Dining

This new French cafe in Tiong Bahru is the next hottest brunch spot in town

It's called Merci Marcel, and it's a lovely place to gather with friends for an authentic French brunch
 

 

You're going to need a bit of luck if you want to snag a seat at Merci Marcel during brunch. 

The place was lively and crowded when we visited, with each seat in the restaurant and courtyard filled with people chatting loudly in French and English. We're told business is always booming during brunch.

 

 

The place is bright and plants keep things lush. You can take it chill in the courtyard where plenty of natural light stream in, or perch at the bar where ferns grow over the shelves, and give the place a more rustic feel.

 

 

Like the other patrons who are clearly enjoying the place, you'll probably want to stay for a long time. So we suggest heading by for dinner, to avoid the brunch crowd till the hype dies down.

 

 

Merci Marcel functions on a "French social dining" concept. That really just means that many of the dishes (all of which are French) are already divvied up so you and your friends don't have to awkwardly cut the food apart.

 

ALSO READ: THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF FRENCH STYLE

 

 

We tried some of their dishes, and we think the stuff that you absolutely must order are the seafood dishes, cheese ravioli, and tea. Here's why.

 

 

First, let's talk about the seafood. We had moist slabs of tuna, studded with black pepper, sesame seeds and herbs (Black Pepper Tuna, $25). We also scraped a jar full of red snapper ceviche ($22) completely clean. It was so addictive thanks to a well-made tangy marinade, crisp bell peppers and dense, flaky flatbread which we used to scoop up the tender chunks of fish. 

We also had the Marinated Crab Rilettes ($18) that consists of refreshing creme fraise and generous chunks of crab. We ate it slathered on fluffy sourdough bread with a thick crust that crackles every time you bite into it. Top it off with some ripe avocado, and you'll find yourself wanting to eat more and more.

 

 

You might wanna save some space though. You can't miss the Ravioles de Royans ($18), a French dumpling pasta that is filled with Tête de Moine swiss cheese, coated with a sauce made from the same cheese, and garnished with freshly scraped shavings of Tête de Moine that melt in your mouth.

 

ALSO READ: 5 DELICIOUS FOOD AND CHEESE PAIRINGS FOR CAMEMBERT, BRIE, BLUE CHEESE AND MORE

 

It sounds overwhelming, and it was. But it was so delicious. This french ravioli was comforting, and cheese's complex flavours unfold slowly with each bite. The table went silent once we all had tucked in. It was that good.

 

 

After that indulgent dish, you might want to treat your palate to a cup of tea from Kusmi Tea, a French tea house that was established all the way back in 1867. We had the Prince Vladmir ($5), an exquisite blend of earl grey infused with citrus, spice, and vanilla. We could smell notes of cinnamon and chocolate, but the citrus kept the flavour balanced.

 

ALSO READ: 4 NEW BRUNCHES TO TRY WITH YOUR GALS OVER THE WEEKEND

 

You can buy some of the tea to bring home; it's sold at the retail corners which are stocked with French products wines, sauces, cheeses, and even other French merchandise like tote bags and sunglasses.

Merci Marcel is pretty chic, and it's one of those places you'll want to bring your girlies out to for a nice meal. Just be sure to make a reservation or head down during dinner time to be safe.

 

Merci Marcel is at 56 Eng Hoon St. It is closed on Mondays, and is open from 8.30am - 11.30pm from Tuesday to Saturday, and 8.30am - 10.30pm on Sundays.

Make a reservation at quandoo.sg or call 6224 0113.