Your afternoon meetings need not be a drag.
It can be hard to pick a restaurant that conveys the message that you mean business, while also satisfying everyone’s tummies. Choosing a fine dining restaurant is usually the way to go to make a good impression. But then, there are also times when you want something more fun and less formal to impress your quirky client. Whether it’s your boss or clients you want to cater to, or if you just want to celebrate a company milestone or achievement, here are restaurants with weekday lunch specials that will suit all personalities and budgets too.
1. Looksee Looksee
The lobby of Lo&Behold Group’s offices is a reading salon open for public use. It is also managed by tea purveyour A.Muse Projects who provides a selection hot and cold teas. As it is not officially a cafe, the salon operates on tips alone. Check out the coffee table books around the salon for inspiration.
267 Beach Road, 199545
2. Monument Lifestyle
A cafe and retail space, modeled after Californian boutiques. Coffees and teas here are imported from San Franciscan roasters Four Barrel Coffee and tea house Samovar Tea & Chai respectively. Small bites include open-faced toasts and sandwiches made in collaboration with Park Bench Deli. The petite cafe area is brightly-lit and offers comfortable banquette seatings – great for productive meetings.
75 Duxton Rd, 089534
There is no indication of this cafe along Hong Kong Street, save for a small lightbox of a sakura print. The secluded spot steers clear of random walk-ins which makes for uninterrupted meetings. Our tip: keep a lookout for the ’17 Hongkong Street’ plaque for a better chance of finding this cafe.
17 Hongkong St, 059660
4. Tea Bone Zen Mind
Occupying two shophouses along Emerald Hill, the artisanal teahouse specialises in Chinese teas. Tea Bone Zen Mind offers tea sampling sessions, a two or three-affair with snacks on the side. Private tatami rooms can be booked ahead for more formal meetings.
98 Emerald Hill Rd, 229374
5. Dapper Coffee
This dark cosy joint on the second floor of an Amoy Street shophouse is a cafe by day and a gastrobar by night, although a barista hints that boozy options are available any hour of the day. It’s an old-school drinking den hiding in an eclectic attic. Cold coffees here are served on the rocks in lowball whisky glasses.
Curious cake options such as salted egg earl grey and chocolate black sesame are on hand to keep you satiated. Ask for the secret menu, too, to see what the staff have in store that day.
73A Amoy St, Second Floor, 069892
6. Strangers’ Reunion
Strangers’ Reunion is a pillar of the local cafe scene for a reason: it offers the quintessential hipster experience without feeling generic. The airy 80-seater serves up coffee that’s on point – as you’d expect when the cafe’s co-founder is a three-time national barista champion. If you aren’t up for coffee, there’s a wide range of teas, cold drinks, hot chocolate and a range of craft beers and ciders.
The cafe’s extensive all-day breakfast (which lasts till 5pm) includes the standard benedict options, but also has surprises such as beetroot corn fritters. Weekends bring further brunch specials to the table. After 6pm each day, pastas and meaty mains become available for a hearty meal.
35 Kampong Bahru Rd, 169356
7. Common Man Coffee Roasters
CMCR is owned by the Spa Espirit Group, the brains behind other popular outlets like Skinny Pizza, House at Dempsey and Tiong Bahru Bakery, so you know you’re in good hands. The 90-seater places patrons rather closely together, which makes it a great place for a casual chat between larger groups. These guys take their coffee very seriously – they roast their own beans and have some hand-built Synesso machines all the way from Seattle.
For food, go for the sweet potato carrot cake and top it with ice cream. Also try the Turkish Common Man Breakfast, and pancakes with caramelised banana.
22 Martin Rd, #01-00, 239058
8. Group Therapy
This cafe occupies the second floor of a former Duxton Road shophouse, up a inconspicous flight of stairs. Push past the thick wooden door at the top to be greeted by warm chatter and the comforting aroma of coffee.
The 55-seater can sometimes get crowded, so avoid peak periods. Food recommended: the croque madame, and the cafe’s the full-bodied lattes. Weekends tend to pull a late brunch crowd until 4pm, giving the impression that time slows down while within.
49 Duxton Rd, #02-01, 089513
9. The Salon
Dine indoors or in the al fresco area – either way, you’ll definitely enjoy your meal here. The Executive Set is available for both lunch and dinner and offers a choice of main course and appetiser or dessert, from $34++. The restaurant’s menu is a mix of Western and Asian flavours and favourites include Lobster Nasi Lemak, HFC Singapore Curry Chicken, and Stuffed Chicken Roulade. Located at Hotel Fort Canning, the hotel and its surrounds will certainly provide a charming and relaxing backdrop to your meal. They have three private rooms for group bookings which can accommodate five to 14 people.
11 Canning Walk, Hotel Fort Canning, 178881
10. Gordon Grill
There are several restaurants at Goodwood Park Hotel that are ideal for business lunches but Gordon Grill is especially suitable if you know your boss, clients or colleagues love a good steakhouse. Known for serving some of the finest steaks on our island, this old-school European-styled restaurant has been around since 1963 and has won many accolades so you know the food is undoubtedly good. The hotel is also a beautiful colonial venue, adding an extra charming touch to your lunch. The Big-On-Small Lunch (three-course $58++, four-course $68++) features dishes such as Australian lamb chops with roasted brussels sprouts, couscous and black peppercorn sauce, and fresh catch fillet with seaweed rice, baby spinach and lemon white wine sauce.
22 Scotts Road, 228221
11. Pince & Pints
Gourmet seafood is the order of the day here and lobster lovers often cite it as the place to dine when the crustacean craving hits you. Its popular dishes include Signature Lobster Rolls and Whole Live Grilled Lobster. The restaurant is introducing its Lunch Specials from March 25, which is ideal if you know your business associates are seafood lovers. Dishes include Half Lobster Noodles ($29++), Lobster Mac & Cheese ($28++) and Signature Classic Lobster Roll ($48++). Note that these lunch specials are only available at their Duxton outlet.
32-33 Duxton Road, 089496
Text adapted from www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg and Balvinder Sandhu / Updated by Muneerah Bee, April 2019
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