Merci Marcel Club Street: What to expect at the French restaurant's second outlet
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Just last year, Merci Marcel debuted in the charming neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru — bestowing the area with a chic French bistro of educational cheese platters, tantalising mains and stellar wine. It was a joint that thrived instantly, which doesn't come as a surprise since its French owners Antoine Rouland and Marie-Charlotte Ley were the same duo who brought us Ô Comptoir and the now-defunct Ô Batignolles.
Now, Marcel's ready for more, evident in its second outpost at the buzzing Club Street. The new space preserves the binding design elements that were well adored in the Tiong Bahru outlet, such as nude walls and sleek wooden touches. The only difference lies in its obscure cavern-like build, resulting in a slightly intimate and sexier premise. It also sheds the Asian influences of Balinese details or colloquial references used by the Merci Marcel version one. Simply put, Club Street's Marcel is more quintessentially French.
Grub wise, apart from their exotic platter of cheeses, there's more of a varied selection of starters and mains here. There's Hokkaido scallop carpaccio, fused with various kinds of seaweed, as well as the French input of raw button mushrooms. For an inventive take on the traditional duck confit, their Duck Parmentier façon Marcel, sees a duck leg (deboned) above twice-cooked potato. Compared to the usual mash, flavours are amplified while encased in a crispy charred crust. There's no holding back in this dish, which marries sophistication and indulgence on a single plate. As the French typically do.
The same balance is echoed in the Catalonio octopus leg. Cooked to perfection, and served with rouille (a traditional side dish from the south-west of France) — made with garlic, potatoes, red capsicum and a hint of crème fraiche. We especially enjoyed the finishing touches of crispy kale and croutons for that added texture play. In case you were wondering, the fan-favourite ravioles de Royans from Tiong Bahru will be served here as well. Mini raviolis and Swiss tête de moine cheese? That's a true signature, all right.
If that doesn't fill you up nicely, finish well with their tarte tatin — a caramelised apple pie adorned with a scoop of Venchi ice-cream and crushed hazelnut. Of course, make sure your wine glass is never empty. These guys do, after all, house over 100 exclusive reds and whites from artisanal producers all over France. We'll santé to that.
7-9 Club Street, Tel: 6438 3913
Opening hours: (Tues-Sat) 9am-12am, (Sun) 9am-10.30pm