Two Men Rice Bar Review: DIY Rice Bowls In CBD |
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Two Men Rice Bar Review: New CBD Cafe By Two Men Bagel House With Kong Bak Mantou And Loaded Rice Bowls

16th October 2023

Two Men Rice Bar has loaded rice bowls in Tanjong Pagar

Update: Two Men Rice Bar is now permanently closed.

two men rice bar - flatlay

Holla if you’re a fan of Two Men Bagel House: I am, too—so when I got wind of their latest concept, a rice bowl bar at Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, I knew I had to visit. Coined Two Men Rice Bar, it’s a standing-only shop that allows CBD folk to grab a quick lunch on the go.

two men rice bar - storefront

You’ll find it in the first-floor atrium of Guoco Tower, with both indoor and alfresco standing tables. They’ve only just opened last week, so tweaks to the menu can still be expected in the upcoming months.

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Food at Two Men Rice Bar

two men rice bar - sides in rice bowl

There are seven rice bowls on the menu, all of which come with the same six accompaniments: rainbow salad, pickled cucumber, cherry tomato, glass noodle salad, sous vide egg, and tenkasu, AKA tempura crumbs. What you get to pick is the protein in your bowl, the rice it comes with—Japanese short-grain rice, turmeric long-grain rice, and mixed 16-grain rice—and a half- or full portion.

two men rice bar - black rock rice bowl

We picked Black Rock ($17/$20) to begin, which promised roast beef chuck roll with a black garlic demiglace sauce. The bowl didn’t look the most appetising when we received it, with the dark brown sauce dashed over the slices of beef, and a mess of sides in a plain metal bowl. Because of the size of this bowl, the portion looked pretty small even for the full serve, but digging in proved otherwise.

two men rice bar - beef

To our surprise, the beef was mostly tender, and nicely meaty-tasting, with a pleasant char. Combined with the sweet, slightly tangy, and umami flavours of the black garlic demiglace, this was an immediate win for the rice bowl. If you find it too heavy, don’t stop there: it all melds together really well once it’s stirred in with everything else.

two men rice bar - black rock detail

We’d chosen to have Japanese short-grain rice with this bowl and went ahead to mix it all in with the demiglace, beef, onsen egg, and assorted side dishes. It brought bibimbap to mind, with the various vegetables, meat, and a sauce to toss it all together with. Don’t forget that all-essential egg with its molten yolk, which tied it all up.

two men rice bar - condiments

Before we move on to the rest of the food, there are three dips on the counter for you to help yourself to. First, a Citrus Chilli of chilli, garlic, turmeric and lime juice that’s not unlike a chicken rice chilli. Then, Scallion Master, a delightful blend of scallion, ginger, garlic, and aromatic oil, which is essentially a Cantonese-style scallion dip. Finally, Sweet Sauce: hoisin, sesame, soya sauce, and peanut butter, AKA a combination that’s hard to go wrong with.

two men rice bar - chilli and ginger scallion dip

We found Black Rock pretty much as flavourful as we needed it to be, but you could always jazz it up with some spice or that extra fragrance of Scallion Master if you so wished.

two men rice bar - bait time rice bowl

Our second bowl was Bait Time ($15/$18), which we opted to have in a half portion. This came in a smaller bowl, which in turn gave the impression of a larger portion, though it’s all a trick on the eyes. Unlike Black Rock, Bait Time presented as a much more visually appealing riot of colour, thanks to the addition of sliced avocado, and cubes of sriracha honey butter salmon.

two men rice bar - turmeric rice

We also opted for turmeric long-grained rice here, though, besides the textural difference, it didn’t make a marked difference in flavour after you mix everything up.

two men rice bar - honey sriracha butter salmon

After the success of the beef, I’d expected the salmon to be equally well done, but we were a touch disappointed here. Possibly deep-fried, the cubes of salmon were crunchy on the outside, which was a plus point to be sure, but ended up slightly dry within.

two men rice bar - bait time detail

However, the sweet and mildly spicy flavour of the salmon added depth to the freshness in this bowl.

two men rice bar - dongpo rice mantou

Just in case you didn’t know who Two Men Bagel House are, they’re one of the pioneers in the local bagel-sphere, specialising in loaded bagels that are hand-rolled and baked fresh daily. With that context, it was impossible for us not to try Rice Side ($8) at Two Men Rice Bar: a rice mantou stuffed with 东坡肉 (dōng pō ròu), or braised pork belly, with pickled cucumber, fresh cucumber, a leek slaw, and togarashi, which is a Japanese spice mixture.

two men rice bar - dongpo rice mantou cross section

It could be that we had this after it had cooled, but the mantou bagel was rather dry, quite unlike the lotus leaf buns you’d typically get with the braised pork. If you look past that, though, the dongpo pork belly simply melted in the mouth, and was utterly, thoroughly tasty.

But, and this is a very big but in mine and my colleague’s books: we couldn’t deal with the leek slaw in this, simply because of how raw it was. It works, we guess, if you enjoy raw scallions and leeks and the like—it just wasn’t for us.

two men rice bar - lychee oolong tea

There are three drinks on the menu at Two Men Rice Bar, each priced at $6. We had Lychee Oolong Tea, otherwise you could go for The Bandung Cooler or Plum Lemonade Fizz. Our drink was made with oolong tea with lychee bits, lime juice, and lychee syrup, as well as cucumber syrup. Unfortunately, the green-tasting cucumber syrup overpowered the other elements in this drink. If you aren’t a fan of cucumber, skip this if they don’t tweak the ratios.

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Ambience at Two Men Rice Bar

two men rice bar - ambience

Guoco Tower is located right above Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, which makes it super convenient and accessible. In spite of being standing-only, the eatery is spacious, and the tables are generously sized. Plus, there are hooks under the tables so you could easily hang your bags and belongings beneath!

two men rice bar - ordering

The layout of Two Men Rice Bar encourages a throughflow of diners from the door marked ‘Come’, which opens right into three iPads for you to place your orders at. Then you move on to the counter to pick up your food, or to pick your standing table. I appreciate that there is a small area with benches, where you might sit to have your meal or to wait for your order. At the other end of the rice bar, there’s a door marked ‘Go’ where you might exit.

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The verdict

two men rice bar - entrance

Prices start at $12 for a rice bowl, which even in its half portion is a pretty filling serving. Coupled with their very central location, and them being open from lunch to dinner, I think it makes for a more-than-decent CBD meal. It’s hearty, with a carb and protein, an egg, and greens, offering a rather tasty alternative to the usual salad bowls.

Another CBD rice bowl option to consider is Chengdu Bowl, where you’ll find Sichuan-style rice bowls! Otherwise, Eat 3 Bowls has just opened in Compass One with their signature lu rou fan, plus an outlet-exclusive, all-day teatime menu!

Address: 5 Wallich Street, #01-12, Guoco Tower, Singapore 078883
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 7:30pm
Tel: 6022 1880
Two Men Rice Bar is not a halal-certified eatery

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Photos taken by Casandra Nicholas.
This was an independent review by

Two Men Rice Bar Review: Kong Bak Mantou Bagel, Loaded Rice Bowls And More By Two Men Bagel House
  • 8/10
    Two Men Rice Bar Review: Kong Bak Mantou Bagel, Loaded Rice Bowls And More By Two Men Bagel House - 8/10



– Tasty, balanced bowls with great condiments
– Beef was tender


– Lychee Oolong Tea tasted too strongly of cucumber
– Honey Sriracha Butter Salmon was too crunchy

Recommended dishes: Black Rock (from $17), Bait Time (from $15), Lychee Oolong Tea ($6)

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 7:30pm

Address: 5 Wallich Street, #01-12, Guoco Tower, Singapore 078883

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