Review: Monochrome Fusion Bistro @ Chinatown

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Photo 9-7-15 2 11 57 pmMonochrome Fusion Bistro, located at Chinatown, defines themselves with the colors, black and white as what their brand suggests. A rather unique take in the cafe scene in Singapore! The best part? They are located just 2 doors away from Tong Heng, and that means, EGG TARTS TO DABAO HOME after having your meal there!

The Place

On Google Virtual Tours, contact The Red Marker

Upon entering the cafe, you’d see that everything was in monochromatic splashes. Black and white, black and white, with a little greens. Did you know that the owners’ family actually painted the place on their own, and Ivan (one of the owners) did up the paintings that were hanging on the wall. Talk about talent.

The Menu
Photo 9-7-15 2 19 26 pm Photo 9-7-15 2 19 34 pm 
A menu of the perfect size, to me, because it doesn’t overwhelm you with choices, and neither does it bore you with just a few items. Look, they even have dishes that are of the monochromatic theme!

The Food

Okay, let’s start with drinks first HAHA. Since Monochrome is more of a bistro than cafe, they’ve got alcohol! Yay!
Photo 9-7-15 2 23 17 pm 
Here’s their best-selling Moscato D’Asti ($65++/bottle and $52++ during Happy Hour). This was sweet and refreshing, and I could see why this was the best seller, because I had to control myself from gulping the entire glass down.Photo 9-7-15 2 47 22 pm My must-order drink in any cafe, Iced Mocha ($8++). Wow. That price. Are you kidding me? And this was the worst mocha I’ve ever had. It was iced chocolate at best, and even so, it failed as an iced chocolate. I don’t see how they have the confidence to price their coffee at such exorbitant prices. However, Ivan has took our feedback into consideration and  has assured us that Monochrome would be getting their beans from Common Man soon, and let’s hope it would be better and even so, that price is still not justified. Photo 9-7-15 2 42 49 pm Threesome? Wing it ($16++): 3 different coating on their succulent wings – Honey Oat, Chili Crab and Favorite House Wings. The wings were slide off the bone delicious on its own, however we thought that the coating requires some tweaking.

The Honey Oat wings were although pretty addictive, it was slightly too sweet for its own good. They should probably take a leaf off everyone’s favorite SNS-Ji from Holqa Cafe! Chili Crab did not come through for us at all, as it only had a very slight hint of chili crab taste. We had difficulty trying to identify which was the chili crab one because it tasted just like another variation of a spicy sauce. They could probably drizzle more of the sauce over for a more chili crabby experience. The Favorite House Wings fared the best amongst all, just the right amounts of heat and flavor. I’d gladly take a basket full of these ($9++) than a combination of the 3.

Also we thought $16++ was a tad too expensive for a starter. 4 wings per variation, not too shabby, but it’s probably a dish to share with a group of friends, but not recommended for 2 people, mostly because of its price. Photo 9-7-15 2 46 05 pm Squid Ink Risotto ($23++): topped with Pan-seared scallops, crunchy quinoa, parmesan, edamame beans and alfafa sprouts.

Besides it being a real photogenic dish, and in sync with their monochromatic theme, the taste of this blew me away only on my first bite. My eyes immediately lit up after savoring the first spoonful. Creamy risotto, with the added crunch of the quinoa, and the succulent scallop. Wow. However, to my dismay, the subsequent mouthfuls were… A tad disappointing as I thought the risotto was dry, and really not what I expect of a risotto – rich and creamy. I got sick of the risotto faster than I usually do with the other creamier versions.

Ivan later explained that his seasoned Italian diners liked their risotto to be cooked this way, because it was less gelat, due to the muted creaminess. So, if you’re one who don’t really like risotto for its cream, you should probably try Monochrome’s take on their risotto! Unfortunately for me, when I order a risotto, I want a creamy mouthfeel to it! Photo 9-7-15 2 49 52 pmPork Belly Pizza ($22++): Braised Pork Belly, caramelized onions, cucumber and sliced red chili. I liked this dish best amongst all we’ve ordered!

A pork belly pizza, who would have thought of it! So Chinese, so yum, I especially loved how the sliced cucumbers and chili added an extra kick and crunchiness to the crisp flatbread pizza! I liked this, but the only gripe we had was that the pork belly slices were a tad too little, and unevenly distributed as there were about 3 slices of pizza without any pork belly on it. Nevertheless, a satisfying dish!!

Photo 9-7-15 3 32 05 pmMonochrome Churroffles ($12++): The highly raved and Instagrammed Churros waffle – the baby of a churro-waffle batter, topped with banana slices, wang wang xiao man tou, cinnamon powder, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This was the dish I was looking forward to most at Monochrome, because I’m a HUGE fan of churros! Unfortunately, this turned out to be a huge disappointment for me. While I was expecting a crisp exterior just like a churro, my churroffle came all wet and soggy. The only thing that resembled a churro was the cinnamon powder. I’m pretty sure we ordered a churroffle and not a cinnamon dusted waffle.

Closing Remarks

My experience at Monobistro was a mix of hits and misses. While their concept remains unique and I loved the effort they have put in to fit their food into their monochromatic theme, I think there is still a lot to be done to improve on the quality of their offerings. Price-wise may be a tad higher than your usual cafes, due to their location, as well as it being a bistro. You could probably check out their lunch offers as it is made a lot more affordable!

I thought that the conceptualization of the ideas for all of their dishes were very impressive and attractive, like their risotto, pork belly pizza and the butter chicken waffles, which makes me excited just with their names! A bistro with a lot of potential, and in my opinion, Monochrome just requires a little more fine-tuning to be one of the better hunts out there!

This was an invited tasting, thank you Monochrome and Ivan for the hospitality and spread! 

How to get there?
291 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058836

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday – 12pm to 10pm

Instagram: @monobistro

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1 Comment

  1. Sarah Sarah
    December 4, 2015    


    Do give The Daily Scoop’s churro waffle a try when you’ve the chance :)

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