New Filo Bistro at Upper Thomson brings creative fusion twists such as Lao Gan Ma pasta

By Evan Mua June 19, 2024
New Filo Bistro at Upper Thomson brings creative fusion twists such as Lao Gan Ma pasta
Could this new opening turn into one of the best Upper Thomson Cafes? Photos: Filo Bistro (top left), Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Remember when Upper Thomson used to be the “It” place for weekend dates, as crowds flocked down for its slew of trendy cafes and indulgent hawker staples?

Nowadays, the vicinity feels a bit quieter but there are plenty of gems to be uncovered, especially with the new Thomson-East Coast Line running through it.

filo bistro
You’ll spot its distinctive facade the moment you step out of the MRT station exit. Photo: Filo Bistro

One such gem is the newly opened Filo Bistro, which is located right across one of the Upper Thomson MRT station exits.

Opened in early June, Filo Bistro is a handsomely furnished space, sporting a chic modern aesthetic, with sleek, slate-textured walls and pops of wood to set the mood.

filo bistro
A sleek space that will give other trendy cafes in the area a run for their money. Photo: Filo Bistro

What makes the concept different from the usual cafes or bistros along Upper Thomson, though, are the hands crafting the food.

Heading up Filo Bistro is chef Brian Yeo — a young chef who not only received formal culinary training in Switzerland, but had also cut his teeth at two-Michelin-starred Jaan — so diners can expect plenty of finesse.

Creativity is king

filo bistro
Lao Gan Ma in pasta? Hell yeah. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

It’s apparent that creativity is the driving force behind many of the dishes at this Upper Thomson cafe with the motley of Asian-inspired fusion twists peppering the menu. Some are simple, some more experimental.

One very simple creation that really captured our hearts was Filo Bistro’s LGM aglio olio (S$28), a hearty pasta dish that is drenched in a sauce made with the popular Lao Gan Ma chilli crisp that adds plenty of twang and oomph.

The dish may be straightforward but the addictive sauce — combined with the mixture of earthiness and textures from various mushrooms such as enoki tempura, wood-ear and shiitake — make it so that we couldn’t stop slurping it down.

filo bistro
A Korean twist for this Italian classic. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

In a similar vein, Filo Bistro also puts a rather bold twist on another Italian classic in the kimchi arancini (S$14 for three, S$18 for five).

This dish is a party of textures in the mouth — it’s crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside and even has a molten cheese core to add to the mouthfeel. 

To top it off, the kimchi acidity and gochujang aioli richness complement each other just perfectly.

Filo Bistro’s big guns

filo bistro
Perfectly caramelised char siew is hard to find in Singapore. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

If you’re a fan of char siew, though, Filo Bistro’s best-selling gunpowder lamb char siew (S$28) is a must-order.

Slabs of succulent lamb shoulder, spiked with gunpowder spice and fabulously charred and caramelised on the edges — hard-hitting, smoky and robust with a great depth of flavour.

filo bistro
The risotto is absolutely comforting. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

The aged crispy pork belly (S$24) is another popular signature, featuring seven-day dry-aged pork belly set atop a bed of curry barley risotto.

One would mistake the roast pork belly as the star but here, the risotto is what charms the guests. 

Filo Bistro’s rendition is creamy but with a nice chewiness to the grains, while brimming with immensely comforting curry richness and spice notes.

filo bistro
Jazzing up seafood with more seafood. Photo: Evan Mua/HungryGoWhere

Seafood lovers can also try the uni sabayon aburi (S$26), where an assortment of seafood — including tiger prawns and scallops — are covered in an uni cream and torched.

Silky sauce with a blend of butteriness and light briny sweetness? Perfect for seafood.

If you ask us, the food is more than compelling enough to warrant a visit.

In a time where many cafes are just recycling the same tired brunch staples with little imagination, perhaps Filo Bistro can add a little bit of a spark to your cafe-hopping adventures.

This was a hosted tasting.

For more ideas on what to eat, read our stories on this year’s Michelin Bib Gourmand awardees and where to get the best strawberry shortcakes in Singapore.

Do explore the new GrabFood Dine Out service for awesome deals.

You can also book a ride to Filo Bistro.

Filo Bistro

265 Upper Thomson Road
Nearest MRT: Upper Thomson
Open: Monday to Friday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm), Saturday and Sunday (11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm)

265 Upper Thomson Road
Nearest MRT: Upper Thomson
Open: Monday to Friday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm), Saturday and Sunday (11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm)

Evan Mua


Evan started off writing about food on Instagram, before joining outlets such as Buro and Confirm Good to pursue his passion. His best work usually comes after his first whisky shot in the morning.

Read More
Scroll to top