It’s only been open for a week, but the truth is hard to ignore: Working House Café is definitely the best café in Sanchaung.
This may not seem like such high praise for a neighborhood where the competition is so feeble. The other contenders include Dibar, which has no Wi-Fi; Kophi Espresso Bar and Cafe@26, which limit customers’ Wi-Fi consumption; Tokyo Coffee, which is full of smoke; the Plant House Café, which is cute but cramped; and Mahlzeit Café, which feels like an oversized storage closet with a short playlist of unloved pop songs on repeat.
But Working House does not win just by being adequate; it exceeds expectations and gives the people of Sanchaung the comfort of knowing that someone in the local food and beverage industry is more committed to excellence than pretense.
Located at the southern edge of the township, in Myaynigone Ward, Working House is riding a wave of new businesses rapidly descending on the small streets south of Bagaya Road. It’s two streets down from Padonmar Road, where new bars seem to be opening every month, and it’s right next door to J&Me Nail Studio, a local gem.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Working House is that its interior is pretty tasteful. Space is used wisely, the lighting is mostly natural, and there are plants everywhere you look. The seating is comfortable and accommodates loners, small groups, and large groups. The seats facing the café’s floor-to-ceiling windows, which look out onto the street, are an ideal place to get lost in thought and people-watching.
For the digital nomad or remote worker, the café’s design is especially commendable. There are power outlets within reach of every seat, and the Wi-Fi is probably the fastest of any café in Yangon. (Second-fastest, by the way, is Paradise Dynasty, though that place is otherwise not set up for digital nomadism.)
Working House describes its menu as “fusion”, offering Western-inspired dishes like club sandwiches and macaroni and cheese as well as Taiwanese favorites, like crispy dumplings and braised beef noodle soup. We tried the Sichuan beef noodle soup, which was large and spicy and satisfying. The quality of the food serves as a lesson to other local eateries in what can be accomplished when prices are set between K2,000 and K,6000.
The drink menu is diverse yet distinctive, with both standard coffees and teas as well as varieties made with sea salt and cream. Juice flavors come in creative combinations, like grapefruit and jasmine, and kiwi and wheat grass. We had the yummy, mildly sweet, cinnamon-flavored bubble milk tea. There have been some reports of iced coffee coming out already sweetened, so if you have a preference about sugar, make it known when you order.
The staff are friendly and demonstrate just the right level of attentiveness. Their jobs just began a few days ago, but they seem keen on developing an intuition for what customers want. Their bosses – a Taiwanese couple who own the café – are in there every day facilitating this process.
Other parts of Yangon where middle-class, café-going folks spend their time, like Yaw Min Gyi Ward and Lower Pansodan Road, have been had a monopoly on nice cafés with Wi-Fi for long enough. With Working House Café, Sanchaung is now in the game, raising the stakes for the neighborhood and giving residents a place worth investing in.
Working House Café is located at 13 Ah Shae Gone Street in Sanchaung Township. It is open from 10am to 10pm.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!