Crisp and classy all day eatery easing you from elegant brunches to sharing feasts for dinner and cocktails into the night
Food: Kingfish Sashimi, Crispy Thai Chicken Bao, Beef Tartare, Scallop, Crispy barramundi, Miso Mushrooms, Sticky Lamb Ribs
When you pull up to Workshop Bros, it’s one of a number of cafes and shops around a central car park, when you walk in, you could be in a trendy CBD bar. What they’ve done with such a small venue is wonderful. The light wood interior and soft, yet ample lighting lifts the narrow space from what could easily be a dull, dark hallway, into a cosy, sophisticated venue. The circular arches segregating the restaurant not only add privacy but make a pleasant and interesting space that you want to spend time in.
The layout is ideal for its all day clientele, with a large communal table for groups, drinks or solo diners depending on the time of day, a few booths for smaller groups and several tables for couples. It’s a fun and flexible space.
This is mirrored in the menu, which maintains an Asian inspired theme but offers both a day and evening menu, along with numerous cocktails. We visited for dinner and enjoyed several dishes from the menu, picked for us by staff. Their entire dinner menu is split into “little brother” and “big brother” share dishes and takes you from street food style baos to fine dining style mains.
What really impressed us about the menu was how well chosen out our dishes were. We were taken on a thoughtful journey through Asia, with a nice balance of light and rich dishes. To begin we shared the beef tartare – which opened up our palates with a nice spicy kick, and cleverly served with 4 prawn crackers (one of which being my guilty pleasure for the evening). M.B. enjoyed a scallop – which was exquisitely presented and tasted like chicken apparently (he likes chicken so I guess that’s a compliment), and I tried the crispy chicken bao, which would make an ideal bar snack if you’re enjoying a few drinks. We also shared the kingfish sashimi which combined beautifully with the citrus gel to really highlight its flavour.
The enjoyable thing about the smaller plates is that they are exactly that: small. You can enjoy several dishes without feeling overwhelmed before your main. The focus on snack style food and light ingredients mean you can happily share three or four of these (or more) before venturing on to the larger plates. For the mains we had the crispy barramundi, miso mushrooms and sticky lamb ribs with a side of roti. Now we’re quite greedy and this was the perfect amount for us. I’m glad we only had one meat-heavy dish and the sticky sweet flavour of the ribs was delicious – a really manly, cooking on the barbie kind of flavour. Fortunately for me, M.B. doesn’t like mushrooms so I got to hog this plate all to myself and enjoy their spicy kick, excellent texture and the crispy onion rings on top. The barramundi with yellow curry was an interesting combination which I wasn’t sure about on paper, having only enjoyed it with meats like duck and lamb previously. The curry came as a pour over sauce and was thinner than I anticipated which helped match the delicate flavour of the crispy barramundi. A nice unusual twist on an Aussie standard.
To top things off we enjoyed a couple of cocktails – fresh and fruity and they certainly don’t shy away from the alcohol – and a mocktail for M.B. who was driving. We finished the meal with the apple pie bao, a seriously cool dish from the theatrics down to the flavours. Everything except the apple stalks is edible, the smoked flavour was mouthwatering and it was just a clever little dish all round. Service was attentive without being overbearing which is a challenge given the small space. Everything throughout the evening was well executed, and given we visited fairly early on a Monday evening, there was such a fantastic vibe, with the restaurant appealing to everyone from young groups of girls chatting over cocktails to an elderly Asian man dining alone.
Address: 97 Kingsway, Glen Waverley
Mon 7am to 10pm
Tue 7am to 10pm
Wed 7am to 10pm
Thu 7am to 10pm
Fri 7am to 10pm
Sat 7am to 10pm
Sun 7am to 10pm
Parking: It’s opposite a carpark so you can park outside the door. Be careful though, most of the spaces are only 1 hour and a half so fine for a quick meal but you might need to move the car if you are planning on being there a while.
Getting here on PT: Take a Glen Waverley train to – you’ve guessed it – Glen Waverley. It’s a 3 minute walk from the station!
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Workshop Bros. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change (including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting)