Merci Marcel: The French café on everyone's lips
Je t'aime Marcel
There's a new kid in Tiong Bahru, and his name is Marcel. Enter Merci Marcel, a dreamy French social dining destination that has been the talk of the town since its opening in November this year.
Take one step in, and instantly feel like you're in a different city. Looking part Parisian, part Balinese, the café features a pretty palette of nude stained walls and mustard mosaic floor tiles. There's the occasional leafy greenery, which brilliantly complements the rattan furniture and large transparent windows. A few outlying artworks also made sure to rep a Singaporean flair — for instance, the signage of Merci Marcel translated in the three main languages of our country on their wall.
Vibes here are unpretentious and relaxed — grab a seat in the main dining hall, at the spiffy bar, or in their pretty garden patio (thankfully air-conditioned).
The fare here varies, depending if you're popping in during the daytime or evening. For lunch, their Marinated Crab Tartine screams the perfect creamy medley of crabmeat, avocado, and sourdough — rich, yet seasoned with a zesty zing. We also fell in love with one of their signature pasta dishes — Ravioles de Royan, mini raviolis drenched in Tête de Moine cheese. Too much to stomach for a main? The indulgent plate is also available as a side.
Come dinnertime, start your meal with their Duck Rillettes, where the smoky paste is matched up with melted camembert cheese and marinated pear slices over toasted sourdough bread. Looking for protein? Split their Australian Angus Beef — all of 400g — with your partner. The generous cut is grilled perfectly, caramelised, and topped with creamy seasonal mushrooms, reduced beef jus, and charred leek.
French classics like Croque Marcel (equivalent of the Croque Madame), French toast, and croissants are also available. Diners can look forward to a wide selection of French imported wines, ciders, and beers. There's also a cheeky cocktail list, which sees inventive concoctions of spirits spiked with Merci Marcel's very own juices and teas. Before you leave, be sure to check out their retail shelves that stock up high quality artisanal foods and drinks, as well as quirky lifestyle products, which echo the ethos of the entire bistro.
The burning question we had at the end of our meal: Who's Marcel? Well, we later found out he isn't actually a real person, but a cheeky persona that was branded to life. So thank you, Marcel, for one of our city's best new dining destinations.
#01-68, 56 Eng Hoon Street, Tel: 6224 0113
Opening hours: 8am-11.30pm (Tuesday-Saturday), 8am-10pm (Sunday)