Marché at Vivocity: Mediocre and Expensive

Marche at Vivocity
Marche at Vivocity

About three weeks ago my wife and I went to Marché at Vivocity.  We’d seen the place quite a few times while at the mall and while passing through on our way to Sentosa, and we always thought about stopping there to eat but we never did.  It’s a long way from where we live in Pasir Ris too so I’m not really surprised that it took us this long to make it down there.

Marche Cows
Marche Cows

Marché is a Swedish Swiss restaurant that serves food in a style similar to Manpuku, with in-store credit cards that you use when ordering and carry to the check-out register and all.  It appears that cows are their mascot.  These guys are sitting in front of the restaurant close to the door you exit from after paying.  It’s a nice way to draw the eye and attract customers.

Marche at Vivocity

When we first walked into the restaurant there was a waiting area filled with people.  Our wait wasn’t that long and the hostess at the desk was very quick, pleasant and professional.  She had on a pretty neat outfit too.  It looked like a milk-maid get-up.  The place was starting to get crowded and when we showed up I think they opened up another seating area because they led a bunch of us into the restaurant at once to a seating area in a corner.  It was way back past where the register is.  It was nice because it was private, but it was also hard to get in and out of because of the line of people waiting to pay.

Salad bar at Marche
Salad bar at Marche

The first thing we did was walk up to the salad area and order a “medium” salad.  The lady behind the counter then handed us a dish the size of a coffee cup saucer, smiled and turned away to work on something else.  We looked at the plate in disbelief.  Seriously, I’ve seen coffee come on bigger saucers.  For 9.80 I expected more than that.  It’s salad after all, not filét mignon.  Then we saw the salad bar itself.  What you see in the picture is it.  That’s all.  For a European restaurant their salad bar was lacking and didn’t even include things that are normally found on a salad, like mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon bits, croutons, shredded cabbage, kidney beans… In short the selection was severely limited given the amount we paid for our tiny medium plate.

Lettuce on the Marche salad bar
Lettuce on the Marche salad bar

The biggest let-downs was that besides having a small selection some of the items were running low and they hadn’t bothered to refill them.  The “Fresh Sprout” (alfalfa) plate was empty.  The lettuce was also pretty gruesome looking.  I asked for both to be refilled with fresh food.  The girl either didn’t understand completely or ignored me.  She did put out more sprouts but left the lettuce as it was.

Salad at Marche

In an effort to spite the small plate size we overloaded it by going vertically where we couldn’t go horizontally.  It wasn’t too bad, but … it just wasn’t 9.80 good.  If you do go to Marché I recommend just avoiding the salad bar entirely.

Entree at Marche at Vivocity

For a few weeks before going to Marché I’d had this craving for pork chops and when we got there we saw that you could chops freshly grilled so we both went for it.  You can see the meat before you choose it.  They have it set out in pans over ice and you pick what you want by pointing to it.  The cuts were pretty good sized.  I think it was around 10 bucks for the meat.  The potatoes you had to order extra, which was a bit odd.  Everything there is bought by the item though, down to the buns or breadsticks.

Bundaberg Root Beer
Bundaberg Root Beer

This is probably the best thing to come of the whole trip.  I’d never noticed this drink before going to Marché, though afterwards I saw that it’s stocked at the Shop N Save near where we live.  It’s really good, and reminds me of Ginger Ale from back in the US. Since having it at Marché we’ve bought a few cases so we can have them with dinner.

I can’t say that Marché is bad, but it’s simply mediocre.  The customer service is good.  The ambience is comfortable.  The food just wasn’t up to par though, especially not with the prices they were charging.  I have to say though that my opinion is a little biased because we wound up getting sick later that night.  After eating at Marché my wife and I both got headaches, felt lethargic in a recovering from an illness sort of way, and we had stomach… issues.  So, Marché is one restaurant we won’t be returning to.  At least, we won’t be returning to this one.

Ben and Jerry's Double Brownie Sundae
Ben and Jerry's Double Brownie Sundae

Another highlight of our evening was this delicious treat!  I can’t remember what it’s called exactly.  Double Brownie something maybe?  It’s from the Ben & Jerry’s restaurant in Vivocity.  It’s a tad expensive at 14.40 but it’s good for two people (maybe 3 since it was served with 3 spoons?) and is incredibly delicious!  I suppose it depends on what types of ice cream you pick to go in it but this one came out great.  I think I chose Cookies and Cream and New York Fudge Chunk.  Just looking at this is making my mouth water.  I’m a sucker for ice cream and baked goods!

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