Known as Merci Marcel, this hipster lifestyle cafe is tucked away in the creative enclave of Tiong Bahru and presents customers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. With a unique lifestyle concept that brings French social dining to the table, the new cafe establishes itself as both an all-day dining destination and an independent boutique, which features a curated range of offerings such as gourmet food, fine drinks, art and lifestyle products. Below, we break down what you need to know about this new cafe.
Merci Marcel spans 1,450 square feet and accommodates up to 70 patrons with its three distinct spaces known as the Lounge, Cafe Chic and the Garden Patio. Open throughout the day, this is perfect for after-work dinners, casual weekend wind-downs and even quick coffee catch-ups. Drawing its inspiration from the French Riviera and Balinese tropics, the cafe features a vivid, citrus-toned colour palette and beautiful mustard mosaic tile flooring.
Lush, leafy greenery frames the space, complementing the white and cappuccino toned rattan furniture and bright splashes of artwork courtesy of local and international talents. It also retained its original fixtures within the shophouse space, including exposed grills and window tints for a more vintage appeal. Two separate retail points adorn the sides of the space, where guests can browse through the hand-selected lifestyle and food products on display.
The All-Day Dining Experience
The cafe’s dinner, daytime and brunch menus echo its ethos of using only the finest ingredients, where pastries are made with 100 per cent French butter and baked fresh daily. The eggs used in both its sweet and savoury dishes are organic as well. Vegetables and other fresh produce are sourced and purchased directly from Tiong Bahru market (which is situated just around the corner) every morning so you know you’ll be eating only the freshest of ingredients.
We are most excited about the dinner menu as it is a one-of-a-kind French social dining concept where customers are treated to a creative dinner tapas menu that is specially created for sharing. First up on our list is the Australian angus beef, which is a generously portioned select cut that is grilled to caramelised perfection and served with creamy seasonal mushrooms, beef jus reduction and burnt leek. Seafood-wise, opt for the black pepper tuna with yuzu and soy vinaigrette or try out the pan-seared scallops with cauliflower creme and couscous.
Whether you prefer a cuppa joe or want to sip on some imported French fine wines, ciders and beers, the cafe’s robust range of drinks caters to everyone. Its wine list is organised by mood across categories such as ‘dinner with friends’, ‘date night’, ‘100 per cent organic’, as well as the different types of wine including ‘discreet red’, ‘charming red’ and ‘welcome white’.
The cafe also collaborated with La Maison du Whisky for its cocktail menu, which features an exclusive range inspired by its location and utilises only exceptional spirits such as Napue gin, Fair vodka, and Monkey 47 gin. Base spirits are paired with the cafe’s exclusive juices and teas to serve up creative concoctions such as the la vie en marcel and Tiong Bahru spirit.
Besides its impressive lineup of contemporary French gastronomy, the cafe will also provide all visitors an alternative retail experience within its space through its showcase of high-quality artisanal food, drink, and lifestyle products focusing on small batch production.
The Marcel cheese and charcuterie corner feature cheeses sourced from artisanal producers in Europe and air-flown to Singapore weekly, complemented with 100 per cent organic Bayonne cured ham sourced directly from La Maison Salaison de l’Adour. All wines, cheeses and cold cuts can be enjoyed in the cafe.
The Gourmet corner, on the other hand, highlights an extensive range of premier brands created by small producers from France. It includes quality fruits juices from Patrick Font Nectars, iced teas from UMA, gourmet jams from La Cour d’Orgères and chocolate from Le chocolat des Francais.
The cafe also carries a lifestyle range of well-crafted goods ranging from chic design eyewear, stylish yet functional homeware, fun watches and even the cafe’s own capsule collection that comprises of tote bags, enamel mugs, French breton bowls and t-shirts emblazoned with “La vie en Marcel”.