Don’t just drop by for the pics, stay for the café’s yummy French delights
Photo: Weekender/Merci Marcel
While a view of the Effiel Tower isn’t on the horizon, Merci Marcel makes do with its uber-chic interior that easily convinces that you’re at an uber-chic Parisian café, sipping on a café au lait.
Daylight floods the spanking new French dining destination that is essentially a sprawling space, lined with mosaic titles and bedecked in rattan fixtures, potted leafy plants and bright splashes of artwork displayed on the muted-coloured walls. To properly take in the establishment’s tropical vibes, venture further into the Garden Patio – a section where you’ll luxuriate straight under the sun. The establishment also holds a little retail section where you can purchase F&B items like European cheeses.
With all the makings of the perfect Instagram backdrop, Merci Marcel and its allure may distract you from its core of delicious French fare. Now, that’s what we call inner beauty.
Revolving around a social dining concept (or to put it simply, sharing concept), the newcomer has taken produce from the nearby Tiong Bahru market to build up its breakfast and brunch menus for daytime dining, before winding down to a tapas-style option at night.
After tipping our French berets to the friendly servers, we were promptly served with a row of Duck Rillettes ($18), which has its savoury meat cushioned in between toast and marinated pear slices. And because we always say oui to good cheese, melty Camembert cheese is sneaked in for good measure. Still on the topic of rilletes, we tucked heartily into the Marinated Crab Rillettes ($18) – a moreish avocado-seafood dip that we slathered generously on the accompanying sourdough bread.
While the Cheese Croquettes ($14 for six) of pure French Comete cheese are enough to keep your indulgence satiate, the Ravioles de Royans ($18) does a swell…no wait, an exceptional job of keeping your cravings in check. Swimming in a creamy sauce and topped with tete de moine cheese, comete cheese-stuffed ravioli are made petite enough to pop a fistful into the mouth. But of course, we suggest enjoying the pasta dish one dumpling at a time like the well-mannered mademoiselle that you are.
With a promising start of light bites boasting robust flavours, it is unfortunate that heartier offerings such as the Pork Tenderloin ($24) and Black Pepper Tuna ($25) were rendered unmemorable. They were not bad, per se, just paled in comparison to the delectable starters. For instance, the Pork Tenderloin was inconsistent in its doneness, with some parts tender while other parts tough, and the Black Pepper Tuna is too peppery for our liking.
To end the meal on a sweet note, perhaps make your way to the neighbouring eateries to get your fill on sweets. Merci Mercel’s dessert section is disappointingly limited, with not even a French souffle in sight! But if you must, make a beeline for the rich Chocolate Cake ($10) and skip the Crème Brûlée ($12), where fresh passionfruit glazed its surface as if like an afterthought.
Address: 56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-68, Singapore 160056
Tel: 6224 0113
Opening Hours: 8am – 11:30pm (Tuesday – Friday); 8:00am – 11:30pm (Saturday), 8am – 10pm (Sunday)