of the lunch is chargrilled king prawns, whose sweetness is balanced by a garlic chilli ragu. This is paired with pasta tossed in a shallot soy vinaigrette (the chef got his inspiration from Shanghai-style noodles). Finish the meal with an Okinawa brown sugar madeleine, accompanied by rum candied kumquats, Tahitian vanilla ice cream and a citrus sauce.
Two courses for $39; three courses for $48; and four courses for $59
For a lunch that impresses, book two-Michelin-starred Saint Pierre, overlooking the sparkling waters of Marina Bay. Lunch offers seafood creations such as plump Manjimup marron poached and cooked in marron oil, and delicately sweet Nemuro hairy crab from Hokkaido, balanced with red pepper and green pea veloute that’s brightened with passionfruit juice. For the main course, pick from the well-marbled omi beef laced in a nori-infused sauce, or the pan-seared Nagasaki seabass, stuffed with mushrooms and corn sauce. For dessert, it’s either the rich manjari chocolate with raspberry and lychee, or the lighter gariguette strawberry with kampot pepper and soy. A word of warning: dishes do change depending on the availability of ingredients.
Three courses for $168 (Wednesday to Friday) and four courses for $198 (Wednesday to Saturday)
At the 10-seater counter in this fine dining kappo restaurant, located at the second level of InterContinental Robertson Quay, guests can watch chef Akane Eno prepare the food, which features her signature: ebi somen, a take on prawn noodles that combine silky somen with a rich prawn broth, topped with kuruma ebi, bafun uni, and crunchy tonburi. For the final course, donabe, rice is freshly prepared in a claypot along with other ingredients of the season. The meal rounds off with a light dessert and Japanese fruit.
Five courses for $138 and seven courses for $188
Housed in InterContinental Bugis, the eponymous chef at this newly-rebranded restaurant hails from Italy, and celebrates the classics served at his father’s restaurant in the town of Sirmione. Start with a chilled tomato soup with snow mozzarella cheese, followed by a heartier homemade pasta with lamb ragout. The main dish is generously portioned: pan-fried barramundi with zucchini a la plancha and olive pesto. For dolce, diners get either a vanilla panna cotta with raspberry compote and almond crumble, or the more citrusy pick of yuzu curd, lemon gel, almond frangipane and lime meringue. Expect a good selection of Italian wines.
Two courses for $34 and three courses for $40, Monday to Friday
Chef-owner Michael Wilson celebrates spring in this pretty spot in Gardens by the Bay. The meal starts with snacks like Kingfish and Caviar (algae tart shell, aged kingfish, smoked cream, Amur caviar) and Apricot and Comte 36 ( apricot ‘leather’, 36-month aged comte cheese, gel of sauternes). If you’re brave, a lunch-exclusive dish to tuck into is the Domaine St. Vincent asparagus, rolled in a confit egg yolk emulsion and black ants. The insects, included for acidity, are farmed for culinary use in Massachusetts. On the side: charred kale, wild garlic puree, buttermilk sauce and wild garlic oil. Another highlight is the slow-cooked Iberian suckling pig, served with savoy cabbage puree and chou farci. Finish with a pretty dessert of caramelised homemade brioche soaked in a tonka bean-infused, alongside Tonka bean crème diplomat and crowned with strawberries.
Four courses for $168, Friday to Sunday
This smart-casual spot by the poolside of Voco Orchard Singapore offers one of the most affordable set lunches on the famed Orchard Road. The newly-rebranded concept features comfort fare and a sprinkling of more creative dishes, plus with a decent wine list. Kick off with creamy burrata brightened with sweet pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) and fresh rucola. This is followed by mains of either carnaroli risotto – cooked in saffron broth with braised shredded beef and pesto – or a robust braised angus beef rib with goat’s cheese curd, red treviso lettuce and pickled baby pear. If you prefer to go meat-free, opt for the Sicilian parmigiana, with oven baked layers of eggplant, housemate tomato pasta, mozzarella and basil pesto. Round off with luscious Basque cheesecake or artisanal gelato. The lunch menu changes on a bi-weekly basis.
Two courses for $28 and three courses for $34, Wednesday to Friday
Well-executed Chinese food in a sophisticated setting, Mott 32 at Marina Bay Sands is an excellent venue for both business and leisure lunches. Partakers of the five-course executive set lunch, for example – the most pocket-friendly option – get to enjoy crispy roast pork belly as a starter, followed by delicate dim sum including siu mai with prawns and Iberico pork, and a steamed dumpling filled with garoupa, prawns, pea sprouts and chilli. For mains, fill up on deep-fried cod fish with golden garlic and chilli, and a generous portion of braised egg noodles spiked with spicy XO sauce. Finish with bouncy glutinous rice dumplings with sweetened ginger tea. To finish: premium Chinese tea, of course.
Five courses for $55 (Executive set, Monday to Friday); $98 (Classic set, Monday to Sunday); and $128 (Signature set, Monday to Sunday). All sets require a minimum of two diners
This newly-launched Spanish spot offers a contemporary menu of dishes cooked over an open wood-fired grill, or in a Josper charcoal oven. Housed in Chijmes, it’s a lunch spot away from the CBD crowd where you tuck into grilled Iberico chorizo with Mexican cheese and grilled white asparagus with bluefin tuna belly and confit green peas. Pick between protein or pasta for the main: either squid ink capellini pasta with fried baby squid, grilled organic chicken with confit potato and fennel salad, or 45-day dry aged ribeye with confit potato (add $15). Pineapple with Catalan cream makes for a refreshing dessert. Also check out the wine list, which includes over 60 Spanish labels.
Two courses for $35, Tuesday to Friday
Text: Amy Van/ Peak