Gather for Authentic French Crepes?
You can find Gather sitting inside a gorgeous cafe space in Raffles Hotel. The decor is chic, minimalist, elegant and even has pretty good lighting.
More importantly, there was a live crepe station in plain sight — watching the cooks spread, sweep and fold was a therapeutic experience in itself.
Not to mention it carried that pedigree as a Ronin concept too. It’s little wonder everyone was hyped by the cafe. The biggest name influencers in the food blogosphere were raving about it. The hype was palpable.
First Visit was A mixed Bag
Small disclosure — I actually visited Gather last year, twice even. So why the delayed review? I had to Gather my thoughts. The first visit was quite a gut punch to my lofty expectations.
One of the most popular orders, the Off the Bone ($16) looked pristinely textbook. Alas, even though the galette itself had a delicate, supple body there was a distracting chew and a feebleness to the light crisp.
As much as the medley of Gruyere and Parma Ham sought to deliver heady umami, the centre-skewed rationing of components turned the balance awry. Even the egg couldn’t do much to turn the dryness of the edges around.
Nevertheless, a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper and pink peppercorns added interesting complexity. But at $16, what I should be expecting isn’t a mere “interesting”
Herein lies a much-debated issue. “$16 is too much for thin pieces of crepe”. I disagree. Crepes are insurmountably tricky — deft execution deserves a premium.
Improved Revisit To Gather My Thoughts
My second visit to Gather saw the cafe come a bit closer to price justification. Burnt Caramel ($15) came simple, elegant, and scant of excessive chew.
It came without distraction, being plainly folded unto itself and cloaked in strandy, silky burnt caramel. An accoutrement of Bordier Butter made it exceedingly regal.
Perhaps there’s a limit to opulence, as the burnt caramel leant a smidgen bitter and rich. Nonetheless, a commendable ensemble by Gather.
A follow-up of Fig Camembert ($18) also had a nice showing of pillowy crepe craftsmanship. So maybe the issue was with their Galettes?
Admittedly, this didn’t scratch the itch as well as the Burnt Caramel. Home-made Fig jam felt a bit too tart, too dominant on the palate. Not a bad thing per se — an endearingly vivacious jam.
But it felt like somehow the Camembert didn’t quite have room to pop despite being such a strong cheese in itself. Balance aside, it was still quite enjoyable.
Admittedly, as a Crepe specialist cafe, Gather still seemed to lack the Punch to hit the spot. I expected more amidst the hype and fanfare. It’s not bad but does that justify the price tags?
- Address: 328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel, Arcade, Unit 01-12, 188719
- Hours: 8am-6pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-8pm (Sat-Sun)