A regular visitor to Singapore once said to me that there is always something new in our country, no matter how often she returns. And a trip to Marina Bay Sands recently confirmed her sentiment, as I witnessed at least half a dozen new shops and restaurants that had popped up in the six months since I'd been there.
Perhaps the most noticeable of which is the sprawling new Au Chocolat, a fanciful bistro, bakery and chocolate shop set on Bay Level 1 of The Shoppes. Opened by the folks behind Ku De Ta Singapore, the 4,700-square-feet space is all charm and whimsy, with a mechanical train set that hangs overhead, colourful stained glass panels and wait staff dressed in aprons and straw boaters.
This is another restaurant to add to the list if you're constantly looking for a place that serves good all-day breakfasts. I tried the Au Chocolat Benedict (S$18), which puts a unique spin on eggs Benedict by infusing the Hollandaise sauce with dark chocolate and red wine vinegar. Thankfully, it was a successful twist - Hollandaise is typically made with white wine vinegar, so its red wine cousin wasn't too much of a stretch. The dark chocolate gave it depth and warmth.
I wasn't expecting much of the Au Chocolate Signature Burger (S$25), if only because many restaurants tend to overhype their burgers these days, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was one of the better ones I'd tried in recent weeks. This was a seriously stacked burger, with a tightly packed patty made from US grain-fed beef, a juicy whole Portobello mushroom, a slice of melting cheddar, crisp bacon and a good squish of piquant sundried tomato and olive jam between a nicely toasted bun. It went down a treat with the soft-within-crisp-without sweet potato fries (S$12), dusted in sour plum powder (you know, the same stuff you sprinkle on fresh guava).
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