Grain Traders: Stunning and wholesome foods in the CBD
"At the heart of Grain Traders is a belief in feeding and treating people right, without compromise."
Slightly over a week-old, Grain Traders is already seeing long lunch queues. The 3-unit establishment sits within the new CapitaGreen building a mere 5 minutes walk from Raffles Place MRT station - a huge and wonderful spot for lunch indeed. What draws the crowd however, isn't the space, but the amazing food and philosophy that runs behind this lunch joint.
A collaboration between Kilo and the Papa Palheta group, Grain Traders brings healthy and gourmet into one bowl. It offers hearty comfort food with a focus on eating well. Using fresh quality ingredients and a variety of cooking techniques from sous vide, roasting, to baking, Grain Traders boasts all the benefits of a healthy salad joint without compromising on flavours.
From 8am, expect innovative breakfast fare spanning eggs, oatmeal, brown rice porridge and bagels. Items like Tequila-cured Salmon Bagel with roasted jalapenos cream cheese, red onion and alfafa sprouts (S$10) and Roasted Chicken Brown Rice Porridge with soft-boiled eggs amd sautéed mushrooms (S$8) sound especially enticing.
After 10.30am, Grain Traders offers wholesome lunch bowls: think customisable donburi with options for alternative grains. At S$16 nett you can choose from an extensive variety of grains, proteins, vegetables and toppings for your personalized lunch bowl. If you can't make up your mind and wanna leave it to the culinary experts, Grain Traders has designed several signature Hero Bowls to choose from.
S$16 is quite steep for a daily lunch fare. However considering the spread and quality of ingredients, it's not unexpected nor unwarranted. From quinoa to bulgur wheat; seared tuna to grilled striploin; apple kimchi to furikake - the innovative meal combinations are endless. I especially love the variety of sauces available, with lighter salad-like dressings like Beetroot Feta Yoghurt & vinaigrettes, and heavier savoury gravies like Coconut Curry and Miso Caramel.
Build a Bowl (S$16)
We tried customizing our own lunch bowl, and ended up with a meal that looked slightly small but was mighty filling. One of us tried the bulgur wheat, which is essentially a high-fibred whole grain. Moist and slightly mushy, the bulger wheat was great for soaking up all flavours albeit a tad overcooked. Pair it with crunchier sides should you choose this as your grain.
We also loved the Coconut Curry that lent a wonderful burst of spices to the dish. That and the spectacular medley of colours in a single bowl made lunch an exciting affair.
My quinoa fared much better. Cooked perfectly and tasting distinctively of chicken stock, it was like eating a healthier rendition of chicken rice. Amazing with roasted chicken and curry, contrasted with tangy marinated tomatoes and sweet beets.
Great coffee is another bonus to dining at Grain Traders. Using beans supplied by Chye Seng Huat, Grain Traders offers the usual espresso-based coffees, as well as filter coffees and cold brews. Top up a mere S$2 to your lunch bowl and you'll get a drink and a snack. Getting your caffeine fix has never been easier.
With its ceiling high windows and large seating area, Grain Traders is a great respite from the daily hustle and bustle of the CBD. It may be a little too pricey for daily dining, but the quality more than makes up for it. For healthy delicious food and good coffee, I'd gladly frequent Grain Traders.
138 Market Street #01-01/02/03
Opens on weekdays from 8am-8pm
Closed on weekends