Park Bench Deli's new space reveals a day to night concept with cocktails and breakfast food
New shack, hu dis
There are certain streets that evoke a memory, a smell, or a thought. With Telok Ayer, it's synonymous with filling your tummy, simply because it is a hotbed of eateries — whether it be a mean curry fish head or a classic Reuben from a certain distinguished sandwich shack.
Park Bench Deli has been the gritty go-to choice for about six years now, repping a humble slice of America grub culture, that has well assimilated into our local CBD crowd. Now, the cult-favourite brand is ready to take on bigger things, starting with a facelift of its Telok Ayer address. An overhaul to inject newness to the iconic spot, while also introducing a day-to-night concept, which goes beyond just a sandwich stop.
Led by Andrei Soen, the revamp is a refined take on the PBD identity, awashed with bright pops of blue, countered by wood and tiles altogether. Not to mention, a convivial table seating arrangement where meals would feel more like an intimate, relaxed affair, rather than a 15-minute lunch break. Which are by the way, still an option with the inclusion of benches by the open kitchen.
While sammies are irrevocably part of the deal here, there are now other plates that extend to a typical breakfast staple and fancier dishes like Kalbi Loco Moco, essentially Korean-inspired beef short ribs dressed in a Hawaiian twist, plated with fried rice and a fried sunny side-up. Their lemon ricotta hotcakes are not to be missed here, with an ingenious mash-up of part hotcake, part soufflé consistency along with the zesty spread.
Expect the classics like the Grilled Cheese to be retained, albeit a slight jazz up. Other highlights include the Porchetta, bargaining a thicker bite with ciabatta holding the weight of the meat, sour cream and chives, jalapenos, and fennel between. There's also a better attempt at a balanced diet, with sides (beyond their signature tater tots) like iceberg lettuce wedge, deftly seasoned with buttermilk.
Finally, there's the bar — backed by a curated beverage menu by Jeremy Chua from AMASS. It's where you'll sip on creative tipples like Pickle Back Old Fashioned and Cream Soda, where rinomato joins house vanilla syrup, sparkling water, and whipped cream.
And while it is undeniably a new trajectory for regulars to get used to, let us testify that the vibes are pretty much the same. It's the same PBD we have known and loved — just slightly elevated.
179 Telok Ayer St, Tel: 8892 0408
Opening hours: (Tues-Sun) 9am-10pm