Bottled Marmalade at The Marmalade Pantry, Singapore

Right after we've pretty much settled down into our 1st home here in Singapore, one of the first things I did was to create a list of restaurants to try based on reviews shared by local food bloggers and from recommendations given by our former flatmates. I'd say, living with foodies was really fun as we would talk about food and restaurant all day long and for all of us, that's perfectly normal. One of the cafes that was part of my initial list was Marmalade Pantry. Then with only one branch at ION Orchard, I made it a point to visit this during my first few months here as I heard that they got an impressive selection of cakes and brunch items. I'd say that the recommendation was spot on and it was indeed a good dining experience.

Sadly, I wasn't able to go back as often given that we make a conscious effort to avoid Orchard Road especially during the weekends. Yes, it's the busiest district in Singapore and normally we just try to stay as far as from the crowd as much as possible. So imagine how happy I was when Marmalade Pantry opened its 3rd branch just a block away from my workplace. It doesn't hurt too that it's one of The Entertainer App's amazing merchants giving me 3 1-for-1 vouchers to enjoy. Hooray!

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I've often wondered how come the restaurant is named The Marmalade Pantry but I don't see any item in the menu that offers... marmalade. I must have been thinking out loud (cue: Ed Sheeran's song) that Paul and I were recently invited to a preview party as they introduced their newest line of.. tadahhhh... marmalades! The first batch has four interesting flavors -- Original Marmalade, Lime and Coconut, Spanish Mandarin White Balsamic and Cranberry and Pink Grapefruit.

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I love how our table was set up in such a dainty manner complete with rattan baskets, some personalized stationary and a watercolor brush. It's so pretty! While waiting for dinner to start, I helped myself to some crackers with a thin spread of marmalade on each. My personal favorites were the Original Marmalade which had a light sweet orange flavor and the Pink Grapefruit which keeps a good balance of sour and bitter notes in every bite. I guess I love citrus flavors a lot more. Paul, on the other hand, loved the Lime and Coconut which has a unique texture brought about by the coconut flakes and a sweet-sour lime flavor too. What I love about marmalades is that it's pretty straight forward. You pretty much taste whatever fruit is added into the marmalade mixture. Do note though that marmalades tend to have a more bitter after taste as it also uses the fruit peel while jams just have the fruit minus the peel so it's definitely sweeter and more appealing to the young ones.

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After enjoying the four different marmalade flavors, it was time to dinner to start. First up was a plate of Quinoa Salad. I've never had salad at Marmalade Pantry as I normally would go for a bowl of their yummy truffle fries but hey, this one was pretty good! In fact, I find it very refreshing given that it's a mixo of orange, beetroot, red onion, cucumber, zucchini, capers and mixed greens. Tossed in sherry vinaigrette and topped with a generous amount of quinoa, I really enjoyed this salad a lot. Is it just me of the plate above spells L-O-V-E? I must be seeing things.

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Moving on, we had the Minute Steak Sandwich which I wasn't so crazy about. Somehow I found the meat to be a bit dry and tough while my dinner companions loved the bread and sweet potato fries. Uh oh, imagine liking the bread over the filling? That's not a very good sign, is it?

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Thankfully, our main dish was definitely able to save the day! Marmalade Pantry is known of its yummy pasta and risotto dishes so I was really excited to see that we're trying their best-selling Lobster Barley Risotto that evening. Creamy barley risotto cooked in rich lobster stock and served with a piece of lobster meat and veggies. What sealed the deal for me was definitely the sour cream and generous amount of parmesan cheese. I was so happy digging into my plate oblivious of pretty much the world around me. I think I just found a new favorite comfort dish that I can indulge in especially on a stressful day.

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As if the main dish wasn't enough to make us all really happy, out came the grand finale to our dinner a.k.a. dessert! I was so happy that we're gonna have Sticky Date Toffee Pudding! Next to ice cream and strawberry cake, this is probably my 3rd favorite desserts of all time. I'm happy to share the Marmalade Pantry's version didn't disappoint at all. It was pretty good making it just the right ending to our meal.

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Of course, the best way to enjoy our new jars of marmalades was to share this with friends. I served this on our cheese platter when the NKids came over to celebrate Paul's birthday. Needless to say, the marmalades sure went very well with our selection of cheese and crackers.

Available in two sizes, check out these four flavors at The Marmalade Pantry with price starting at S$18.

*photos by Paul Ang

Visit The Marmalade Pantry at 100 Peck Seah Street, 01-01 Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore 079333. They also have outlets at ION Orchard and Oasia Hotel Novena. 

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