Mercado Spanish Food Market

Another day, another exciting new lunch option in Singapore’s CBD. This time, the existing healthy bowls trend gets a dash of spice with the arrival of Mercado, by Jean-Philippe Patruno (of UNA fame). It’s the same create-your-own-bowl concept you’re probably already familiar with, except it gets the Spanish treatment.

Decor wise, the space takes a page from the markets of Spanish cities. The walls are brightly colored, the communal tables and chairs are super casual and there is a prominent salad bar type display where you can look at and point out the things that you want. The Create Your Own Bowl option starts at $16.50), and involves choosing a base (stuff like quinoa and cous cous), a protein (beef meatballs, chicken paprika, and the like), hot veggies, cold veggies and toppings like nuts and dried fruit. Finally, you get a sauce: spicy tomato, garlic aioli, Asian dressing, among others. If that’s too much decision-making for a work day, try their pre-made Hola Bowls ($14.50). Options include the vegetarian Verduras and the fish-based Pescado.

Or, come early and get one of their Spanish breakfasts, like the Cerdito (pulled pork, rice, tomatoes and chimmichuri, $10) and the Spanish tortilla (with egg and green salad, $9).

Other than the usual life-sustaining caffeine drinks, they have cold pressed juices with cute names like the I Love You (watermelon, $5.90) and the Detox Me (with power green, $7.90). Booze-wise, there’s the house sangria ($8), red wine ($8 per glass) and St Moritz beer ($10).