St. Marc Cafe – Simple and delightful pleasure

St. Marc Cafe (Vivo Branch)

Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk #01-108-110 Vivo City

Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Mon to Thu, Sun) 10:00am – 10:30pm (Fri, Sat)

St. Marc Cafe (Marina Square Branch)

Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-105/184/185 Marina Square

Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Everyday)

Introduction

There are two branches in Singapore and i personally prefers the Marina Square branch as it is more spacious with a larger seating capacity, so there’s no or little waiting time to get a seat. This branch is only opposite Lady M Confections. I was attracted by the colorful display of their desserts outside their shop and decided to have a try.

Click to enlarge

St. Marc Cafe mainly serve bread, pasty, sandwiches, soft serve and their most popular Chococro and Little Fuji. Their soft serve dessert mainly range from S$6.30 for the little Fuji to S$8.80 for their Choco Banana Split. I thought St. Marc Cafe is an ideal place to have rest and to re-energise myself with a quick sugar boost.

St. Marc Cafe’s items are not exactly the most premium or the most special of all. However, their simple and yet delightful dishes are the reasons why i re-visited this cafe again. It’s the piping hot Chococro chocolate filling that attracted me back, and the crispy biscuit-like crust of the Little Fuji that made me want to visit this place again.

Little Fuji – S$6.30

I actually think this is one of the star of the show of St. Marc Cafe. Many people are either ordering this Little Fuji, or the Choco Banana Fuji, with added chocolate sauce and banana.

So what exactly is the Little Fuji? It’s a freshly toasted buttery flavor croissant dough with soft serve with caramel sauce. There is always at 5 to 10 minutes of waiting time for this Little Fuji and to collect at the counter when it’s ready.  Therefore Little Fuji is always served piping hot and it’s duper crispy.

It’s arguable that the ice-cream taste a little like McDonald’s but what does it matter when the combination of the croissant with soft serve is too good to nitpick.

The Signature Original Chococro (S$2.40)

By the name Chococro, it actually stands for Chocolate Croissant. Best part about this? When it’s freshly out from the oven, or at the minimum, it’s warm.

Somehow a pastry can’t go too wrong when there is warm molten hazelnut chocolate and warm crispy croissant involved.  This is quite an ideal snack to go with a cup of latte even if you are feeling a little full from a meal. The portion is just right, and the chocolate is not too greasy so it’s almost always a good time to have a Chococro.

Seasonal Flavor – Matcha Daifuku Chococro (S$2.60)

Daifuku (大福) literally means “Great Luck”. Daifuku is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi stuffed with sweetened red bean paste. So a Matcha Daifuku Chococro is a actually a confection within a pastry. I initially thought the white filling is green bean paste but i think it’s actually mochi, and was stuff into the croissant together with the red bean paste and matcha cream. This is a rather interesting flavor which is not easily found elsewhere. Catch it before there’s a change in season.

Salsa Egg and Custard Bread (S$3.50)

Apart from sweet stuff, St. Marc also offers some savory items like sandwich and bread. There are actually plenty of ingredients in the Salsa Egg Bread – salsa sauce, mayonnaise, bacon slices, pepper and whole egg. It’s almost as good as it looks and only too bad the egg is quite well cooked. It would be best if the egg is only half cooked with the runny egg yolk. The price is also not exactly the cheapest in it’s class.

Custard Bread with Almond Flakes (S$2.60)

This bread is rather pricey at $2.60, but you will be able to tell the difference between a $2.60 and $1.50. The warm creamy custard flows out from the bread upon cutting it into two. Comparing to ordinary custard, this one has a stronger and aromatic milk taste. The bread’s texture is similar to Barcook’s Raisin Cheese but a little bit softer. This or Chococro at the same price of S$2.60? After some consideration, Chococro will be my choice! But this is actually not bad too.

Conclusion

I still ordered their Little Fuji or Chococro for my subsequent visits. I personally prefer their croissant dishes rather than their bread. St. Marc Cafe’s ambiance is very similar to Starbucks or Coffeebean kind of ambiance and can reasonably sit for as long as i like. The one thing i like about St. Marc Cafe is their patrons can get free cold water from their water dispenser. This means that i can get to rest in this cafe, and spending only S$2.60 on one Chococro, and to rehydrate myself for free.

Once again, i need to emphasis that St. Marc cafe is not offering the most special kind of pastry, or the nicest pastry in Singapore. Their dishes are some very safe recipe that can’t go wrong easily. I personally like them for the reasonable price and the overall comfort offered to their patrons. Sometimes, life’s simple pleasure can be the best kind.

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Lady M Confections Singapore – Crepe Cakes, Strawberry Shortcake and more

Lady M Confections Singapore

Marina Square Shopping Mall, 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-103

Opening hours: 11.00 am – 9.00 pm

Introduction

Lady M Confections Singapore markets itself as a popular confectionery situated in New York. This is only their fifth outlet worldwide and best known for their signature light cream crepe cake. They also offer other dessertss like strawberry shortcake, chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cake, baked cheesecake, Eclair, Mont Blanc, and many more.

The checkers. Looks good, and the chocolate layer is good, but it’s actually an ordinary sponge cake in the center.

I visited this place on a weekday evening at about 6.15pm and i was rather surprised that there was not much crowd. Probably the crowd will come after dinner? Apart from the signature crepe cake and strawberry short cake, i asked for recommendation from the counter staff and this guy recommended their banana mille feuille.

*Update 24 June 2014*

New menu with indicated price. The green tea crepe cake has became part of their regular menu and Lady M is now selling savoury items. I haven’t try it though, but it looks pretty expensive to pay $21.06 net for a ham and cheese sandwich.

Updated Menu: Click to enlarge

Green Tea Crepe Cake ($8.50)

For people who don’t like something too sweet and creamy, their Green Tea Crepe Cake is a better choice than the original crepe cake. Many said that the green tea version is better than the original. For me, i thought the green tea taste is a little too heavy though, but i figure out that those who really like green tea may like this. I still prefer the original crepe cake.

Signature Crepe Cake (S$7.50 S$8.00)

Lady M’s signature crepe cake took around ten hours of preparation before serving in the restaurant which they proudly boast that their crepe is so thin and finely prepared that there are at least twenty layers of crepes and cream in every slice of Lady M’s crepe cake.

The cream is really soft and smooth, until some point, if it’s left in the open for a while, the crepe cake will just collapse when I try to cut it with the fork. I recommend them to provide fork and knife for this cake.

The fillings had a very light aromatic cream taste followed by a bit of sweet condensed milk after-taste. I thought it would be really ideal if the cream can just be a little less sweet. The paper-thin crepe is really good. Much much better than some that I had tried some where the crepe is so thick that I can feel that I am biting on the flour.

If i am comparing this to the very well-known Malacca’s Nadeje crepe cake, and not mentioning about the price, i much prefer the texture of Nadeje’s. Here are some photos of Nadeje’s crepe cakes:

Their crepe cake can be sliced through beautifully by using just a fork and therefore I can taste the well-defined crepe and the layering of their aromatic cream with every bite. But I thought it’s because Nadeje kept their cakes slightly chilled. To be fair, Lady M’s crepe cake fares better than quite some of the crepe cakes that I had.

Strawberry short cake (S$7.50 S$8.50)

This cake is also one of their specialties. The best part of this cake is for it’s center sponge cake portion and I can say that it’s not too exaggerating to say that it literally melts in my mouth. I quite like the overall texture of the cake, with a layer of strawberry puree at the center with thinly sliced sweet sour strawberries mixed into the cream.

And for those who are going to try this out, can you tell me did you taste a tinge of hazelnut in it’s cream? I know it’s weird, but i really tasted some kind of nut taste in the cream.

Banana Mille Feuille (S$8.00 S$8.50)

Their mille feuille is unlike the traditional mille feuille, the strudel pastry is crushed and sprinkled generously on a thick layer of cream and sliced banana. I thought the cream would be infused with banana but it didn’t so this cake did not surprise me as much. The cream taste really fresh and somewhat similar to the crepe cake’s cream but with a layer of vanilla sponge cake in the middle. This taste quite decent, but if you ask me, i will choose the crepe cake over this anytime.

Gâteau aux Marrons (S$7.50)

I did a look up for Gâteau aux Marrons (pronounced as Gair Two Ox Meh Ron) and it means “Brown/Chestnut Cake” in French. The top layer is covered with sweet chestnut infused cream topped with crushed walnut, and it’s slightly, only slightly sweet for my preference. Another layer of non-sweetened cream is sandwiched by two layers of almond flour.

I like the Almond flour layer very much, easily the best part of the cake. I think the whole idea is to not eat the layers separately, like what i did, as i wanted to taste what exactly are these layers, so that the sweet cream layer will balance with the non-sweetened cream. The taste of this cake is rather refreshing and glad that i tried this.

Conclusion

*update on 24 June 2014*

It had been lest than 9 months and i noticed that price for most cakes had increased. The strawberry short cake increased it price from $8.75 net to $9.95 net and that’s a 13.7% increase. It seems not as worth it as before, especially with so many new cafes popping up that offers similar dessert at a much more reasonable price.

Apparently, seems like Lady M did not bring on the hype that i was expecting, which is a good thing. I don’t want to queue for 120 minutes just for some Dim Sum. Anyway, I thought Lady M is quite decent, and may come to my mind if i am looking for a decent dessert in Marina/Suntec area.

Probably i will also feast on the crepe cake immediately when it’s served. I wonder did i take too long to shoot the cake and that is why the cream melted. Lady M, can you also serve me with a knife next time so that i won’t make a mess out of my crepe cake.