A new Tiong Bahru cafe has emerged from the same location that used to be occupied by the Orange Thimble cafe. Merci Marcel is a fresh French cafe which is already packed in its first week of operations. We were told that it is run by the same folks behind French bistrot Ô Batignolles at Gemmill Lane and O Comptoir at Circular Road. We dropped in to check out the brand new Merci Marcel cafe for brunch.
The new Merci Marcel cafe looks very different from the previous occupant. The new place is now bright and furnished with a lot of plants. Visually, it is a pleasant place. But a teething problem with the air-con and some missing window panels caused the temperature to rise to a level that was not too comfortable. That, we were told would be fixed quite soon.
Merci Marcel Menu
Here are pictures of the Merci Marcel Menus for drinks and brunch. As you can see they were quite straightforward. It did not take long for us to decide what we wanted.
One of the things that we like in the morning is the smell of fresh bread and coffee. We tried a bakery assortment ($18) and some coffee ($4 for black and $6 for cappuccino). The bread was well received. The butter and jam provided were very good. There was a split in opinion as to whether the croissants were as good as the legendary ones from Tiong Bahru Bakery next door.
Our other dishes for brunch were : scrambled eggs ($19), Ravioles de Royan ($18) and Tarte flambée ($24).
According to Wikipedia,”Tarte flambée is an Alsatian-Mosellan and South German dish composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly in the shape of a rectangle (traditionally) or circle, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons.” To us it looked like a French version of an extremely thin-crusted pizza. This one was topped with small bits of asparagus, blue cheese, rocket leaves and bacon. The overall result was very good.
Scrambled eggs is a common dish. What made this better than an average one was the fluffiness of the eggs. The extra touch of truffle oil was just right. It goes well with the baguette from the bakery assortment.
The Ravioles de Royan was something new to us. It seems like they are a dish from the region of Dauphiné in South-Central France. They are tiny versions of the Italian ravioli that we are more used to seeing. They were filled with cheese and served in a thick creamy sauce. It was interesting seeing this dish for the first time. Taste-wise it was fine but the heaviness of the cream might deter us from ordering this in the future.
The coffee was good but the cappuccino was better at Merci Marcel cafe. Overall, we thought that it is a pleasant place with friendly people. We would not hold the warm conditions against them (as of now) as it is normal for these things to happen in the first week of operations.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Merci Marcel Cafe
#01-68, 56 Eng Hoon Street
Tel: +65 6224 0113
Tuesday to Friday – 8am till 11.30pm
Saturday – 8am till 11.30pm
Sunday – 8am till 10pm