Simple, straightforward and quick are generally the features you are looking for during your limited lunch break in the CBD.
And if you're looking for a full meal, not just a snack or wrap, Asian eateries often meet and cater to these requirements. For workers in the CBD, mainly closer to the Latrobe/Swanston end, these might be useful for you:
It's often very busy so you need to grab a number and then wait in line. The wait has never been too long though for lunch, so drop by if your office is near here!
Sugarbun: 205 Russell St You might walk past this one without noticing but you'll actually have to look out for the sign that says Bak Kut Teh.
Bak Kut Teh is a pork bone tea broth dish that Sugarbun specialises in. My friend had this dish and the soup was extremely fragrant. It comes in a large bowl with rice and Chinese donuts on the side. At $18 it's not a bad deal as it also includes a drink.
Meanwhile I was curious to try the Sarawak Laksa to battle the recent cold weather. Similarly it comes in a deal with a drink for $13.80 and the bowl is huge and filled to the brim.
The broth was tasty and not too spicy - it's made with a variety of ingredients from Belacan (shrimp paste) to tamarind and lemongrass.
Their drinks are not the usual either. I chose a lemon and barley drink, which was simple and had the expected taste. The winner was the rose and milk syrup though, as the syrup added a good dose of sweetness.
With a short lunch break I could never really consider it, but my friend went to line up for me and got there so early there was no line. A handy tip!
I ended up choosing the Beef Ball noodle soup. The servings are enormous and the large bowl keeps it hot. The problem is it was too hot and we couldn't eat it properly for a while. This is tough when there is a line of people waiting outside!
However, when it did cool down the broth was tastier than I expected. The serving size was generous and soup quite tasty - if it didn't have a line all the time I would consider trying it again.
Sushi Burger: 167 Exhibition St
Sushi Burger has been an old favourite for a few years. Back then they made burgers to order, but I hear now that at least the soft shell crab burger was premade.
The burger is made with two rice patties as the buns and the meat in between. The seaweed envelops the burger. By itself, the burger would not fill you up, but lucky they have bento lunch deals with the burger.
Although it says it's Korean I find it is a bit of a mix of Japanese/Korean/Western influences. For example the teriyaki chicken is great, a strong almost BBQ-like flavour, but the mild pork bulgogi is not spicy at all.
Smoked salmon bibimbap
They also do takeaway bibimbap, a Korean rice dish where you mix all the ingredients and rice together with some spicy red sauce. I love that they have a smoked salmon version, a bit of a modern twist on the dish.