Posh nosh, $35 or less

Yes, really. These fancy set lunches are perfect for impressing the clients. Or if you need another reason to step away from the keyboard.

El Mero Mero
(From $28 for two courses)

Don't mistake the cuisine here for the heavy Tex-Mex variety that most people are accustomed to in Singapore - El Mero Mero's contemporary Mexican cuisine focuses on bright, clean flavours that won't weigh you down after lunch. So while the lunch set does feature tacos as the main course, they are elegant creations that shine the spotlight on ingredients, such as kurobuta pork and tempura prawns, adorned with fresh garnish and delicious dressings.

#01-20 Chijmes, tel: 6337-1377, www.elmeromero.sg

Mitzo Restaurant & Bar
(From $28 for four courses)

Cantonese fine-diner Mitzo has made a lofty promise to time-strapped patrons who go for its four-course set lunch: If the food is not served and the bill is not presented within 45 minutes, the meal is on the house. It's a very generous move, but to be honest, we'd rather take our time to properly savour the expertly executed signatures such as Mitzo Special Barbecued Pork (available with a top-up of $5) - tender meat with crispy, caramelised skin.

Level Four Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Road, tel: 6603-8855, www.mitzo.sg

Ding Dong
($35 for three courses)

The set lunch is a good introduction to chef Ryan Clift's South-east-Asian-meets-Western small plates - and a good way to keep within budget when faced with the many delicious-sounding options on the a-la-carte menu. The must-have: the Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut for dessert. This set lunch may be the priciest of the lot, but it does come with a drink - choose between a glass of wine and a pint of Singha beer.

23 Ann Siang Road, tel: 6557-0189, www.dingdong.com.sg

Sear
(From $29 for two courses)

Sear, with its moneyed location at the top of Singapore Land Tower, hardly looks like the sort of place that'd be easy on the wallet. So it comes as a surprise that its two-course set lunch (main-course options include the Classic Steak Frites and Free Range Spatchcock Chicken) is priced at a very affordable $29. Perfect for business powwows or dates who need to be impressed.

Level 45 Singapore Land Tower, 50 Raffles Place, tel: 6221-9555, www.fiftyrafflesplace.com/#!searsteakhouse/c16vg

Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant
($33 per person for seven courses; minimum of four people required)

The seven-course (yes, seven!) set lunch features one-person portions of homely Cantonese favourites, including dim sum classics, fried rice with crabmeat, conpoy and egg white, and a pork-based soup of the day - the sumptuousness alone is worth the price of the ticket. Th e restaurant is even conveniently located near the Flower Dome for that much-needed post-lunch stroll.

#01-10 Gardens By The Bay (below the Flower Dome), tel: 6604-6604, www.majesticbay.sg

The Disgruntled Chef
(From $28 for two courses)

The set-lunch menu here runs with the same "small and big plates" concept as its a-la-carte menu, which means elegant comfort food such as pesto prawn pasta, sardine tart and slow-cooked chicken leg. The set-lunch menu is also overhauled every six months - and the dishes on it can't be found on the a-la-carte menu.

26B Dempsey Road, tel: 6476-5305, www.disgruntledchef.com

If you are feeling fancy...
Top up just a little more and you'll be eating up a good deal at these posh addresses.

Catalunya
($38 for three courses)

What you'll get: seasonal Spanish dishes in individual portions that will give you a taste of Catalunya's signatures - without the usual corresponding hefty price tag.

The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, tel: 6534-0886, www.catalunya.sg

Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar
($39 for three courses)

The weekly changing menu takes Italian stalwart Garibaldi's classics, such as pastas and fish dishes, out on rotation. The impeccable service completes the white-tablecloth experience.

#01-02, 36 Purvis Street tel: 6837-1468, www.garibaldi.com.sg

Il Lido
($38 for three courses)

It's a bit of a far-flung location, but the savings you will enjoy on your meal will more than make up for the taxi fare/fuel cost to get you there.

Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road, tel: 6866-1977, www.il-lido.com

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