A Guide to Restaurants & Eateries near Downtown Line 1
Good news for everyone! Did you hear that you can enjoy 11 days of Free Travel on the new Downtown Line? It’s all day and unlimited. You just have to enter or come out from any Downtown Line stations to enjoy the free ride.
So what does this mean to foodies out there? More opportunities to explore the various parts of Singapore to seek out eating places that we wouldn’t have otherwise gone. Check out my guide to the restaurants/eateries near these 6 Downtown Line Stations.
- Go shopping at Bugis Junction, or explore Kampong Glam & Haji Lane from here, or check out the National Library. Also connects with the East-West Line.
- Featured Restaurant: Artichoke Cafe & Bar, about a 10 minute walk from DT14 Bugis Station
Singaporeans love brunch, don’t we? But if you are getting bored with the usual egg benedict, perhaps Artichoke Cafe & Bar will surprise you. Tucked away in the courtyard of Sculpture Square, Artichoke’s cuisine can be described as modern Moorish café fare; food spiked with the gutsy flavours of Syria, Greece, North Africa, Turkey, Lebanon, and all those other Eastern Mediterranean countries once part of the Ottoman Empire.
We ordered a Mezze Platter ($28) with a selection of little things that they feel like serving today, like Japanese style omakase. Haha! So for the Mezze Platter that day, it has chickpea & tahini hummus, beetroot tzatziki with pistachio dukka, Turkish string cheese and pumpkin jam, smoked anchovies and tomatoes, smoked chicken terrine, Lebanese mixed pickles and za ‘atar toast.
My favourite is the Lamb Shakshouka ($26). A traditional breakfast meal in the Middle East, the name “shakshouka” roughly translates as “mixed up”. At its core is a dish consisting of a cast iron pan of roast lamb, homemade labneh (yoghurt cheese), yummy pistachio dukka (Egyptian dip made of herbs, nuts and spices), za’atar (Middle Eastern spice mixture) toast and two local eggs cracked over. The flavours are rougher and bolder, bursting with rich flavours that you have to try!
Artichoke Cafe & Bar
Address: 161 Middle Road, Sculpture Square
Tel: 6336 6949
- Suntec City, Milenia Walk and the Singapore Flyer are accessible from Promenade. Also connects to the Circle Line.
- Featured Restaurant: Commune Café, about 5 mins walk from DT15 Promenade Station, inside Milenia Walk
Commune Cafe is a cafe which serves great coffee and cakes. It is located uniquely on the connecting bridges of Millenia Walk.
What food tastes better than comfort food? Sometimes, it’s that simple dish that satisfies the most. I mean, how else did those sausage stands all over the world survive and thrive? At Commune, they offers Bockwurst sandwiches which has thick and savoury smoked meat sausages sandwiched between warm and fluffy soft buns topped off with generous portions of either American-style or Mexican-style toppings. It was a raining afternoon, so I chose Chicken Sausage Sandwich with Mexican toppings ($7.50) which is zesty.
The unconventional Waffle ($8.50) is filled with banana, chocolate and ice cream. While the combination may sound a little daunting, they do a decent job of balancing one another out. They serve pretty good coffee too.
Address: Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-50
Tel: 6337 1038
- Lets you get near Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and the Art Science Museum. And another connection to the Circle Line.
- Featured Restaurant: Satay by the Bay, about 10 mins stroll through Gardens by the Bay
Remember the times when going to Marina Bay = eating cheap BBQ steamboat and flying kites? To relish the younger days, we went to Satay by the Bay to enjoy our BBQ and steamboat!
Sandwiched between the picturesque domes of Gardens by the Bay and Marina Barrage, the relatively remote Satay by the Bay aims to recreate a feel of the old Satay Club of the ’80s and also pay homage to the old Marina Bay area. I still clearly remember the old Marina Bay area, where we fly kite, play arcade and eat cheap steamboat.
Our dinner at Bay Front Steamboat Buffet feels like a trip down memory lane but prices have since doubled. For $25, you’ll get your own steamboat pot and free-flow of fresh vegetables, meat and seafood. It is hearty and comforting dinner. A free shuttle bus loop service is available from Mondays to Fridays, during lunch hours and from 6pm to 12am.
Satay by the Bay
Address: Gardens by the Bay #01-19
- Gets you into the new Marina Bay Financial Centre, and also Lau Pa Sat.
- Featured Restaurant: Doutor Coffee, about 3 mins walk from DT17 Downtown Station
Doutor Coffee opened the first European styled café in Harajuku, Japan, 23 years ago. Today, it has more than 1200 outlets throughout the world. The selection of coffee beans is one of the most critical aspects that make DOUTOR coffee exceptional. Doutor coffee beans mainly come from our own plantation in Kona, Hawaii and they also import from 11 different countries around the world.
In general, a majority of roasting plants adopts the method of roasting using hot air. But at Doutor Coffee, uses open flame roasting, which best retain the flavour of the coffee beans. You can also enjoy a plate of pancakes with bananas and chocolate cream at $6.80.
These pancakes are fluffy and delicious with my favourite maple syrup, perfect for an everyday breakfast. Don’t forget to order their Doutor Coffee from $3.50 onwards. Note that the café is closed on weekends.
Address: Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, #01-05
Tel: 6604 6082
DT18 Telok Ayer
- Makes it easier to check out restaurants, cafes and bars around Tanjong Pagar & Ann Siang Hill.
- Featured Restaurant: The Market Grill, About 5 mins walk from DT18 Telok Ayer Station
Opened by renowned hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, The Market Grill is a rising star at Telok Ayer. Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Colin West who formerly plied his culinary skills at Les Amis, Le Saint Julien, Braise and Swiss Grill. The Market Grill features charbroiled steaks, live Atlantic Lobsters as well as Colin West’s (CW) Signature handcrafted Burgers that are hearty and robust.
Whetting up the appetite, our lunch started off with the Wagyu Teaser ($19) that is served with thinly sliced 4 hours slow roasted wagyu rump complemented with peppery rocket, pickled onion, vine tomatoes and balsamic shallot dressing. The plate had a symphony of flavours that worked harmoniously.
For something different from the burger menu, we love the CW Cod Fish Burger ($26) which came with perfectly grilled succulent and buttery Atlantic Cod in pommery-marinate with a parmesan bun and lemony herbed mayo served with vine cherry tomatoes and romaine lettuce on the side. The burger is truly divine with its own unique personality that burst with every mouthful in light and fluffy buns. No reservations allowed for this restaurant so be early!
The Market Grill
Address: 208 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: 6221 3323
- Chinatown Point & People’s Park Centre, and the interchange for the North-East Line.
- Featured Restaurant: K ki Sweets, about 10 mins walk from DT19 Chinatown Station
Tucked at a small corner of Ann Siang Hill is K-ki, a small café that sells excellent cakes. Shaped like a teardrop, “Antoinette” ($8.50) is a light white chocolate mousse with mango centre. The white chocolate mousse had a subtle sweetness and the sweet tangy mando gives it a unique touch.
“Nao” ($9) offers strawberry mousse with soft pistachio cream centre. In a lovely shade of pink, the strawberry mousse gives a sourish yet refreshing taste while the nutty pistachio cream balances it.
K-ki cafe is a nice place to enjoy a slice of cake while reading your favourite book. But on weekends, they are more busy so be prepared to eat your cakes fast because there will be people waiting for seats. There is also The Little Drom Store, a quirky vintage store selling all sorts of random things.
K ki Sweets
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill
Tel: 6225 6650
And that’s it, 6 recommendations for good eats around the Downtown Line.
If you don’t already know, this is just the first stage of the Downtown Line.
When it’s fully open in 2017, it will be Singapore’s longest automated underground line. It’ll be 42km long, connecting the Northwest and Eastern parts of Singapore, to the city centre. And there’ll be 34 stations, which will intersect at 10 interchanges, and will take you to the financial district, and many places of interest, as well as shop-and-dine hubs and schools.
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