Some of the best dining places, are hidden. DW Workshop at Rochester may not even sound like a restaurant, but it is a venue worth the trek.
DW Workshop houses several concepts in one location. It is hard to gasp at first glance what they encompass, but it is like a café, brunch place, healthy dining restaurant and design workshop studio all within a heritage house.
To be specific, a Black and White double-storey colonial house.
SO HIPSTER and Chio, right? Anyway…
Finding the workshop can be challenging for those unfamiliar with the grounds. It is on one end of Rochester Drive, next to Pies & Coffee, a few shops away from Starbucks.
For my friends who went go after Sunday service at New Creation Church, I told them, “Just cross the road from Star Vista’s taxi stand and walk for about 80 metres in.”
Here are 10 Reasons why you should make your way to DW Workshop:
The Space, Feels Like Home
I shall start with the space. It is SO well designed and thought-out. If you come regularly, you can try hanging around the varied spaces depending on who you come with.
Sometimes it is tough to find a restaurant meant for larger groups in Singapore. No problem here.
There is an outdoorsy Patio Hangout for those who do not mind some al fresco dining, the Iconic Fireplace which makes you feel like it is Christmas time all over again, or at the Communal Dining area.
What I like is the vibes of a comfy welcoming home. You don’t get a lot of that here in space-constrained Singapore.
Healthy Lunch Bowls
Since grains and rice bowls are all in the rage… lunch bowls ($19.00 each) are offered, with options such as Savoury Grilled Chicken, Grilled Ribeye, Pan Seared Duck Breast, Salmon in a Bag and Sweet Potato Frittata.
How it works: Choose 1 main, 3 sides, 1 grain (brown rice, red quinoa and basmati rice) and a topping to complete the bowl.
Those that I liked better were the Savoury Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato Frittata, which were well, tastier.
Hopefully in time to come, there will be a larger variety for regular lunch goers.
The dinner time takes on a completely different concept, focusing on “communal dining” where families, colleagues and friends can come together to share a meal.
The recommended items include Signature Braised Beef ($42, portion for 2) – slow-cooked beef cheek in sweet-tart primed-aged balsamic topped with almond flakes and dark chocolate shavings; Savoury Grilled Chicken ($38, for 2); Crackling Pork Belly with Sweet Apple Risotto ($36, for 2) and Duck Confit ($42, for 2).
The Weekend Brunch choices sound quite enticing, that I wished they offered this during weekdays as well.
Other than the Signature Potato Rosti with Poached Eggs ($21.00), my favourite was the Crab Salad Croissant ($24.00) with fresh picked sweet crab in Japanese mayo in a freshly baked butter croissant.
I liked that there was crispy kale in buttery choron sauce on the side (and not just another ordinary salad), and a surprise element coming in the form of poached egg in the centre. My humble suggestion: If the croissant included crab chunks instead, this would have been a sell-out.
To note, DW Workshop does not offer the typical café coffees (yet), and focuses on two types – The Drip Coffee brewed by Poursteady ($9) and The Stove Brew ($9).
The Poursteady is a robotics-controlled coffee brewing apparatus which is said to combine speed, precision, and convenience to puts out a precise cup of drip coffee.
The result is a clean taste of gently filtered coffee with quite a strong caffeine kick.
The other is full-bodied stove brew coffee concocted by the Italian Moka pot where you are served a TRIPLE shot of espresso. A way to stay awake.
Cold Pressed Market Juices
For those of you who want to wind the day down, sitting by the sofa having cold-pressed juice having a bottle of the Pineapple, Carrot and Mandarin Squash ($9) or Summer Watermelon and Strawberry Mint ($9).
A more ‘powerful’ Mighty Spinach, Cucumber and Red Apple Lemon; and a ‘Green Greens’ with kale, celery and English parsley added with red apple are also available.
We almost missed this menu entirely, since the cakes are not displayed anyway.
So let me tell you, there is a “Sweet Treats” menu somewhere at the corner of this house, where you can pick your mood-redeemers called Matcha Pie, Sea Salt Caramel Cake, Carrot Cake, White Chocolate Orange Tea Cake and Lemon Curd Tart ($7 – $8.90).
Needless to say, my favourite was the Matcha Pie ($8.90) which has this sweetish milky matcha filling on crumbly pie. I wished it had a tad more bitterness, and less sweetness though, but this was good enough for satisfaction.
True to its name and background, DW Workshop organises design workshops to bring out the craftsman in you.
The experiential activities include concrete lamp making, paper marbling, paper pleating, and clothes repurposing – varying every quarterly.
For the hipster in you, the current workshop is the “Evening Concrete Lamp”, where you can mould-make your own Edison light holder. So make, eat (lunch, cakes, tea provided), make, then bring your lamp home.
All materials included. The Evening Concrete Lamp Workshop is at $329 per pax, or $599 per couple (and share 1 set of materials).
Corporate or groups will enjoy a happier rate for workshops. And it can seat up to 100 people or hold up to 130 in a more casual standing event.
DW Workshop is a space to dine, meet, work and relax. Quite a worthy find.
41 Rochester Drive Singapore 138582
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 11:00pm (Mon – Fri), 9:30am till late (Sat, Sun, PH)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with DW Workshop.