Words by Megan Lim
If you’re looking for a place that teeters between the delicate balance of casual bistro and luxury, The Marmalade Pantry is the place to be. For the uninitiated, The Marmalade Pantry is a quaint homegrown noshery. Since kick-starting their all-day dining concept in 1999, the brand has been known to serve up some palatial pasta dishes and sumptuous desserts. With three outlets located at the heart of town, it is definitely one of the go-to places for an impromptu high-tea session with friends after an afternoon of shopping. Even before you enter their flagship store at ION Orchard, the ambiance itself beckons the moment you set your eyes on the charming and modern décor, promising an experience of elegance and class. It is clear why the place makes for a popular brunch or teatime haunt, as the open concept environment was designed in a way to make it conducive for people to catch-up and bond, allowing for conversations without the need to speak up or intrude on others. For someone who loves an authentic teatime experience, The Marmalade Pantry always delivers. The Afternoon Tea Experience set is a variety to behold. Featuring a selection of sandwiches, scones, and two cupcakes, it also comes with two pots of tea with flavours provided exclusively from Gryphon Tea. The portions are just nice for quick bites in-between conversations and do not leave you feeling stuffed at the end of the meal. In true British fashion, the centrepiece of the afternoon tea seems to be the buttermilk scones, with choices of strawberry preserve, candied orange and cranberry jam, and clotted cream to choose from. Some may find their scones are a little too dense while others may find it just nice. The strawberry preserve and candied orange and cranberry jam are delicious as they do not taste artificial and definitely make a great pairing with the scones.
Those with adventurous palates will also be delighted at the cupcake flavours available for selection. From classics such as Red Velvet to special flavours such as Mudslide—a chocolate cupcake with orange marmalade filling and hazelnut feuilletine—it is clear that The Marmalade Pantry is not shy about experimenting with flavours. While the range may seem comparatively limited to other cafes, the focus on quality and perfect execution is sure to win your heart (and taste buds). Cupcakes of choice are the Cranberry Lychee and the Red Velvet, two signature flavours that one simply cannot get enough of. The Cranberry Lychee Cupcake in particular—a lychee-flavoured cake base with cranberry cream cheese—is a great combination of sweet and tart that isn’t cloying. One may argue that red velvet cupcakes are common and overdone, but some may not seem to find anything else that has the same intensity and moisture, with just the right amount of sweet cream cheese frosting. The service staff are warm, welcoming, and quick to answer any queries that you may have about the menu or their recommendations. However, afternoon tea hangouts seem to be a popular trend lately, so be warned that peak hours in the restaurant may see your food being served a little slower than usual. There is a reason that The Marmalade Pantry has been able to stay ahead of the game and win the hearts of many time and time again. The brand’s pillars of revitalization, reinvention, and refreshment have always been a driver.
Wine & Dine Magazine has selected The Marmalade Pantry to receive the SG Barista Training Course conducted by School of Coffee, supported by Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). Part of the training include teaching the participant in using newly innovated Kaffee Kultur methods to brew and prepare local Kopi and Teh.