With the plethora of cafés sprouting in every nook and cranny of this teeny island, town is no longer the hipster hub filled with novel eateries. Most are starting to find it over-priced, unimpressive, even boring.
Though I think reliable would be the more appropriate word.
While the food isn't all new, innovative and instagramable, most eateries in town offer consistently delicious food that's perfect for any occasion. Marmalade Pantry's one such restaurant.
Traditional Carbonara (S$25++) - Slow-cooked egg, bacon, parmesan cheese, parsley, onion compote and capellini
Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Marmalade Pantry features a decent spread of Western mains as well as an equally extensive list of desserts. From towering stacked cakes to dainty cupcakes, their dessert display is sure to leave your mouth watering.
Whenever I'm there I make it a point to order their Carbonara which is, I dare say, one of the best carbonara in Singapore. I love how the sauce is not too wet, coats the noodles really well, so we get that rich and intense flavour without the actual cream. Where most restaurants do it the American way with lots of cream, Marmalade Pantry's one of the few that continues using the traditional egg and cheese method in preparing their carbonara. And it paid off with an amazingly stunning dish.
Lobster Barley Risotto (S$32++) - Butternut, carrots, onion, garlic flower, lobster chunks, lobster braised barley, parmesan, sour cream and tarragon
It's surprising barley risotto hasn't been featured in more restaurants, what with the healthy-eating trend going around. Marmalade Pantry's one of the few restaurants serving it; unfortunately this they did not prepare well. The barley was undercooked and hard, and so were the carrots and squash. It felt like a bowl of crunchy vegetables. The broth was pretty decent, so it's a pity they flunked on the cooking time.
Classic Baked Apple Pie (S$9++ per slice)
One of the most generous apple pies ever, it's a shame those ingredients did not translate into great flavours. The apple slices were still a little to crisp, too tangy, and caused the pie to end up overly sour and dry. It was not so much of an apple pie, as much as a heap of sliced apples with bites of pastry.
Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding (S$14++) - served with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream
There aren't many cakey desserts that impress me, because most of them I can whip up at home. Marmalade Pantry's Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding is one of the few desserts that I absolutely adore, and would make the special trip down for. I fell in love with it since my first visit 4 years ago, and it has remained a must-order on my every visit. Moist yet light, this delicate cake is lifted up a whole notch by the buttery toffee sauce - and all of that melts in your mouth with a bite of ice cream. Having tried a few sticky date puddings this is definitely one of - if not - the best sticky date pudding in Singapore.
If holding the same spot in ION for the past 5 years isn't proof enough of their amazing food, I don't know what it. With F&B stalls continuously changing hands, it would suffice to say that Marmalade Pantry has its fair share of loyal customers. And while I still love trying out new eateries, I'm always happy to return for a good plate of carbonara and a stellar sticky date pudding.
#03-22 ION Orchard 2 Orchard Turn