8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Lunch time or crunch time, sometimes you need everything done all at once. Challenge rounds up lunch sets served speedily to fill your belly for under $10. 
8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Cafe Donut Factory

With its cheery orange decor and pretty sweets on display, this cafe will surely chase away the boardroom blahs. For $9.10, you get to choose a main dish from a variety of Western and Asian fare, a drink and a generous serving of soup. Top up your meal with a donut for 90 cents and you get a perfect ten of a meal. While this combo option lasts all day, you can score an even better deal between 2pm and 6pm with the lunch time special that offers a main dish with a drink and a donut for just $7.50.

Where: 10 Sinaran Drive, Novena Square 2, #02-95, S(307506) (This restaurant has since closed.)

Telephone: 6352 2297

Opening hours: 10am – 9.30pm

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Bumbu Desa

Looking for a quiet, cosy spot for your meet-ups and discussions? Accessible yet discreetly tucked away in a corner of Novena MRT, this restaurant is a hidden gem. Feast on authentic, MSG-free Indonesian favourites like nasi pecel (rice with beef, mixed vegetables and peanut sauce) at $9, and enjoy the sayur asam (vegetables in tamarind soup) and drink that come with every lunch set. What’s more, service is swift. With at least three main dishes to choose from, available from 11am to 4pm, this lunch pick is perfect for the health and budget-conscious.

Where: 10 Sinaran Drive, Novena Square 2, #B1-01/05, S(307506) (This restaurant has since closed.)

Telephone: 6397 2783

Opening hours: 11am – 9.30pm


8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

New Madras Woodlands Restaurant

Part of a chain of hotels and restaurants in India and Singapore, this eatery, which dates back to 1983, serves hearty North and South Indian vegetarian food. The Madras thali (‘plate’ in Hindi) set at $6.90 comprises rice with nine side dishes of assorted curries, dhals, veggies, yogurt, and a sweet vermicelli, cardamom and milk concoction called payasam. Cap off your meal with milky masala tea ($2.50) and still get change from $10. Bring a friend or two to enjoy lunch in this colourful, relaxing setting, where the friendly service staff will gladly explain every dish on the menu.

Where: 12, 14 Upper Dickson Road, S(207474)

Telephone: 6297 1594

Opening hours: 7.30am – 11.30pm

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10


Jai-Thai has been praised for its authentic Thai cuisine and prices that don’t hurt the pocket. The restaurant serves up all-time favourites such as green curry ($5), tom yum soup ($5) and phad thai ($5), based on the Thai owner’s family recipes. The set meals start from $5.80, which include a main dish, a drink and a simple dessert like jelly or pudding. A must-try is the pineapple rice set meal ($8.80), which comes with a spring roll, green curry, fish with chilli sauce and pandan chicken. Jai-Thai has four outlets at Jalan Pemimpin, East Coast Road, Purvis Street and Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.

Where: 11 Orchard Road, Dhoby Xchange, #B1-12, Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, S(238826)

Telephone: 6338 5766

Opening hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm

Website: www.jai-thai.com

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Just Acia

This eatery is a budget hunter’s paradise. Conveniently located above Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, it is popular with students and young working adults as all set meals come with free-flow cappuccino, hot chocolate, sodas and ice cream. The eatery doesn’t use any pork or lard to prepare the variety of Western and Asian fare which range from the spicy chicken set ($7.90) to the sambal salmon set ($9.90). For an even better deal, get the lunch set promotion that starts from $5.90 for dishes such as Tori Katsu (fried chicken) and fish and chips. Spread over a large area, the eatery has some cosy corners suitable for post-lunch powwows.

Where: 11 Orchard Road, Dhoby Xchange, #B1-45, Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, S(238826)

Telephone: 6338 8071

Opening hours: 11am – 10.30pm

Website: www.justacia.com

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Osmar Taiwanese Cafe

It can be hard to spot a good deal amidst the many eateries at The Central at Clarke Quay. But the Challenge team found this little cafe that offers eight generously sized bento sets all below $10. Each wooden disposable bento comes packed to the brim with star anise-flavoured rice, vegetables (corn, beans, broccoli and brinjal), half an egg and the main dish you order. (We were impressed by the entire chicken drumstick that came with the Fried Chicken Leg set!) A refreshing cup of cold Chinese tea is included. Come early before the place fills up.

Where: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central, #B1-29, S(059817)

Telephone: 6224 0289

Opening hours: 12pm – 8pm

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Saizeriya Ristorante E Caffe

This Italian-styled Japanese family restaurant is known for serving up comfort food at affordable prices. You may fancy the chicken bolognaise gratin ($4.90), the salmon pizza ($7.90) or oven-baked escargot ($5.90) from the à la carte menu, but the best deal is the set lunch, which starts from $5.90. It includes a main dish such as black pepper chicken spaghetti, a salad and free-flow drinks from the self-service station. It is no wonder the no-frills eatery is often crowded and a little noisy during peak hours. Lunch hours are from 11am to 5pm. There are four outlets at Liang Court, City Square Mall, Bukit Timah Plaza and Toa Payoh Central.

Where: Blk 190 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #02-514, S(310190)

Telephone: 6253 8001

Opening hours: 11am – 10pm

Website: www.saizeriya.com.sg

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Shinjuku Restaurant

Cuppage Plaza is known as Singapore’s Little Tokyo for its cluster of Japanese eateries and bars. Shinjuku is a charming little place that is popular with Japanese salarymen. If you’re dining solo, you’ll probably be seated at the bar where you get the best view of the chefs in action. Further inside are small tatami-lined rooms where diners sit at low tables, in Japanese fashion. Be prepared to remove your shoes before entering. This izakaya – a typical Japanese “after-work” casual restaurant – offers different daily bento specials at $10 nett; green tea comes at an extra $1. A weekly menu is posted at the door.

Where: 5 Koek Road, Cuppage Plaza, #01-01, S(228796)

Telephone: 6734 8436

Opening hours: Mon to Sat 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 1.30am; Sun & PH 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 11pm

8 Best Set Lunches Under $10

Editor: Have you been to these places? Tell us your experience and if you know of more affordable set lunch places, email us at psd_challenge@psd.gov.sg

    Nov 6, 2012
    Siti Maziah Masramli
    Bridgette See
    John Heng
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