Quick Picks: 5 places for a Swift and Scrumptious Lunch in S'pore

It's not everyday that you have the luxury to sit down to a lavish lunch without having thoughts of impending doom from the stockpiling workload weighing heavily on your mind. But with this little window of opportunity to escape as far away from work as possible, its always a good idea to treat yourself to something a little more substantial, a little more gratifying, if I might add. Here are a few of my go-to places for a quick lunch with perks of enlightenment and spiritual healing afterwards.

1. Kinsa Sushi (4 Hillview Rise, HillV2 #02-02, 669320)

It's no secret, I love my Wagyu Dons. From the humble versions to the lust-worthy, wallet loathing version at Fat Cow, I want in on all of them. Especially where quality beef is concerned, there's no rhyme or reason to resist  a good wagyu don. Kinsa Sushi's Wagyu Don ($24.80) smashes it out of the ballpark with its generous serving of 60g of Grade A4 Kagoshima Wagyu on rice flanked by a runny onsen egg. A dish that I had initially have issues with, concerning the temperature of the onsen egg which threatened to throw the entire constitution of my bowl off kilter; However, upon reviewing the price, I have no gripes whatsoever. A fabulous one-dish meal.

Keep a look out for their equally value for money sets as well. The Sashimi Set ($19.80) providing the hinterland of food fantasies for those seeking something a little fresher and lighter on the palate. Oh, and remember to save room for the Shake Mentai ($5.80 for two pieces) [Insert open-mouthed emoji here]


2. Park Bench Deli (179 Telok Ayer St, 068627)

I firmly belive that a good sandwich is the way to a person's heart - yes, I'm impartial to grilled cheese but when it comes to more prolific variants, Park Bench Deli takes the cake. Located in the thick of the chaos that is the CBD during lunch hours, Park Bench Deli looks every bit as cool, calm and collected as they churn their way through never-ending ticket orders from hungry diners. Their looming zombie-like presence in the shop as their await their package, adding to the stress of the matter. Yet, breaking through the turmoil, like a shining beacon of light are the outstanding flavors in these seemingly simple rolls. My absolute favourite is the Kong Bak Banh Mi ($14) - sous-vide pork belly cooked in rich dark sauce, dressed with Vietnamese greens, pickled carrots and daikon with a slew of crushed peanuts for bite. Not your traditional roadside banh mi, but this sandwich would have you wiping out hopes of sustaining your carb-free diet. Just saying. 

Equally ambitious is the Torta ($15) which is a Mexican flavoured pulled pork sandwich with all the essentials covered, including guacamole, arduously cooked pulled pork, peppers and a sprinkling of crunchy pork fats. The jalapenoes adding a huge kick to the sack. Great if you love your Mexican without having to get your fingers all messy from battling a crumbling soggy burrito. 


3. Oriole Cafe + Bar (13 Stamford Road, Capitol Piazza #02-20/21, 178905)

Newish kid on the block, Oriole Coffee + Bar @ Capitol Piazza Neue is the second outlet of homegrown coffee roasters Oriole coffee. At this inconspicuous corner on the 2nd floor of Capitol Piazza, surrounding by the the occasional avant-garde fashion-art instalment space; it's all about enjoying good food with friends in a stylish and relaxing environment. Drop in for a super smooth piccolo latte or pull up a pew and while away the day; you'll be blessed with the added benefit of free wifi in the vicinity. Home in on the Avocado and Toast ($14), the toasted focaccia bread, an excellent vessel to the well seasoned smashed avocados whilst the smoked tomatoes add a layer of intricacy to this clean dish. Don't miss out on the M.A.D. Milk ($8), a cold pressed non-dairy nut concoction composed of macadamias, almonds and dates (geddit?).

Note: Oriole Coffee + Bar is rolling out a 1-for-1 meal deal special from Monday to Friday during lunch, until the end of October. So make sure to grab your homie or a darn healthy appetite if you're keen.


4. DSTLLRY (21 Media Circle, #01-01, Infinite Studios, 138562) 

DSTLLRY needs no introductions, especially among the chirashi loving fans. Though highly inaccessible, this placidly shaded den is a multi-level temple to the glorious bowl that is their infamous Bara-Chirashi Don ($16.90) - hipster Asian eateries don't come much cooler. Super bang-for-buck, it comes in a Spicy Ramen ($16.90) rendition as well, but nothing beats the sublime bara-chirashi don jammed pack with salmon, maguro and hamachi tossed in their secret sauce of mirin, dashi and soy sauce over a comforting bowl of rice.

Come night, DSTLLRY only serves up a omakase, one that comes with front row seats to the live action occuring under your nose in the open concept kitchen. It doesn't get more real-time than that.


5, Envy Coffee (1 Fusionopolis Link, #01-04, Nexus@One-North, 138542)

Envy Coffee is an institutional One-North cafe with a big ole' heart. Founded by three young men and women who left behind stable executive jobs in order to curb their envy from the rising amount of independent cafes on the island - they finally found their voice at this quaint space filled with inspirational quotes decorating serene green splashed walls. Drop in for a coffee or stay for a meal, Envy Coffee has the goods to make your morning. Their lunch deal is suitably attractive with a top up of $3.90 paving the way for an extra bowl of homemade soup and a hot coffee or premium tea. 

The Sambal Prawn Paste Chicken Burger ($13.90) is a relatively new addition to the menu and sure packs a feisty kick from the marination of the chicken in sambal. Despite the charcoal buns hailing from Joe&Dough not being as dangerously good as its appearance suggest, the overall package shows potential to be something great if a little more attention to detail such as searing the chicken skin-side down is performed for that little edge of textural theatrics. The homely Smoked Duck Miso Pasta ($12.90) is an eccentric individual with a blend of miso and sesame cream elevating the bland pasta (cook in MORE salty water next time please), the key installation of smoked duck pleasing with its shy shade of pink and tender temperament.

I shall return for the Egg Mayo Croissant soon. Think, $7.40 for a solid cup of cappuccino and a well deserved treat of creamy egg mayonnaise stuffed within crunchy walls of a well formulated croissant. Please do not deny me that pleasure.

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