Not Gentle Monster or Gentle Bones, Gentle Roast is a brand-new minimalist-decor brunch and coffee place at the café hotspot of Upper Thomson.
Just 2 doors away from Habitat Coffee, Gentle Roast has joined recent openings of Foursome Ice Cream & Waffle, I See Cream, and SOD Café; not forgetting the popular Columbus Coffee Co. and Knockhouse (previously known as Pacamara) in the same area. (The space is where Maneko Japanese restaurant used to be.)
The 35-seaters space is mainly decorated in white and gold, with both an upper deck and lower deck.
With gold neon lights, gold furniture frames and gold bespoke lightings hanging from the ceiling, the entire space seems like a hot spot for taking that perfect Instagram café shot.
Go there early enough for the special upper deck corner.
Their menu focuses on the usual hearty brunch items ($16 – $22), Burgers ($18), Pasta ($16 – $20) and Meats ($18 – $24).
Among the brunch items such as Egg Benedict ($18), Big Plate ($19), Crab Cake Rosti ($22), Wrap Bread ($16), Burnt Toast ($18) and Sourdough ($20), the Crab Cake Rosti ($22) stood out to me. However, it was unfortunately unavailable at the time of visit.
I ended up ordering a plate of Burnt Toast ($18) which came topped with avocado. If you thinking this is going to be the usual Avo-Toast, this is actually a sweet item.
The slices of brioche French toast came topped with burnt caramelized banana and the other with sliced avocados.
This is further topped with toasted walnut, cream cheese, corn flakes and drizzled with maple syrup.
The avocado slices were unexpected, because you seldom see this in a French-toastish sweet dish like this.
Overall it was decent, with a pleasant mix of textures of the soft fluffy bread to the crunchy textures of the toasted walnut and creamy cream cheese. The outer layer of the brioche could have been a little more crisp, I thought.
Their Pasta selection looked more interesting, with a good mix of Seafood Aglio Olio ($17), Spicy Sally – mentaiko salmon ($19), Shroomy Truffle Carbonara ($20), Chilli Crabby ($16), Chicken Pomodoro ($18) and Ducky Indon ($18).
I ordered the Ducky Indon ($18) because it was the most interesting sounding of the lot, with angel hair pasta, smoked duck, homemade Indo mee sauce, fried shallots, sunny side up and spring onions sprinkled.
While sounding good on paper, the sweetish sauce didn’t really ‘lift’ up the overall taste – could do with more kick, and tasted like what one could have assembled back at home. Sorry..
While I liked the savoury smoked duck slices, the sunny side egg turned out to be a possible weakness of the dish.
To prevent the dish looking like a plate of home-style char bee hoon, perhaps a poached egg or creamy scrambled egg will go better with the dish, making it more “cafe-ish”.
The selection of cakes ($7.80) on display was not bad, ranging from Matcha to Lime Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Sea Salt Chocolate and Brownie.
Served in a glass cake dome that exudes a sense of elegancy, my favourite was the Matcha Cake ($7.80).
The square shaped cake came with alternating layers of matcha chiffon sponge and matcha white chocolate ganache, topped with Chantilly cream, icing sugar and a small gold foil.
The taste of the matcha was strong and distinctive with robust, earthly flavour, whereas the texture was smooth and velvety.
The Lime Cheesecake ($7.80) was shaped like a mini dome, encased within a gelatinous layer with lime curd inside.
Light, refreshing with a zesty tang, the Lime Cheesecake was an ideal palate cleanser after a meal.
Using the Guerilla Coffee – No.2 blend from Caffeine Solutions for their espresso-based drinks, think Espresso ($3.60), Espresso Macchiato ($3.90), Americano ($3.90), Latte ($5), Cappuccino ($5), Flat White ($5) and Mocha ($6) on their menu.
The 3-beans-blend (Brazil, PNG and Vietnam) had a full body, low acidic, smooth and subtle chocolate taste in it.
As their name implies, Gentle Roast refers to gentle soft serves & roasted coffee, so keep a lookout for their soft serves when their operations stabilises.
227 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574359
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.