Gather is a new cafe in Raffles Arcade which specialized in savoury and sweet crepes. It occupies the corner of Raffles Hotel where Ah Teng’s Bakery used to be. Gather is a good affordable dining option in the Raffles Hotel complex and a convenient spot for good coffee and French crêpes and galettes.
The refurbished Raffles Hotel now offers a repertoire of fine restaurants serving exquisite Eastern and Western cuisines. There are familiar names like Tiffin Room and Long Bar as well as new arrivals such as 藝 yì by Jereme Leung, BBR by Alain Ducasse and La Dame de Pic. The problem for the ordinary patrons with these great restaurants is that we can’t afford to eat there often. The new Gather cafe is thus a welcomed opening in the Raffles Arcade. It is probably the most affordable dining option in Raffles Hotel.
Ah Teng’s Cafe
Gather is located in the corner of Raffles Hotel facing Raffles City and CHIJMES. The space was at one time occupied by Ah Teng’s Bakery and Empire Cafe. Ah Teng’s Bakery has closed but there is now an Ah Teng’s Cafe inside the Raffles Boutique.
Ah Teng’s Cafe is really just a grab-and-go counter. It does not have a dining space although there are seats out in the public courtyard. Ah Teng’s Cafe offers hot and cold beverages, pastries and ice-creams.
Gather is a new concept by the same people behind Ronin, the popular hip cafe in Hong Kong Street which closed its doors at the end of January 2020. Gather at Raffles Arcade opened in February 2020. It is a boutique cum cafe.
The main entrance opens up to the main counter which is also the preparation area for the food and beverages. Turn left and the narrow walkway leads to a small retail area. There are lifestyle products and clothes on display. Turn right and there are benches for waiting guests. You will walk pass the open kitchen on the way to the dining area.
The compact dining space has basic decor. Stylish lamps give the place a nice warn glow. Tables are placed quite close together. It is probably not a place for whispered conservation or for discussing sensitive business plans.
Menu of Gather
Gather’s menu is short and simple. It offers galettes, sweet crepes, sandwiches and baked goods. Beverages include specialty coffee, tea, ciders, cocoa and fruit juice.
Galette & Crepe at Gather
We visited the new cafe for brunch and ordered a Ratatouille Galette ($18) and a Fig & Camembert Sweet Crepe ($16). A long black was $6 and a 5 oz white coffee was $5.
The waiting time for the crepe and galette was about 20 minutes. Water was offered while we waited. Our glasses were constantly topped up while we were in the cafe. On the whole, service was very good. The youthful service crew were friendly and efficient. They seemed enthusiastic and jovial even though the cafe was packed and tables had to be turnaround quickly for waiting customers.
Our Ratatouille Galette was a non-meat dish. Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cheese and egg were enveloped in a golden brown pastry base with the edges folded in. The paper thin pastry had a nice texture. The flavours of the other ingredients combined well. The savoury French pancake was delightful.
Fig & Camembert Sweet Crepe combined a savoury buckwheat flour crepe with soft creamy cheese and sweet fig jam. A drizzle of honey served to enhance the presentation as well as the taste. The crepe looked good and tasted good too.
Those missing Ronin’s coffee would be happy to know that Gather brews good coffee on its stylish Slayer espresso-maker. As Gather opens as early as 8 am, we will be adding it to our list of cafes that serves good coffee early in the morning.
Gather is an affordable dining option in a 6 star hotel. Its menu may be limited, but its nice food, good coffee and great service make it a downtown cafe we will surely revisit. When the gang needs good coffee or light bites in or around Raffles Hotel, it may be a good idea to just gather where Ah Teng’s Bakery used to be.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Raffles Arcade Unit 01-12
328 North Bridge Road
Monday and Sunday: 8 am to 6 pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 8 am to 10 pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog