The Yin & Yang balance.
Monochrome Fusion Bistro is a fairly recent bistro situated along South Bridge Road. As you can tell from their name, Monochrome focus on the whole idea & belief of Yin & Yang, black & white and a fusion of Asian cuisine with Western fare. The bistro was set-up by three friends, who were from the real estate industry.
Interior of Monochrome.
Bar seats decked with a miscellaneous decor.
Just like its name, Monochrome Fusion Bistro is fully designed & decorated to reflect the monochromatic style of black & white. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air from all the same ol’ vintage-industrial-hipster nonsense you see nowadays. The place is decked out with both black & white elements, from their hand-painted walls to the monochrome furniture. The whole place definitely looks quite fantastic and it was basically one of the reasons why my friends & I were eager to visit the place. (We’re all designers. ~The more you know.)
One of the hand-painted walls of Monochrome. These were actually painted by one of the owners.
Get ready for group photos/OOTDs/Instagram/Pinterest/I don’t know.
Cakes, cakes, cakes & tarts!
The desserts here are actually outsourced from a local baker & they are even Halal.
Menu of Monochrome Fusion Bistro.
Another main draws of Monochrome is their food, most of which are also created to relate back to their whole concept of Yin & Yang and black & white. The cuisine here is a mixture of Asian & Western, hence you can find an assortment of various dishes such as their coveted “Monochrome Aglio Olio” or if you’re looking for something with a little Japanese infusion, “Snapper Loin Cha Soba”.
Monochrome also offers an array of cakes & tarts that are outsourced from a local baker. Sticking to their whole theme of Monochromatic, you’ll find black & white desserts such as their Black Velvet or Mint Chocolate. It was quite odd to see a sudden green Chendol cake though, however, it was slated to be one of their most popular choices. The cakes & tarts are even Halal.
Prices for Monochrome are geared towards the higher average. Most of their mains hover right around the 20 dollar mark. Do note that they do have a set lunch promotion & they have recently expanded their menu for brunch. Unfortunately, they do charge GST & service fees, so there’s that.
We were offered a little sampling of their current promotion for a bottle of some sort of Moscato (I think.)
Now, I don’t really drink nor am I a wine connoisseur, but this was one that I could get behind. It was the first time I’ve found wine to be sweet. In fact, this was very sweet. (I liked it anyhow.)
It’s not black, it’s not white but it’s part of the set lunch.
Monochrome B&W Chorizo Meatballs ($9.80)
Another black & white dish that has been popularized is their Monochrome meatballs! They actually come in either the chorizo or chicken variation; I decided to go for the former.
While they look great & tasted pretty good, my friends & I all unanimously agreed that they were too dry. A pity. The chorizo inside the meatball also seemed to be in small chunks.
Tom Yum Linguine ($15.90 for set lunch)
The set lunch from Monochrome were actually fixed dishes, which was unfortunate as my friends & I thought that we could order the mains from their normal menu. (Not to mention that they used the picture of their Aglio, which made it kinda deceiving.)
Nonetheless, the Tom Yum Linguine was one of the dishes for their set lunch that day. My friend had it & she quite liked the flavour of it. I tried a little & it really had a strong taste of Tom Yam. She also mentioned that the spicyness seemed to get higher the more she ate it.
(I do think that it’s a pity that it is not a Monochromatic dish. What a waste.)
Chicken Cutlet with Rice ($15.90 for set lunch)
This was the second of the two set lunches that were offered that day. Again, my friends & I joked that it was unfortunate that it wasn’t really Monochromatic like their other dishes. Perhaps it’s because these are for the slightly cheaper set lunches and the B&W fare are reserved for the main menu? Hmmm…
Monochrome Prawn Aglio Olio ($18.80)
Ah, finally we have arrived to the Monochromatic pièce de résistance – their Aglio Olio! The spin on the dish is the mixture of squid ink spaghetti; an infusion of black with white.
Not only does the dish look fantastic, but I really liked the taste as well. I did feel that the pasta could have been cooked a tad longer though. My friend also mentioned that the dish was slightly too oily. Worth a try nonetheless.
Monochrome Squid Ink Risotto ($24)
I was so excited about finally trying Monochrome and their B&W dishes that I didn’t realized the risotto costed $24. (Wallet says ouch.)
Anyway, apart from that fact, the flavour of the risotto was divine. It was one of my favourites from Monochrome. Even my friend, who wasn’t a huge fan of risotto, stated that he liked the dish as well.
My friends & I agreed on one thing, having previously read another blog post commenting on the oddness of the green Edamame beans that broke the whole theme of B&W. It did add a nice crunchy texture to the dish, though I thought that they could have used black beans instead?
Black Sesame & Vanilla Oreo Ice-cream
These were from the set lunch as well. My friends & I were actually more excited about the awesome black & white cups and saucer which made for really pretty photography.
Black Velvet ($8)
How could one head to Monochrome & not have a Monochrome dessert? It was definitely a no-brainer to order this, keeping with the entire B&W theme. As said earlier, the cakes & tarts here are outsourced from a local baker.
Sadly, the cake was only pretty aesthetically and it was too dry for my liking. The cream cheese frosting was also just mediocre.
While I did find it odd to see a sudden bright green cake in the midst of the Monochromatic place, the staff mentioned that it was one of their best sellers, hence I decided to give it a try.
I could definitely see why it was a best seller. It was really delicious & was far better than the Black Velvet cake. I’m always a fan of anything Gula Melaka. My friends also preferred this over the Black Velvet. Recommended!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart ($7)
Being my greedy little self, paired with having seen this on Instagram, I made the decision to order this even though we were all full.
The tart was quite the enigma; after taking a bite, I really wanted to say “Woah, this is too good.”, however the words couldn’t come out of my mouth. There was just something “off” about the tart that stopped it from being the wondrous dessert that it could be. It’s sort of hard to explain, but after my friend took a bite, he understood what I was trying to convey completely. Of course, it’s still a good tart, it’s just not as fantastic as I thought it would be.
Black or white?
Worth A Visit/Revisit?
I’m definitely a fan of Monochrome, both the concept & the design of the place really speaks to me. The food is pretty good as well, though I felt that they could really implement the whole “Monochromatic” theme on their dishes even more; the whole basis of their bistro concept, which would bring them to a whole other level. I do hope to head back sometime to try some of their other dishes or even their brunch menu.
Monochrome Fusion Bistro
291 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058836
(Nearest train station: Chinatown or Telok Ayer)
Contact: 6221 1798
Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Sun: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm