The Workbench Bistro

The Workbench Bistro
332 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 #01-1881

Waffle Purple Sweet Potato With Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream (SGD $13)

Hits All The Hipster Notes

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 6
Service: 5
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $15 per person.


Opening in February 2015 but undergoing a revamp in March 2016, The Workbench Bistro is a casual dining cafe in Ang Mo Kio that went from classic cafe to hipster cafe. Serving up popular modern Singaporean dishes and desserts, in particular, their signature colourful waffles, The Workbench Bistro has a rustic appeal with its quiet heartland location, and being hipster through and through, is also trendy, a beautiful contradiction.

Ambience at The Workbench Bistro is rustic industrial. Warm, dim lighting from decorative light bulbs cast a low glow over the dark wooden furniture. Television screens frame the wall, replaying ads for the place, while an ice cream bar fronts the entrance. I like the outdoor al-fresco area, which allows for watching the sleepy neighbourhood pass by.

Service at The Workbench Bistro is largely self-service, with ordering and payment over the counter, though staff serve orders to your table. Staff are friendly, with decent product knowledge on the menu, and I note they're proactive in assisting customers. Orders are fulfilled relatively quickly, within 10 minutes or so. Standards are passable enough.

Food at The Workbench Bistro is hipster, true modern Singaporean, a blend of Western and Asian influence. Featuring beloved local flavours, especially salted egg, dishes here are bold in taste, and heavy on the stomach. Portions are large, and rather greasy too, best shared. Decadent, guilty pleasures, not for everyday dining. Prices are comparable to other cafes, budget SGD $15 per person for a meal here.


The Workbench Bistro Exterior

The Workbench Bistro Interior

Menu Mains & Sides

Menu Desserts & Beverages

Menu Craft Beers

A straightforward Latte (SGD $4.90), medium body, medium strength. Nothing offensive or remarkable about this.

Latte (SGD $4.90)

A decent Root Beer Float (SGD $5), fizzy and sweet and delicious, with a rich, creamy smooth scoop of vanilla ice cream that lends a lovely floral flavour to this dessert beverage. Classic. Good!

Root Beer Float (SGD $5)

Root Beer Float

The Beer Mongozo Mango (SGD $11.90) is a Belgian fruit beer, brewed by Huyghe Brewery, in Melle municipality in the Flemish region of Belgium. It has a hazy orange gold colour, with a thin white foam head, aromas of candy gummies, orange marmalade, peach, and grains. Body is thin, juicy, and frothy, with a lively carbonation, and tastes of mango, apricot, biscuit, and hops. Nicely balanced sweetness to bitterness, with a pleasant fruity finish. Good!

Beer Mongozo Mango (SGD $11.90)

Beer Mongozo Mango
Beer Mongozo Mango

The Beer Op & Top (SGD $10.90) is an English style bitter India pale ale, brewed by Brouwerij De Molen, in Bodegraven-Reeuwijk municipality in the South Holland province of Netherlands. It has a pale straw yellow colour, with a thick white foam head, aromas of biscuit, hops, grapefruit, and grains. Body is crisp, juicy, and creamy, with soft carbonation, and tastes of bread, pine, caramel, and tangerine. Pleasant citrus with a good amount of sweet bitter flavours, a light dry finish, very refreshing.

Beer Op & Top (SGD $10.90)

Beer Op & Top

The Spam Fries (SGD $9.90) is a nice sharing appetizer, with its thick cut, meaty, savoury salty strips of luncheon meat / spam. Has a soft, fluffy texture, rather airy and loosely packed within, but taste is spot on. Served with a creamy herb mayonnaise. I felt this was average at best.

Spam Fries (SGD $9.90)

Spam Fries

The Salted Egg Chicken Pasta (SGD $15.90) features linguine pasta noodles, tossed in a savoury salty salted egg yolk sauce, along with curry leaves and bird's eye chili / chili padi. The gravy is true Chinese Zi Char style, thick and rich with deep robust flavour, clinging to the pasta. Topped with a large, tender, buttermilk batter coated fried chicken thigh, savoury with a hint of spice on the crisp skin. Completely decadent, but so delicious. Highly recommended!

Salted Egg Chicken Pasta (SGD $15.90)

Salted Egg Chicken Pasta

Loved the Char Cheez Bun (SGD $18.90), a modern take on the Swiss fondue. A fluffy charcoal infused bread bowl holds molten gooey cheese, thick and rich in texture. Around the sides are fluffy potato wedges, tender earthy battered shiitake mushrooms, and crisp juicy chunks of battered fried chicken. Tasty, with bold savoury salty flavours, this decadent dish is filling, and looks good too. Best shared with friends. Highly recommended!

Char Cheez Bun (SGD $18.90)

Char Cheez Bun

Char Cheez Bun

The Waffle Purple Sweet Potato With Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream (SGD $13) is a signature dessert here. Made completely with purple sweet potato, which lends a vibrant, purple coloured hue, the waffle has a soft, fluffy texture, tearing apart easily, and a mild earthy sweet flavour. Drizzled with rich caramel sauce, the sea salt caramel ice cream is creamy and smooth, with a balanced salty sweet flavour, but melts all too quickly. Overall, this dessert is pretty to look at, and tastes above average. Worth ordering!

Waffle Purple Sweet Potato With Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream (SGD $13)

Waffle Purple Sweet Potato With Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream

Waffle Purple Sweet Potato With Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream

Waffle Purple Sweet Potato With Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream

The TWB S'Moreffles With Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream (SGD $12) is a vibrant, colourful dessert. Featuring pretty scarlet red velvet waffles, and cool green blue velvet waffles, both of which have a soft, fluffy texture. However, they taste exactly the same, having a light sweet dough flavour. Within the waffles are melted marshmallows, gooey and sticky, which lend an intense sweetness to this decadent dessert. I got it with a scoop of a Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream, which has a milky smooth texture and a sweet boozy flavour. Decent.

TWB S'Moreffles With Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream (SGD $12)

TWB S'Moreffles With Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream

TWB S'Moreffles With Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream


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