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Cafe Culture

Cafe Culture

Featuring One Man Coffee (Upper Thomson), The Lokal, Oriole Coffee + Bar (Somerset), The Refinery, The Bravery Cafe, Chock Full Of Beans, Forty Hands (Tiong Bahru), Toby's Estate, Two Bakers (Jalan Besar), The Workbench Bistro
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee
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Came back to Prodigal Cafe specifically for this beaut so here she is. It was very crowded at 2pm in the afternoon on Hari Raya as it was a public holiday, but we managed to get three seats at a table for six. The staff were quite attentive and came to ask if there were enough seats for us at the table which was nice.

We weren’t asked which bread we wanted this time, so I guess the default option was the Hokkaido thick toast that I have no complaints about. This dish is every bit as good as I remembered and my parents enjoyed it just as much. We’d make more frequent visits here if it weren’t so out of the way for us, but at the same time we also appreciated this quaint, cozy cafe in an ulu HDB neighbourhood.

Second time ordering the Dirty ($5) and unfortunately I felt it was quite inconsistent with my first visit to Prodigal Cafe. It wasn’t quite so well-mixed, and ended up being very milky at the bottom but a full-on coffee shot at the top. I’m not sure which way it’s supposed to be served, but I preferred it done the first time I visited where the beverage was more uniformly mixed.

The affogato comes in two sizes, and we ordered the larger one. The taller affogato ($7) here should agree with casual coffee drinkers as it’s more of a milky dessert than coffee. Similar to the Dirty, this beverage wasn’t well-mixed and there was a clear separation between the milk and espresso shot. Once again, I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be served that way, but at least this beverage comes with a spoon so you can mix it if you like.

One of the chef’s recommendations on the menu that I’ve been eyeing and finally went ahead to try. This is basically atas fried rice that’s super delicious. The red rice is fried with pumpkin cubes, edamame, mushrooms, long beans and an egg, and you get to choose between roasted chicken or avocado to go with the carbs. I went with the roasted chicken breast, which wasn’t the most tender, but fortunately not dry nor tough to chew. I think it’s seasoned with mustard so the meat isn’t tasteless, and although it is just a teeny bit bland on its own, it goes well with the already-flavoured red rice. The portion of chicken given for $13 is substantial too - very value for money! I love the components in the red rice bowl - the red rice gives a lot more bite than regular white rice, plus it imparts a nutty flavour that’s so addictive. The edamame and long brand add some sweetness and a little crunch, whereas the sautéed mushrooms add an earthy flavour with some saltiness. The pumpkin cubes were harder than I’m used to, but they still worked in this case as they kept their form and didn’t disintegrate in the rice. Might’ve been even better if the pumpkin was softer, but overall I really enjoyed this fried red rice very much and have no complaints about my meal. Looks like I have to visit ABC more often to try more of their dishes and order this again!

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Choice of how you’d like your eggs done on two pieces of toast with sautéed mushrooms, bacon, cherry tomatoes and half an avocado. We went for scrambled today and ABC makes pretty good scrambled eggs that are fluffy and a little moist! Toast is done well as it’s super crispy on the outside while soft and chewy inside. The bacon and sautéed mushrooms are on point too. Overall, this is a very satisfying All-Day Breakfast that you can even enjoy for dinner. It’s also not too expensive at $16. Would recommend and would order again!

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Requested for this with no whipped cream so it’s literally a cold matcha with some chia seeds inside. Love that they use paper straws which are more environmentally friendly and prettier than plastic straws but I would’ve liked if even more if they served the straw separately so we could’ve used our own straw (I always forget to say no straw!).

Anyway this wasn’t that great. The matcha taste wasn’t very strong, and overall the beverage tasted quite bland. Way too overpriced for this quality, and the chia seeds were quite gimmicky and didn’t add much to this drink. I’d rather pick up a green tea latte from Starbucks in Paragon basement.

This is one monster dessert consisting of three layers of waffles (including a red velvet and blue velvet waffle), large and mini marshmallows, whipped cream, a choice of chocolate sauce or maple syrup, and four scoops of ice cream of your choice. The waffles are only prepared when ordered, so you can be sure to get warm, soft and chewy waffles with crispy exteriors. I don’t think there was a difference in flavours in these three waffles, probably just a matter of colouring but this is an instagrammer’s dream for sure. Not a fan of the whipped cream or marshmallows as they just made this dessert a lot sweeter than it needed to be but it did make it look prettier. Unlike what’s depicted in the TSL video that keeps looping in the cafe, the marshmallows are not toasted, which was a bit of a disappointment as they weren’t melty or gooey.

For the four scoops of ice cream, we went with: chocolate, coconut, earl grey and black sesame. All of the ice cream flavours were really good, with the exception of coconut which paled in comparison to the others as the coconut flavour didn’t come through although I could taste some grated coconut inside. The chocolate one wasn’t too sweet, while the earl grey ice cream was fragrant and very aromatic. My favourite of the four was the black sesame which was fragrant and not too sweet.

This is a dessert meant for sharing with friends and family, and be sure to eat it fast because the ice cream melts and causes the waffles to become soggy! I wouldn’t necessarily order this again but I’m curious to try their sweet potato waffles because their waffle textures seem to be on point. Also, the ice cream here is good too so I’ll definitely be back!

Since the closure of On The Table at Pasir Panjang, I haven’t really found a place that served up chicken wings similar to their famed chicken wings (apart from Lola’s cafe). Stumbled upon The Workbench Bistro and ordered their salted egg wings, which were delightfully battered and fried to crisp perfection. The eight wings are slathered in delicious salted egg sauce. This is an example of salted egg sauce done right as it’s creamy and the salted egg taste is prominent. Though not exactly the same as On The Table’s, the wings were delightfully crispy and I loved them even more with the salted egg sauce. I know where I’m coming when I want my chicken wing fix!

Don’t bother with the matcha latte here as it’s so milky with almost no matcha flavour. The colour is already pale green, and our first sip was just disappointing. Haven’t tried their coffees, but I’m not inspired to try the other drinks after having this and the sweet potato latte. Just go straight for their chef’s recommended menu items instead.

Had high hopes for this since they’re known for the sweet potato waffles. I was hoping that their expertise with sweet potato might translate to their drinks. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Don’t waste your money or stomach space on this. The sweet potato latte here is made from powder, and the sweet potato taste is almost undetectable. It just tasted like a cup of sweetened milk with some hints of sweet potato. Not worth the $5.90.

In line with the ma la craze, The Workbench Bistro serves up 麻辣 pasta in their innovative menu and honestly it satisfies ma la cravings even better than most ma la stalls. They don’t shy away from using Szechuan peppercorns here, so be ready to feel your tongue go numb. It’s not uncomfortable at all, the feeling is actually super addictive! The linguine is done al dente, and is coated with a nice amount of chilli oil so it’s not too dry nor too slick. There’s tons of garlic, peppercorns and some chillies inside, which makes the pasta very fragrant. I felt that medium spicy wasn’t spicy at all, but that varies from person to person. If you do eat spicy food regularly, just go straight for the 大辣. The fried chicken cutlet was also pretty good. The batter is very crispy, and the meat is quite tender. For the ma la pasta, the chicken was coated with some chilli powder and it went very well with the linguine.

With such awesome ma la pasta, I’m definitely coming back to The Workbench Bistro!

A spin on the classic eggs benedict which incorporates gong bao chicken, 64deg eggs, topped with cheddar cheese and yam crisps on an English muffin with fried potato and baked tomatoes.

I wasn’t impressed by this dish actually. The spices in the gong bao chicken were so minimal, and the sides were underwhelming especially since the fried potatoes weren’t that crispy. I’d still visit Halcyon and Crane as they have many other interesting dishes on the menu, but I’d give this a pass.

Totally understand why this is one of the recommended dishes that keeps popping up in reviews. The sticky date pudding is served warm, and isn’t eligible for the 50% offer after 9pm, but it’s worth it even at full price. It’s a large pudding so it’s good for sharing.

The sticky date pudding is super moist and yummy. There’re some pieces of dates inside which add contrasting chewiness to the soft pudding. The pudding itself isn’t that sweet, but it’s served in a sticky toffee sauce that was a little too sweet for my liking (although I do understand since it’s toffee). The toffee sauce went well with the pudding, and getting a mouthful of the pudding, sauce and vanilla ice cream was the ultimate trinity as the contrasting flavours and textures threw a party for my tastebuds.

Always biding my time to my next meal. Everything in between just serves to kill time.

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