Ahh, marche. Its been ages since I have been to Marche. I have fond memories of Marche from my childhood. We were frequent visitors to the Marche Outlet at Heeren. I remember the dim lighting, the sound of food being freshly prepared, the smells of all kinds of delectable goodies wafting from different directions.. If you faced the left, you could smell rosti being fried, the symphony of sizzles making you hungrier by the minute. On the toher side, you could smell the sweet crepes, slathered with rich chocolate and mounds of ice cream, any child’s dream. My favorite thing about Marche, however, was their playground. The cold metal structures were simple and not very inviting, to be honest, but the childhood friends I played with led me to associate that place with fun times and good food. Fun, friends, and food… Marche was my heaven.
Finally after so many years, I am back at Marche. This time, at the 313 Somerset branch (no playground here, unfortunately). The restaurant is now more brightly lit, with staff dressed in adorable uniforms, and cute decoration strung from every corner.
Upon entering the dining area, I was greeted with a beautiful sight of mountains of food piled high at each counter, there were fruits, vegetables, drinks, freshly baked bread, everything I could dream of. It was a feast for the eyes, for which I give Marche brownie points for creating such a welcoming and homely atmosphere that would whet one’s appetite.
Don’t skim through these photos too quickly.. you should enjoy this insiders’ view of Marche if you have yet to go there. Turns out, photography is not allowed in their premises, so these photos are exclusively for you. (One of their staff members stopped me from taking photographs, so the sneak peeks will end soon) I do not blame them for not allowing photography though, their concept is one worth learning from.
I really adore their decor, it is so fitting for the occasion. It gives one the idea of fresh, homecooked goodness in a chill atmosphere. Almost like a farmers’ market, your mother’s kitchen and a cosy cafe all nestled into a brilliant package.
Even the dining area is adorable, it reminds me of Goldilocks and the three Bears. Maybe they purchased their furniture from the same shop? Okay, I kid. Let’s move on to the food, after all, that’s what matters.
In case you did not know, they follow a credit card system here. Upon entering, each person is given a card, to pay for their food at various counters. (Think high class food court) At the end of your meal, you will be charged for whatever you “swiped” your card for. Now that I think of it, this is a clever concept since you’ll enjoy your food better without having to handover your beloved cash to get your food..until you leave the place that is.
Here’s what I tried,
Rosti with Cheese Sausage ($6.20 + $6.90)
How could I not try their famous rosti? Shredded potato fried to perfection, each bite yielding a crispy web of mouthwatering goodness. Coupled with sour cream, this is a match made in heaven. The sausage was a last minute addition, although on hindsight, it wasn’t worth the extra cost. The sausage was hot and cheesy, but just like any cheese sausage you will find elsewhere.
Strawberry and Nutella Crepe ($8.20)
Desserts, sweet desserts. A thin layer of crepe smothered in nutella, and generously topped with fresh strawberries, and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Kudos to them for making the crepes fresh! The crepe was good, not outstanding though, but enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Mushroom and Cheese Crepe ($13.20)
I never knew that Marche had savoury crepes, and I am so glad that I discovered this gem. The portion was humongous, just the way I like it. The crepe is prepared right before your eyes, with generous helpings of shredded lettuce/cabbage topped with mounds of mushrooms and cheese. All this served with their special cream sauce, and a side salad. I would think this dish is pretty healthy.
They also sell smoked salmon/roasted vegetables/smoked duck/chicken crepes, so if you love your meat, you have many other options available.
Oh, let me marvel a little longer at the sheer size of this beauty. I would say it is about the size of 3-4 popiahs. It was definitely filling and I have no complaints about that! The cream sauce was nothing to rave about, I felt that it barely did anything for the crepe. Plus, why add the unnecessary oily (check out those yellow globules!) sauce to an otherwise wholesome meal? If you really need sauce, help yourself to some sauce available at the central counter.
As I already mentioned, the crepe was generously filled, and I had more than enough filling with each bite. It took me a good half hour to polish this off on my own. For the little ladies who can’t eat much, I suggest you share this with your fellow ladies who lunch. I liked how the fresh vegetables provided a nice crunch to the melty cheese, and sauteed mushrooms. Even though the crepe base was probably similar, I prefer the savory crepe to the sweet crepe. Please do try their savory crepes! Its one of the most value for money items in Marche 🙂
Marche is a great place to go for a meal, especially since they make up for the cost with the hearty portions. Remember to go after 12pm though, because they aren’t ready before that. I went around 11am and had to wait around for about an hour until they had set up. They should get ready beforehand though, since they stated that they were open at 11am, so they ought to be ready for business.
That’s all for now, so happy feasting, my fellow foodies!
Rating: 7/10 (+1 for ambience)