If you spend 9 to 5 in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) and every now and then get the itch for something more than Joe and The Juice or the usual foodcourt fare, you’ve come to the right place. This said craving for indulgence usually hits us mid-week and just after pay day — but on occasion, the imperative to dine well presents itself as a lunch meeting on our calendar.

And, the psychology of an executive lunch is interesting to say the least. A boardroom meeting takes a hard-line approach to deal-making, while a lunchtime affair is another animal. That’s largely because our societal norms around sit-down meals — from the setting to the service — send subliminal messages to our brains about togetherness and warmth, linking the belly and the heart. It’s here that enemies might turn into allies, or at least find common ground.

We tell you the nine best places to scope out in the CBD when you’re looking to treat yourself or, impress a couple of business associates.

1. The Black Swan

The art deco grand bistro and bar is all 1920s glamour and a meal here is transportive from the moment you walk in. The menu pays homage to New York’s canonised steakhouse trope, offering classics like The Black Swan Burger and Duck Leg Confit. The two-course set is priced at $42++, while the three-course set costs $48++. It also has a private room for 12 people.

Where: The Black Swan is at 19 Cecil Street. Tel: 6438 3757.

Image credit: The Black Swan

2. Zafferano

You’ll be in good hands with Zafferano, the Italian restaurant and lounge perched on the 43rd floor of the Ocean Financial Centre. Dine here, against the backdrop of Marina Bay, if you want to make an impression. Your guests have an option of indulging in the two-course or three-course set lunch ($42++ and $52++ respectively). If you’re organising for a big group, Zafferano also has two exclusive rooms: the Private Dining Room and the Wine Room. The Private Dining Room boasts a private entrance for discreet access and can hold up to 22 guests, while The Wine Room seats up to 12 guests around a long table, cocooned by racks of wine bottles.

Where: Zafferano is at Level 43 Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay. Tel: 6509 1488.

Image credit: Zafferano

3. P.S Café One Fullerton

This One Fullerton P.S. outlet is the brunch place to be at with its lush greens, elegant furnishings and magnificent views of Marina Bay — a super-chic choice for personal or casual business lunches. There’s no set menu here, but you’ll encounter familiar fare like the PS Truffle Shoestring Fries ($15), the Superfood Salad ($26), the PS Burger ($29), and sweet nothings like the Mexicoco shake ($10.50).

Where: P.S Café One Fullerton is at 02-03B/04, One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road. Tel: 6708 9288.

Image credit: P.S Café

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4. Osteria Art

Want to impress your clients with a grand fine dining experience, but can’t go over budget? Your best bet is Osteria Art. It celebrates Italian gastronomic heritage like no other in Singapore, but is also one of one of the best value-for-money options for Italian cuisine in the CBD area. This restaurant puts a modern spin on cuisine classics. On weekdays, there’s a three-course power lunch featuring special off-the-menu dishes priced at $38++.

Where: Osteria Art is at 55 Market Street. Tel: 6877 6933.

Image credit: Osteria Art Facebook

5. Wakanui

Formerly located in Boat Quay, Wakanui has re-opened at the West Tower of the new Marina One. Swing by for charcoal-grilled meats from New Zealand, fused with the flavours of Japanese cuisine. The three-course Prix Fixe menu is at $49 with a $10 top-up for a glass of house wine, if you’re in the mood. There are three private rooms available if you prefer your meetings away from the other diners. The restaurant also has a wine cellar, featuring New Zealand wines sourced from boutique wineries.

Where: Wakanui is at #04-02 Marina One The Heart West Tower, 5 Straits View. Tel: 6384 2665.

Image credit: Wakanui

6. Artemis Grill

If you or your guests are health conscious, head to Artemis Grill on the 40th floor of CapitaGreen. This rooftop restaurant is known for presenting Mediterranean cuisine, made with with the freshest organic produce, and has plenty of options for vegetarians. There are two executive set lunch menus — the two-course is priced at $45++, while the three-course is at $52++. It also has a private room that can seat up to 40 people.

Where: Artemis Grill is at #40-01 CapitaGreen, 138 Market Street. Tel: 6635 8677.

Image credit: Artemis Green

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7. Stellar at 1-Altitude 

Located at the 62nd level of the 1-Altitude building, you and your guests will love hovering above it all as you tuck into brilliant Australian cuisine. The two- and three-course set lunches are priced at $38++ and $48++ respectively. With the spectacular city view and progressive Australian gastronomy, you’ll  be on cloud nine, literally.

Where: Stellar at 1-Altitude, Level 62, 1 Raffles Place. Tel:  6438 0410.

Image credit: Stellar at 1-Altitude Facebook

8. Saint Pierre

Perched on the second floor of One Fullerton, Saint Pierre is a modern French Michelin-starred restaurant helmed by Emmanuel Stroobant. The three-course set is priced at $68++ per pax, while the four-course is priced at $85++. Drink in the breath-taking panorama of Marina Bay, but be warned when taking guests along — Saint Pierre can only seat up to 30 people so it’s better suited for small groups.

Where: Saint Pierre is at 1 Fullerton Road, #02-02B One Fullerton. Tel: 6438 0887.

Image credit: Saint Pierre Facebook

9. Jade

The elegant interiors and picturesque views from the floor-to-ceiling windows elevate the Chinese lunch experience at Jade. The Michelin-recommended restaurant serves modern but authentic Cantonese cuisine at The Fullerton Hotel. Sets start at $68 per person for a regular set, while a lighter dum sum set lunch costs $58. For private meetings, Jade has two private rooms and two partitioned areas.

Where: Jade is at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, ​1 Fullerton Square. Tel:  6733 8388.

Image credit: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore