Ronin at Hong Kong Street has said its surprise “Goodbye”, though fans may not be that sad as its owners has opened a brand-new café Gather at Raffles Hotel.
Gather is one of the more unusual French crepe specialty cafes, and also has a retail boutique section with a colour palette that is very “Kinfolk”.
While the revamped Raffles Hotel has opened for quite a while with head-lining restaurants such as BBR by Alain Ducasse, Butcher’s Block, La Dame de Pic, 藝 yì by Jereme Leung and Burger & Lobster, a coffee place like this is a much-welcomed addition.
It occupies the corner space where Ah Teng Bakery used to be.
While Ronin used to be dark and stylish, Gather has elements of both the minimalist lifestyle café and Raffles Hotel Empire Café vibes.
The focus here is on the savoury galette, sweet crepes, though you can also find ciabatta sandwiches here.
The signature to get is called “Off The Bone” ($16) included with class ham, gruyere, cheddar and egg; and Parma Ham ($18) with Italian parma ham, gruyere, cheddar and egg ($18).
On the sweet side, you get the Plain Crepe made with Bordier butter ($14), Burnt Caramel ($14) and Fig & Camembert ($16).
As I happened to head down on Day 1 (though anonymously and unannounced), the servers appeared slightly nervous though they were prompt, polite and gave apt recommendations.
I had the Bolognese ($18) included with slow-cooked minced veal, beef & pork Bolognese, gruyere, cheddar and egg.
The ‘instagrammable’ moment is when you cut across the ozzy egg in the middle, lending some of that moist texture to the crisp outer layer.
A fairly interesting rendition that makes me feel that I am having lasagne and crepe at the same time, though this would be a lot lighter and manageable compared to the whole dish of pasta.
The outer layer was beautifully thin, wrapping within savoury and flavourful fillings that wasn’t overly cheesy.
If I need to nitpick, I thought that the buckwheat taste was slightly pronounced and paprika could be brought down a notch.
The Flourless Chocolate Slice ($10) felt slightly expensive for its size, though it was indeed a good-old rich, dark and moist chocolate cake.
The blueberries help cut some of that richness. Good stuff overall.
I always thought coffee at Ronin and Punch were bold and reliable, and the Latte I had at Gather showed that they still had their game strong.
Raffles Hotel Arcade #01-12, 328 North Bridge Road Singapore 188719
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Tues – Sat), 8am – 6pm (Sun, Mon)