Ok, so maybe Good Thyme Bistro at Ang Mo Kio isn’t inspired by Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City’s song. Actually, I’m positive it isn’t because the cafe isn’t that hip. In fact, the cafe at the heartland is very far from hip, very far from the usual hipster cafe. BUT they value substance over style; the food is marvellous, and so is the service, and that’s all we care about.
The decor of the cafe isn’t the ubiquitous industrial chic, cement floor, white walls look; on the contrary, there isn’t much decor to speak of, but they make it personal and cosy by displaying photos. And the cafe is cleaner than most cafes.
The menu’s offerings consist of the usual suspects other cafes, such as truffles fries ($8), pastas (starting from $7.90), and beer battered fish and chips ($14.90 sole fish, $17.90 haddock). There is an interesting Southern French starter alligot ($5) that is mashed potatoes with cheese. The friendly and non-intrusive waiter also recommended the homemade mushroom soup ($4), cod fish fingers ($6), laksa pasta ($13 chicken, $16 tiger prawns), and aloha golden chicken cutlet ($12.90) topped with pineapple and cheese.
Although we had to wait some time, one thing we love is how the food came hot, showing they were preparing in the kitchen. We started with Korean chicken chunks ($4) which the waiter also recommended. The chunks are drizzled with their homemade Korean styled soy sauce, which is like a thick, concentrated version with a hint of sugar. When it arrived, we were disappointed because there were few pieces. Mr Fitness said, “It’s hard to open a cafe. When the price is affordable, customers complain the portion is small. But when they give enough, people will complain the food is expensive.” He’s right, but tastewise, this is just ok for us.
Although there are few pieces of chicken, the salted egg chicken spaghetti ($13) is very good. The salted egg sauce is intense and deep and, unlike other places, their version is more savoury and less sweet; this tastes like real salted egg. There is also a hint of chilli; my guess is they use chilli oil? which makes the dish a little jerlat and oily. I would suggest using chilli padi to toss with the spaghetti. The dish is also slightly one-dimensional and may be livened up with a little zest? or lemongrass? But on the whole, the pasta is delicious and head and shoulders above the inferior salted egg pastas out there.
The cutlet ($11.90) is perfection because it is, like the salted egg pasta, different and unique. Usually, elsewhere, cutlets tend to be salty, but here, they marinate it with musky, earthy spices (a dry rub?). The cutlet is also crispy and not at all greasy.
There is a choice of dips for the cutlet, and the waiter recommended their homemade garlic aioli dip which is nicely creamy. Their homemade coleslaw is also fabulous: freshly crunchy and light. I know their fries are probably the kind you can buy from supermarket, but they fry it well and I guess they fry it together with the chicken, so it has an extra chicken-fat flavour.
For dessert, the churros waffle ($8.90) is wonderful too. It’s just normal waffle topped with cinnamon sugar and seasalt caramel ice cream, but the waffle is done perfectly: crispy outside, fluffy inside. It’s also not overly sweet; really, it’s so good that one person can finish it.
Good Thyme Bistro is a fantastic, fine find. The food is scrumptious at a great price and the service is considerate. We paid $41.30 for two persons and ate until our pants split. Just being hyperbolic, but we were quite full. We highly recommend this cafe. Good Thyme Bistro lives up to its name; it’s always a good time.
Good Thyme Bistro
Blk 505, Ang Mo Kio Ave 8, #01-2674 Singapore 560505
tel: +65 6452 9741
T-Th 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-9pm, F 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm, Sat 9.30am-10pm, Sun 9.30am-9pm, closed Mon
Price/ value: 7.5/10
You may be interested in…
–Summer Hill, Sunset Way: Rustic French Bistro by Former Chefs of Cocotte and Bird Bird
–Best Food 2017 Part III: 5 Best Cafes of the Year
–The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough, Serene Centre: One of the Best Cafes This Year Serving Amazeballs
–.elia Cafe, Jiak Chuan Road: Excellent House-made Pastas and Bread
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.