Tiong Bahru has now become one of the hottest neighbourhoods in Singapore for its culinary scene, with multiple cafes and bakeries lining the old neighbourhood estate that has not been bulldozed in favour of the more commonplace HDB (Housing Development Board) government estates.
Cafes, retail stores, restaurants, the market, florists etc. have all found a home in this neighbourhood, and given its proximity to Singapore’s downtown, you’ll find Tiong Bahru to be a short trip away from the hustle of Singapore’s central area.
Enter ‘Merci Marcel’, a new player in Tiong Bahru’s cafe scene, and it’s already made a huge splash right from the off.
These days, the cafe packs in people by the boatload, and even with extra seating in the yard, as well as the shopfront, on a bustling weekend brunch, you’ll have to wait for a table.
Salads, mains, organic eggs, sweets, pastries and cheeses can be found on the brunch / lunch menu, and among the group of us we had quite a few on the menu.
I’d been here once to try the Eggs Benedict (I have to, it’s mandatory), but this time around I had the Smoked Salmon Burger, basically smoked salmon served in a pretzel sandwiched with a hearty dose of avocado.
The savoury flavours of the smoked salmon complemented the avocado perfectly, and the “bretzel” was fantastic too.
Other things on the menu we tried that were awesome were the Ravioles de Royan, pasta dumplings filled with Tête de Moine cheese, perfect if you’re after a heavier flavour.
We got a thin crust pizza to share, topped with Bayonne cured ham, asparagus, apple and blue cheese.
The flavours felt light, and the crust was really thin, so one to go for if you aren’t feeling a heavy brunch.
We tried some of their pastries including the croissant and pain au chocolat which is made of 100% French butter, a brilliant complement with a coffee on the side.
To share, we added an order of truffle fries served with mayonnaise and the thick cut fries were fragrant and cooked to perfection, and paired with the mayonnaise, mmmm is the only word I really have for it.
To wash it all down I had an Atelier Patrick Font Strawberry Fruit Nectar, basically a juice imported from France in a fancy bottle that it was refreshing and not too heavy or diluted, so just right, basically.
Expect to spend just under $20 for the big plates, but add a drink or a side to share and you’re looking at about $30.
For dinner though, the menu changes to small sharing plates and bigger mains, which was a touch more expensive, so I’d expect dinner plus a wine or two to be $30 and over.
Overall though, I really love the decor of the place, from the windows, to the furniture, to the shop, to the tiles, it really does feel like a typical Parisian cafe with a tropical twist.
Even the backyard seating was a nice place to spend some time (unless it gets super sunny which peaks in through the overhead glass).
This is a place I could see myself coming back to quite often, and would fit my regular budget of about $20 if I stick to just my own plate for brunch and some good ol’ fashioned table water.
Address: #01-68, 56 Eng Hoon Street 160056 Singapore
Tuesday to Friday – 8am till 11.30pm
Saturday – 8am till 11.30pm
Sunday – 8am till 10pm