When Kang first suggested going to "Ronin" for brunch, I was tickled. Having just watched 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (yeah yeah, I know, I'm a little late to the game, but I don't go to the cinemas anymore, and the dvd/blueray was only released 2 weekends ago), I was bewildered that someone would name a bistro after 'Ronan', a lesser-known comicbook villain that only exploded onto the public's consciousness after what was arguably the best movie of the year hit the theatres.
So after a hilarious, albeit lengthy, exchange, it turns out that the cafe's name is what you'd call a Japanese samurai without a master - absolutely no correlation with what the cafe is about.
Ronin the cafe is what you'd expect of just about every other coffee joint: dark, eclectic, industrial and totally hipster. The fact that the facade is completely hidden speaks volumes as to its wannabe pretentiousness. But, at least the service was warm and smiley. I'd almost expected the wait staff here all to be moody and brooding.
The menu's decidedly limited, with up to only 10 items available on any given day. Not a lot of choice, but heaven-sent for the perpetually-undecided. Please note that this is a cash-only establishment, so be sure to to pad your wallet accordingly.
The Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($9) was incredibly silky, but slightly undersalted. I've read online reviews proclaiming Ronin to serve up the best scrambled eggs on the island, but I maintain that Wild Honey retains that coveted title. Add-ons like the juicy Pork Sausage ($4.50) and succulent grilled Portobello Mushroom ($3.50) made this a much more substantive meal option.
Kang made his Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($9) vegetarian with half an Avocado ($3) and Portobello Mushroom ($3.50).
A must-try here, the Brioche French Toast ($14.50) was sumptuous; it was thick and fluffy and eggy and caramelised perfectly. This was paired with a softly braised green apple, grilled back bacon, a knob of hazelnut butter and sticky sweet syrup.
We asked for, off the menu, left to right: Raspberry Jam ($2) and Fig Jam ($2) to spread atop our toasts. These were lovely, chunky and sweet.
The Latte ($4.20), while creamy, was too milky and lacking in potency.
A better option would be the Wicked ($5.50), essentially a hot mocha peppermint. This was like drinking a liquid form of After Eights dinner mints.So luscious.
The Iced Ero Tea ($7+), an earl grey tea infused with fresh thyme, was a refreshing thirst quencher.
17 Hongkong Street
Open on weekdays from 8am to 6pm;
weekends from 8am-7.30pm;
Closed on Mondays