Why host your next power lunch at the same predictable spot when there is a plethora of restaurants that offer best menus that are as unique as their ambience? Crystal Lee shortlists eight that will impress.
This story first appeared in the April 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.
Top 10 restaurants for business lunches
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When it comes to steaks, Bedrock Bar & Grill talks a good game. Since opening in 2008, the restaurant has won numerous accolades, including Best Steakhouse in Asia in the Haute Grandeur Global Excellence Awards from 2020 to 2021, for its classic, applewood-fire grilled dishes. Here, meats are treated with a seriousness that underscores the value of time, which coaxes out their best flavours through the process of dry-ageing and smoking. Lunch is indulgent to say the least, and you can opt for a two-course or a three-course set. Choices for mains include a juicy tenderloin with foie gras, a ribeye with thick-cut fries, a baked barramundi fillet, a lamb ribs rice bowl, and the Signature Bedrock Black Pepper Steak Rice Bowl, which has a wagyu petit fillet and foie gras resting atop beef drippings garlic rice. The smoky, truffle-scented Mac n’ Cheese, although not part of the lunch sets, is a must-order to accompany your meat-heavy meal.
Lunch at Cassia is a refined, almost stately, affair – and it’s not just because you’re dining in a gorgeous and intimate André Fu-designed restaurant housed within five-star resort Capella Singapore. Executive chef Lee Hiu Ngai, who brings more than 40 years of culinary experience to the restaurant, delivers elegant Cantonese fare that warms and nurtures the soul with delicate flavours. His Nourishing Set Lunch consists of a dim sum platter, a double-boiled soup of the day, Baked King Prawn with Superior Broth, Stewed Crystal Noodle with Seafood, Egg and Vegetable and the Cassia Trilogy Dessert, but you can go a la carte with your crew for more dim sum, a whole Peking duck and other mouthwatering dishes on the extensive menu. Quiet, sophisticated and away from the hustle and bustle, this is also the place where you can slow down and have long, deep discussions.
Hashida breaks the mould of traditional Japanese establishments, the kind where no one talks above a whisper and food is served with hushed reverence. In its latest incarnation on Amoy Street, Chef Kenjiro Hashida, better known as Hatch, makes it a point to put his guests at ease with jokes and small talk while he labours over jewel-like plates of raw fish, sushi, rice bowls, soups and other intricate creations. Curious, offbeat touches – like the torii gate at the restaurant’s entrance and the tiny Star Wars Lego figurine placed at the edge of an illuminated recess in the ceiling – also give the Japandi interiors an interesting dimension. Like most high-end Japanese dining temples, Hashida does omakase, so chef Hatch decides what you eat. All you need to do is to name your price and be wowed.
The views of the marina from the two-Michelin-starred restaurant at One Fullerton are mesmerising, but the precision and creativity of chef Emmanuel Stroobant’s cooking – a personal celebration of Asian flavours through French techniques – will soon enchant you. Set lunches are available in three or four courses, and include signatures like the Caviar with scallop and wild basil; the Marron, a Western Australian freshwater crustacean that resembles a lobster, accompanied by osmic tomato and lemongrass; and the decadent fork-tender Omi beef with miso. Feeling generous? Go for one of the six-course tasting menus, which see some prized ingredients (think pigeon from Anjou, France, and seabass from Nagasaki, Japan) not commonly seen around these parts.
Nestled on the 17th floor of CBD skyscraper CapitaSpring is a sprawling, 43,000 sq ft, four-storey garden called Green Oasis. Within this lush sanctuary is Sol & Luna, a Latin-European bistro opened just last month by the same folks behind 1-Altitude, Stellar and Flnt. The all-day menu features contemporary takes on classical recipes from Italy, France, Portugal and Spain, with highlights such as fresh house-made and handcrafted pasta, Smoked Duck and Foie Gras Rillette with Crostini, Wood-fired Corn-fed Piri Piri Chicken Thigh with Cherry Tomatoes and White Gazpacho. Dishes are made with responsibly sourced and traceable ingredients from the 1-Arden Food Forest on level 51, as well as local producers wherever possible. What’s also cool about this new place is that you can order remotely from any spot within the Green Oasis via a QR code and the crew will deliver your lunch to you, so there’s no need to press pause on work or a meeting.
Each ingredient is used to its maximum potential at this minimal-waste, tasting-menus-only restaurant. Take its signature Aged Turbot. The fillet, aged for five days to amplify its flavours, is accompanied by a sauce made from turbot liver cooked with Vin Jaune. The skin and trimmings are fermented to a garum (fish sauce), which is used to season vegetables. Turbot skin is also used to make collagen stock, one of the components in the chips recipe. Bones from the turbot are hung and dried for two weeks to make the broth for the dashi tea. Got an eco-warrior to impress? Salted & Hung could be your best bet, even surprising you along the way.
If it’s a casual get-together, pick a spot by the bar. If it’s a formal meeting, head inside the dining hall or one of the private rooms. Either way, you’ll savour hearty, bold and comfort flavours of Spain from the skilled hands of chef Gonzalo Landin and his team, who can whip up everything from croquettes to squid ink paella with clams and calamari. The latter is only available at dinner time, but there are also a mean chicken and seafood paella, octopus and fiduea (a spaghetti-like pasta) stew, fresh cheese terrine and beef tartare for lunch.
The satay is made from Westholme Wagyu Beef from Australia, known for its rich marbling, and slathered with a kicap manis glaze. Chunks of aromatic mackerel otah are wrapped in Japanese taupok, cooked in curry and served with Beijing cabbage, long beans and chopped laksa leaves. Prawns are wok-fried with buah keluak sambal, kaffir lime
leaves and lemongrass. Big Peranakan flavours are the calling card of chef-owner Malcolm Lee, who is unafraid to go heavy on the spices. Go for the tasting menu, so you get to try the best of the one-Michelin-starred restaurant – and be ready to share every plate like how nonya families do
One of Singapore’s best Indian restaurants is also amongst its oldest. Established in 1892, Tiffin Room at Raffles Singapore is a sumptuous dining establishment with an equally sumptuous menu of North Indian specialties inspired by the royal culinary heritage of the Maharajas. A la carte is the way to go if you’re in a group, so you can order more from the vast menu. Highlights include the Maharaja Kebab Tasting Platter consisting of Raan-E-Tiffin (pulled lamb), Jhinga Kebab (large prawn) and Khyber Murgh Kebab (corn-fed chicken breast), Paneer Butter Masala, Scallops Coconut Curry and Lucknowi Murgh Biryani, an aromatic and fluffy mixed rice dish with spices, chicken, Makhana Salan gravy (a spicy-tangy concoction of peanuts, sesame, tamarind and chilli) and raita (a yohurt-based vegetable side). Or you can create your three-course lunch with its signature Dabba served in shiny Tiffin tiers. Each set comes with a lentil curry, saffron- and cumin-flavoured Basmati rice, naans, two appetisers, one main and a dessert. Vegan or Jain dishes are also available upon request.
Chef Andrea De Paola knows how to spoil his guests. Well-versed in traditional Italian recipes, he takes them apart and puts them back together beautifully with the best prime produce he could find. Think a burratina with confit Japanese cherry tomatoes and basil essence, a wagyu beef tenderloin tartare with Beluga capers, smoked egg yolk, aged balsamic, house-made tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and shavings of black winter truffle, and a “Spaghetti alle Vongole” with razor clams, Oscietra caviar and bergamot scent. Add to that arresting views of the CBD and well-drilled hospitality that makes sure there’s bread on your side plate and your glass is filled, it’s no wonder the restaurant is always mostly thrumming.