We visit two buzzing commercial centres to check out their latest F&B offerings.
With office hubs burgeoning into foodie hubs, there’s no need to travel far to enjoy post-work drinks or a sumptuous dinner. We visit two buzzing commercial centres to check out their latest F&B offerings.
In the West – One North
Besides housing the high tech and media industries, this sprawling complex with quirky building names (like Nanos,
Centros, Innovis and Solaris) is also home to diverse cuisines and a surprising number of bars.
Launched in mid-August, Coalesce is a bar and restaurant tucked away on thethird floor of the NTU Alumni Club with a menu that reflects the cosmopolitan character and melting pot of cultures in Singapore. The pork tsukune ($13) marries Japanese meatballs with French white wine-glazed asparagus and kaffir lime hollandaise, while the Alaskan Thai milk tea coco gelato ($9) puts an Asian twist on the American dessert with mango puree and toasted rice puffs. During happy hour (4 to 8pm), enjoy 30% off cocktails and discounts on draught beer. Cocktails are one for one for ladies on Thursday nights. #03-01 NTU Alumni Club, 11 Slim Barracks Rise. Tel: 9186 0685
Co-owned by actor-restaurateur Adam Chen (who is also behind Five Bar), this izakaya just across the road from Buona Vista MRT station satisfies any hankering for sake and donburi. Bar snack options include kawahagi (dried filefish, $6) and ume kurage (plum jellyfish, $6). #01-06 The Metropolis, 9 North Buona Vista Drive. Tel: 8138 8578
The Herbal Bar
The third outlet of The Herbal Bar, barely a month old, is the first outside the CBD. Health nuts and gym rats will rejoice at its wide range of filling and nutritious meals. Owner Waye Tan developed the Chinese herbal soup recipes with his mother, who has been a TCM practitioner for over 40 years and takes trips to China to source for ingredients. Bestsellers include Chinese cabbage and fish maw ($9.80) and Mini Buddha Jumps Over the Wall ($11.80), a rich stew of abalone, scallops and shiitake mushrooms. #01-18 The Metropolis, 9 North Buona Vista Drive. Tel: 6694 1127
This bistro and bar in the heart of Biopolis is a popular evening hangout with hearty bites like Wagyu burger ($19.80) and cheese platter ($17.80). But its greatest appeal may be the fantastic happy hour, which lasts from 4pm till late, during which you can get $7 wines or spirits and $11 pints of beer (Stella and Hoegaarden). Don’t miss their $2 oysters between 5 and 8pm daily (while stocks last), and live music on Wed and Fri evenings. 70 Biopolis Street. Tel: 6778 9585
After the success of its Changi Business Park branch, Manchurian Club opened a second outlet in one-north four months ago. Diners will be intrigued by its “Indianised Chinese” cuisine, which was developed by early 1900s Hakka immigrants to India fleeing the political turmoil in China. Relish in the explosive flavours of devil’s prawns ($15), crispy five-spice chicken ($8), lamb in Chu Hou sauce ($9) and Manchow soup ($7)—a dark and spicy broth that’s an Indian Chinese classic. #01-05 Nucleos, 21 Biopolis Road. Tel: 6266 6920
Sitting atop one-north MRT station is Galaxis, a building with numerous food options, from grain bowls to coconut steamboat. Come sunset, though, you’ll find scores of workers flocking to The RED, a dimly lit bar where you can play darts and listen to live music. Evening nosh includes Hokkien mee with lala ($8), along with less substantial bites like gyoza ($7) and smoked duck with fruit salsa ($10). Before 9pm, Asahi and Kronenbourg beers are on discount (e.g. 2 pints for $20, 2 towers for $120). #01-12 Galaxis, 1 Fusionopolis Place. Tel: 6253 6184
Surrounded by a profusion of greenery, Arkadaş Cafe is a lush retreat where you can find Turkish favourites such as hummus with pita bread ($7.90), lamb and beef adana kebab ($18) and kenefe ($12)—nicknamed “a slice of heaven”—a decadent pastry of enriched with cheese and syrup. Chef Mustafa Gungor has an impressive pedigree to boot: He used to be personal chef to eight of Turkey’s ambassadors to Singapore. #01-02 Sandcrawler, 1 Fusionopolis View. Tel: 6466 9918
Perfect for a special occasion, this Italian restaurant lies in a secluded corner of one-north and will win you over with its warm ambience and homey cooking. For mains, try the pappardelle with Chianti ragù ($20.90) or get the black truffle pizza ($24.90) to share, and conclude your meal with the Tuscan dark chocolate cake ($14.90) or panna cotta with Amarene cherries ($14.90). Alcohol options include Menabrea beer ($10), Prosecco ($14.90), grappa ($16.90) and various wines (from $11.90). #01-03, 5B Portsdown Road. Tel: 6479 9521
This year-old gastropark offers unbeatable variety. Built from shipping containers, one half showcases traditional hawker stalls that close by 6pm (Rong Ma Curry Rice is pretty fantastic) while the other half features slightly upscale stalls (think food truck fare) open till 10pm or so. Smack in the middle of it all is Bottle Shop, which offers over 200 rotating craft beers (from $10). 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent.
At CHAR Express, you get to savour the quality roast meats of the Jalan Besar restaurant in smaller portions and at more affordable prices. Get the signature char siew or roast pork belly ($6.50), which comes with rice and vegetables. Other noteworthy dishes include kung pao chicken ($5.50) and salted egg pork ($6.50). #01-32
Bestsellers at this modern pizza and sandwich joint by Tanuki Raw, The World Is Flat, includes Fat Samurai ($9), a charcoal-crust deep dish pizza piled with ten toppings such as duck confit and smashed US beef, and Mama Says ($14), a vegetarian sandwich loaded with Portobello, baby spinach, sweet potato, brie and mozzarella. #01-04
In The East – Kallang Hub
Right on the fringe of the café cluster in Jalan Besar lies this young commercial hub. Along with the office towers that have sprung up, a foodie haven has developed across the lower levels of CT Hub, CT Hub 2 and Aperia Mall.
Fisher’s Tavern Seafood
Looking for something hearty and comforting after work? Fisher’s Tavern Seafood serves up their own rendition of the classic white bee hoon ($20) with heaps of ingredients including crayfish, prawns and clams. Be sure to try their salted egg crab ($60), seafood claypot ($25) and cereal prawns ($20). They’ve recently been Halal-certified, and accept only cash. #01-68 CT Hub 2, 114 Lavender Street. Tel: 9786 7796
For a sweet afternoon snack, Fairyfloss offers a make-your-own candyfloss burrito ($15/2 coloured floss and 10 pandan-flavoured crepes). Pick a few of their hand-pulled cotton candy with colours ranging from orange, purple, yellow or pink and pair it with their homemade crepes. Simply roll it up for a perfect pick-me-up. #01-07 CT Hub 2, 114 Lavender Street. Tel: 9180 3914
The Bento People
Eating healthy has never been easier with The Bento People, where you can make your own bento ($9.80 onwards) with their interesting mod fusion toppings. We recommend the bulgogi beef tofu for a Korean inspired bento, the tom yum mushrooms and cauliflower for those who like a kick and the classic sous vide chicken. #02-17 CT Hub, 2 Kallang Avenue. Tel: 6443 2006
Juan Dong Ji
Juan Dong Ji is the place to visit when you and your colleagues need a hotpot fix. With a time limit of two hours, you get to enjoy their hotpot buffet (adult: $21.80++, child: $11.80++) with free-flow drinks. Each diner gets a personal pot with six different soup bases to choose from—chicken, tom yum, seafood, tomato, mala and old cucumber pork ribs (our favourite). Throw in some meatballs, fresh beef slices, various fresh vegetables and their special handmade dumplings to create a filling and satisfying dinner. #01-25 Aperia Mall, 12 Kallang Avenue. Tel: 6702 1528
For a vegetarian feast after work, NatureCafé offers a wide range of Asian dishes without the use of MSG, garlic, onion or wine. They have even created meatless versions of local favourites such as veggie fish noodles with milk ($5.90), green curry ($5.90), spicy fried kuay teow ($5.90) and chicken and char siew rice ($5.90). For dessert, be sure to try their grass jelly ($4.30) or red dates with white fungus ($4.30). #01-28 Aperia Mall, 12 Kallang Avenue. Tel: 6702 3962
Koon Bak Kut Teh
On cold and rainy days, you can never go wrong with Koon Bak Kut Teh. Their bak kut teh boasts a flavourful peppery soup and comes in options such as spare ribs and pork ribs ($6.50) and premium spare ribs ($9.50) which boasts tender flesh that tears off the bone easily. Their Koon seafood white beehoon ($9.90) is also worth trying. 119 Lavender Street. Tel: 6299 0119
The Coffee Shot
At this bright and spacious cafe, enjoy a hot cuppa after work or a meet-up with your friends before heading home. The Coffee Shot serves up amazing lunch and dinner options such as their signature baked herb crusted salmon ($16.50) made with fresh Norwegian salmon, mesclun and tomato coulis. They also have all-day breakfast options like eggs Benedict ($14.90) and Scramb It! ($17.90)—a platter of scrambled eggs, bratwurst, ham, toast, tomato and mesclun salad. 103 Lavender Street. Tel: 6299 5909