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Best Grain and Poké Bowls in Singapore 2017

Best Grain and Poké Bowls in Singapore 2017

Your new year's resolutions may or may not have included eating healthier, but either way, we've rounded up the best grain and poké bowls in Singapore to provide you truly delicious meals that are also good for your body! Gather your friends or colleagues for this one-dish meal that's a good balance of carbs, protein and greens. You know what they say — eat clean, train mean and live lean!
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For Grain Bowls that Never Disappoint

If there's one place on this list that you need to visit for a grain bowl experience, let it be Grain Traders. Wherever it opens, the space is perpetually abuzz with excitement come lunch time despite the heftier price tag. The menu is straightforward — pick from any six of the aforethought Hero bowls ($16), like our favourite El Hibaro, which sees a combination of warm striploin steak, lightly charred vegetables, wafu tomatoes and salsa verde on a bed of sushi rice. Alternatively, customise your own bowl and choose from char-grilled salmon, tuna or the flavour-packed pulled pork for protein. Do include the wild mushrooms from the hot veg section and as for their sauces, both the miso caramel and beetroot feta yoghurt are great. Unless you intend to fight off a food coma back in the office, go easy on the grains here as portions are generous. Alternatively, be like Burppler Faith K and have half an Avocado ($1.50) in place of the grains. Like all lunch hotspots in the CBD, it's best you come with a buddy and split up — one to snag a seat and one to order.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Faith K

For Perfectly Balanced Poké Bowls

No ingredient is an afterthought at Aloha Poké, making this our favourite stop for a poké bowl. The seasoning is always spot on, the bite-sized pineapples and the wedge of lime that come on the side balance out the savoury marinades — little touches that set the bar high for pokés in town. The Standard Nalu ($15.90) gets you two scoops of tuna or salmon cubes tossed in original (yummy), spicy (will make you work up a sweat) or wasabi (less spicy, also yummy) marinade. Choose a base of greens, white rice, brown rice or mixed rice. To complete your meal, we recommend the flying fish roe and the edamame as your choice of complimentary toppings and avocado as your complimentary superfood. While there are two other outlets within the CBD (Marina Bay Link Mall and Chevron House), our favourite is still this Amoy Street outlet which offers The Ultimate Poké Bowl ($18) at dinner. It features a generous heaping of crowd favourite toppings on a bed of your choice, served in a large wooden salad bowl. While there's no option of customising the toppings, you still get to choose the fish and the marinade you'd like.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Reiko Lee

For Nutritious Grain Bowls in a Gorgeous Setting

Despite new competition sprouting along Neil Road and Everton Park, this cafe decked out in beautiful tiles and classy rose gold furnishings is holding its ground with satisfying mains and good coffee. While the menu at Populus Coffee and Food Co. features a good list of delicious mains like the Rendang Donburi ($20), it also has a small section dedicated to healthier grain bowls that is easy to miss. Of the three bowls available (all have the same vegetable toppings but different proteins and bases), we enjoyed the Pulled Pork Grain Bowl ($18) the most. The meat is tender and well-seasoned, sitting on a bed of quinoa, bulgur wheat and pearl barley, and lots of vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes and pumpkin. It is a well-balanced, nutritious bowl that will fill you, and is available throughout the week for both lunch and dinner. Swing by for a quick lunch with colleagues, or come in the night with your friends and catch up in this cosy space.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Kat Tay

For Tasty Poké Bowls in the CBD

A Poke Theory rolled out its first poké bowl at its Boon Tat outlet four months ago, and already it has won over the hearts of many young CBD folks. It's a convenient and favourable dining option in the CBD (there are plenty of seats), so head down early to avoid disappointment. The two sizes, Regular (from $11.50) or Large (from $15), refer to the amount of fish you get, not the size of the bowl. Choose from one of three bases (rice, quinoa or lettuce) and one of four marinades — get the signature sushi rice infused with garlic and chili and the spicy mayo salmon for your marinade. Toppings like cherry tomatoes, cubed pineapples and furikake are free flow, while premium toppings like Kale Chips, Crispy Salmon Skin and Spiced Cashew Nuts ($2 each) come highly recommended by the Burpple community. Don't leave without having their Superfood Smoothie Bowl ($6) to share — we're partial towards the refreshing Raspberry Tropic that comes topped with pomegranate seeds, mango cubes, coconut chips and sunflower seeds.
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burppler Monica Lie

For Protein-Rich Bowls in City Hall

A short walk from City Hall MRT station, this cafe facing Raffles Hotel dishes out hearty, protein-based grain bowls at reasonable prices (prices are nett). Like its sister outlet in Duxton, Ninja Bowl, you can choose to have soba, greens or Ninja Rice as your base ($2 each), of which we recommend the latter that mixes brown and Japanese rice. The What's Your Beef ($18) bowl features 150g of Australian ribeye, cooked to a medium-rare doneness. It is loaded with grilled corn, sautéed mushrooms, honey glazed carrots and golden garlic chips, all perfectly plated to surround a wobbly onsen egg. There are only 30 plates of What's Your Beef available daily, so head down early to snag one! For non-beef lovers, either the Oh My Cod! ($18) that comes with a perfectly pan-seared miso-sake marinated cod fillet, or the lightly grilled Squid Fix ($18) will satisfy. Oh, and since you (kinda) ate clean, you might as well share a Marvellous Matcha ($16) — the irresistible oozing matcha hotcake!
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Shawn Loh

For a Beautiful and Satisfying Bowl

The spread of freshly baked goods on display at Tiong Bahru Bakery's Raffles City outlet clearly indicates where their strengths lie, but their recently launched hot foods menu is just as formidable. There's only one grain bowl on the menu, the Rainbow Rice Bowl ($16), and it is as good as it looks. The brown and wild rice base is topped with tiny cubes of spicy pineapple kimchi, mixed sprouts, salsa verde, a wobbly organic egg and purple potato crisps. You can stop there and keep it as a vegetarian option, or follow the staff's recommendation and add on the extra portion of cured Salmon ($4) which goes well with every ingredient in the bowl. The space itself is great for brunch with the girlfriends, or simply to have a treat-yourself-lunch with good vibes as you bask under the natural sunlight pouring in!
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Hilary See

For Delicious Poké Bowls in the West

'Katto', which means 'cut' in Japanese, is a poké joint located in Galaxis (nearest MRT station is One-North). The quality is consistently high, portions are just right and we like that prices are kept affordable — you can create your own poké bowl with fresh fish cubes for under $13. The bowls come in two sizes — Regular ($12.90) gets you two fish and two sides while the Mini ($7.90) gets you one fish and one side. We recommend the brown rice as your base (there's also white rice and salad base), the salmon cubes marinated in CRC (chicken rice chili) as your choice of protein, and the unbelievably tasty miso butter corn as one of your sides — head down early as it sells out quickly!
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burppler Jennifer Yee

For an Underrated Grain Bowl in Bukit Timah

This lofty cafe decked out in pretty marbled tiles and deep sea blue walls along Bukit Timah Road is great for long brunches with friends, which is why the snaking queue doesn't come at a surprise. Beat the crowd (and earn Chope dollars!) by reserving a table on our app beforehand so you can sail by on weekends and be immediately seated. While many go straight for the irresistible pancakes and waffles (which they do very well), it is the underrated ATLAS Super-Bowl ($17) loaded with toasted quinoa, beautifully oven-roasted squash and zucchini as well as shimeiji mushrooms that has us coming back for more. Topped with sundried tomatoes and the tastiest peanut sesame pulled chicken, it's the perfect balance between healthy and flavourful. End your meal with a Flat White ($4.50), made with a blend of Guatamalan and Brazilian beans from Two Degrees North Coffee Co.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Kelly Wong

For Spanish-Inspired Grain Bowls

Mercado may have jumped on the grain bowl trend just a few short months ago, but it has been steadily winning over the CBD crowd. Located just below Golden Shoe Food Centre, this joint is opened by the folks behind nose-to-tail Spanish restaurant Dehesa, so you know the meats will be seriously good. There are several combinations (Hola Bowls, $14.50) that come with pre-selected grains, protein and sides — perfect for unfussy diners. We especially enjoyed one of the Hola Bowls — the Cerdo Bowl, which features flavour-packed braised pork shoulder and unique sides of celeriac and pickled turnips. Otherwise, you can Create Your Own Bowl ($16.50) and choose a base, protein, a hot vegetable, two cold vegetables, one topping and one sauce. We recommend getting the Paella of the Day (it replaces your base and protein) that is cooked in the humongous pan — flavours change daily.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Julius Lim

For a Super Tasty Vegan Quinoa Bowl

This cosy 40-seater cafe in Telok Ayer is perfect for those who have 'eat clean' on their list of new year resolutions. Owned and run by health coach Elika Mather, the cafe menu reads like a dream for healthy eating enthusiasts. The dishes are all made from scratch with no hidden sugars, preservatives or chemicals, and there are plenty of options that are organic and free from gluten, dairy and nuts. On Meatless Mondays, try their Vegan Sweet Potato & Chickpea Buddha Bowl ($19), a quinoa-based dish that comes with a little of everything including rocket, spiced chickpeas and beetroot hummus. They also have a non-vegetarian Chicken Protein Buddha Bowl ($19) that comes with a piece of tender hormone-free chicken. Sip on an anti-inflammatory Turmeric Latte ($6) while you share a piece of their gluten-free Carrot Cake ($8) for dessert. Pro-tip: Ask the servers any healthy food questions you may have — they're knowledgeable and so eager to share!
Avg Price; $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Leigh Khoo

For Pocket-Friendly Thunder Tea Rice

You probably didn't expect to see thunder tea rice on the list, but considering how this rice bowl dish is healthy, flavourful AND a lot more affordable than other artisanal grain bowls, we think it certainly deserves a spot! Rich both in fibre and nutrients, the thunder tea rice served at this established local chain is proof that eating well doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag. Keep it simple with the Signature Thunder Tea Rice ($5.80). The rice (opt for brown for extra health points) comes topped with chopped up greens, tofu, ikan bills, dried shrimp and preserved radish, and is served with a bowl of thick herbal green tea-based soup. Pour this over the rice for a comforting meal like no other. Pro-tip: Thunder Tea Rice has branches in Toa Payoh HDB Hub, Joo Chiat (this outlet reopens 10 Jan) and Lau Pa Sat.
Avg price: $5 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Celest Lim

For a Filling Korean-Mexican Rice Bowl To Go

Burpplers working in the CBD will appreciate this takeaway option. Located at the basement of Marina Bay Financial Centre, Ssäm (meaning 'wrapped' in Korean) crafts protein-packed bowls that will keep you fuelled throughout the day. It's one of the most massive bowls we've had — great for filling a big eater's tummy but small eaters might want to share this with a colleague. Head down early to snag their tasty cilantro lime rice and top it with the unbelievably tender 40-hour Korean BBQ marinated beef short ribs ($9.50). Unless you opt out, the bowl is completed with sides of tangy kimchi, tomato salsa, onion lime relish, pickled cucumbers, kimchi and seaweed, and topped with sesame seeds and fried shallots. Prices have been revised since our last visit and the new addition of portobello mushroom to the proteins section will excite mushroom lovers!
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Kelly Wong

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