Ronin Cafe Review - 17 Hong Kong Street

This cafe is so hip, it doesn't need a signboard, so it might be easy to miss when you go down Hong Kong street. Look out for 17 though and that will be easier. The folks who started The Plain and The Bravery started out with this first cafe. The amount of people was vastly different the two occasions I visited. On a Sunday noon we went, the place was fairly quiet and nary a queue. However, when we returned on a Saturday noon the second time, we had to wait 10 minutes for a table of two to be freed up and the place remained full chattering till 2pm.

The atmosphere and interior isn't like the bright, sunny cafes we often see. It is more grungy and slightly dark with character in its decor of hanging naked light bulbs. 

Service here is quick and attentive. When we ordered, the staff asked if we were sharing and took the initiative to give us two sharing plates. Plain water is available self-serviced. 

The menu is straightforward - coffees (go for the iced mocha), green tea latte (which is very popular), 4 kinds of sandwiches (The Dirty Ronin is the pick) and 5 all-day breakfast items (scrambled eggs on toast, savoury French toast) to choose from.

The Ronin Menu

Wicked Mocha ($6)

Wicked Mocha (Hot)
Here, they pride themselves on coffee and it shows. The Wicked Mocha was beautifully constructed - dark hues mixed with white from the steamed milk. It is worth a try as their signature. However, for non-mint fans, don't or at most, once will do. They are said to do good coffees, and looking how almost every table had coffee, it seems so. 

Wicked Mocha (with ice)
No. Of Tiaras: 4

Savoury French Toast ($15)

Savoury French Toast
The savoury french toast came in 4 fluffy slices drenched in maple syrup, hazelnut butter and topped with bacon. The brioche bread has an eggy aroma and is  not cloyingly sweet. The bacon, which isn't super salty like your usual but more similar in taste to gourmet sausage, and butter lent the savoury touch. It was a right balance of sweet-savoury. Definitely tops my list of best French toast, since I am not one for cloyingly sweet French toasts. 

No. of Tiaras: 4.5

The Dirty Ronin ($14) 
Another one of the signatures here is the Dirty ronin. The crispy bread sounds a crunch when you take a bite. Sandwiched in between is the sausage, which was wonderful in taste. I am not a usual fan of sausages, but this was really special - I will have any time. Coupled together with the cheese and egg and slathered with a secret house sauce, really, just give me more.

Dirty Ronin

No. of Tiaras: 4.8

Eggs On Toast
The choice is between scrambled eggs on toast, or the other choice is poached eggs. It's a shoo-in; go for the scrambled eggs. It's silky, velvety yet with additional layers inside  can only be discerned in the mouth and not by eye. This requires finesse to pull off.
Customised breakfast with add 
Two kinds of toast are given to accompany the eggs. We preferred the multi-grain dark toast. Add-ons are available ranging from $3.50-$5. We added the portobello but should have just went without it. The mushroom had a mushroom-ey taste with a tinge of bitter. 

No. of Tiaras: 4.8

It is probably a good idea to come with at least one other person to share the mains and try everything at a go. The grungy setting also lends itself for comfort.

17 Hongkong St, 059660 
Opens weekdays from 8am-6pm; Weekends 8am-7pm



  1. I can't say enough good things about the buttonhole attachment for my Singer 201-2. If I want perfect buttonholes I always use this set-up Obat Tradisional Penyakit Tipes I picked a buttonhole that