The workbench is a cafe restaurant serving ice cream and full meals at Ang Mo Kio. It is a small void deck restaurant which had been opened for a couple of years tucked in a quiet HDB estate at Ave 1. Let’s check it out.

A heartland HDB café restaurant

Moreover, the establishment started out as a dessert store selling ice cream. Since then, it had undergone a few menu revisions. Additions to their food menu expanded with a selection of burgers and pasta which I am touching on today.

Additionally, the café is a HDB void deck shop. Interestingly, it is situated right beside a provision minimart store. Geographically, it is located near Bishan Park along the MRT viaduct between Bishan and Ang Mo Kio station. Also, there is ample parking with HDB EPS carpark parking, even on weekends.

The chill interior of the Workbench cafe
The chill interior of the Workbench cafe

Furthermore, the restaurant interior has an industrial look with wooden tables laid over metal pipes. There are both air-conditioned indoor seating (for about 20 pax) and outdoor seating, with the latter suitable for larger groups.

Also, the restaurant gets reasonably packed even for a Saturday evening dinner. However, not too packed that you are unable to find a table on arrival. The chill HDB neighbourhood adds to the homely feel which is one now rarely experienced in hectic Singapore.

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The ordering counter and ice cream bar
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Menu selections
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Iced green tea and coffee offerings

Try their Wagyu bugers

Furthermore, their menu is simple. Items are incredibly value of money. Highlights on their menu includes their Wagyu burgers. Also, this is paired with other menu choices, such as pasta and sharing platters. Though I am leaning to recommending more their burgers.

The Truffle Wagyu burger, it comes served with a small bucket of fries with a beer at a value $18.90
The Truffle Wagyu burger, it comes served with a small bucket of fries with a beer at a value $18.90

I recommend their Truffle Wagyu burger. It sets you back $18.90. Here, you have a burger served with regular skinny fries peppered with chilli flakes and a Corona beer or unlimited French fries. It is worth noting that their Corona which is menu priced $6.90. Talking about value offerings. This means your burger and standard set of fries (yes there is already fries with your burger) is about $12.00. It is priced closely to other notable Singapore burger joints such as Wolf burgers, but much cheaper than Fat Boys burgers.

Close-up of the Wagyu burger with the delicious ozzing egg and bacon
Close-up of the Wagyu burger with the delicious ozzing egg and bacon

Hence, I will recommend the choice of the beer over free-flow of fries, though on my visit, they were out of coronas. And though free-flow of water is served, it beats opting for a French fries buffet. Moreover, it is worth noting that serving of fries which comes with your burger is more than enough and you won’t need more.

I swapped out my beer to another drink item on the menu priced at the same or lower value. Similarly priced drink items at $6.90 is iced mocha and green tea lathe.

Value menu selections

Other main courses includes pulled pork burgers, fish and chips at $14.90 a plate as well as BBQ pork ribs ($18.90). Their pasta prices starts from $11, with premium offerings such as Laska pasta setting you back $16.90.

If you have a large group, the TWB platter ($55.90) is worth considering. Workbench claims can feed 3 people. It comprises of an assortment of BBQ ribs, pulled pork, salted egg chicken wings as well as 3 ice lemon tea drinks.

Crab meat linguine pasta
Crab meat linguine pasta

Furthermore, their Crab meat linguine is also a signature. Essentially pasta loaded with crab meat mixed in a pasta sauce. It is also notable that the Workbench has several other localised menu offerings, such as Salted egg Chicken pasta. Though I reckon that would be something worth trying on my next visit.

Ice cream and Waffles

Additionally, what sets workbench apart is their implementation of their ice-cream paired with waffles. As previously mentioned, Workbench started out as an ice cream shop. The ice cream is a premium selection, though I doubt that these are made on-site like what we find in other ice cream joints such as udders or island creamery.

However, their ice cream is paired well with their signature triple-decker waffle platter. This is part of their dessert selection.

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Moreover, their ice cream offerings are impressive, not to mention filling too. Their flavours are that of a premium offering, though nothing too much to scream home about. A single scoop of their classic flavour sets you back $3.90 with premium offerings going at $4.60.

This is good for a nice light dessert after your meal. Their starter waffles starting at $5 for the base, paired with your ice cream flavors of choice.

Mega S’moreffles supreme

Otherwise their mega S’moreffles supreme is great for sharing too. This is the workbench biggest and most famous dessert offering. It is their triple decker ice cream behemoth on waffles. The supreme is a dessert fest of 4 scoops of ice cream laid on a stack of 3 waffles with marshmallows and crushed Oreos.

The Triple Decker Mega S’more waffles supreme ($35.90)
The Triple Decker Mega S’more waffles supreme ($35.90)

Notably, it is filling as a meal itself and if eaten as a dessert, can be easily shared between two persons together with its $35.90 price tag.

All in all, dining at the workbench was an pleasant affair. The workbench is worth patronising for their main course offerings or their ice cream desserts without breaking the bank. Also, their truffle wagyu egg lava beef burger gets my take. It is nice seeing such small independent shops popping up in the heartlands. It does add a lot of colour into an otherwise dull neighbourhood.

Verdict:

Must Go! | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Workbench Bistro
332 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, #01-1881, (HDB Voiddeck)
Singapore 560332
Opens daily: 12 noon to 10pm.
Extended opening hours to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

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