I have always thought that with the exception of the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands is a very adult place. I never quite know where to bring Asher for a meal after an excursion to the museum. But an experience at Au Chocolat (say “o∫okola”) has changed that perception.
Alvin, Asher and I had the fortune of being invited for a sumptuous lunchtime feast by the Au Chocolat owners, who also happen to own Tony’s Pizza in River Valley Road.
Au Chocolat consists of two parts: a bistro which serves a mind-boggling array of French-inspired international cuisine, and a confiserie (that’s French for confectionery) selling sweets, chocolates, gelato and cakes. It’s located just one floor above the Skating Rink and indoor play gym Fidgets. Taking up 4,700 sq ft, you’ll easily see Au Chocolat’s parisienne facade and eye-catching French bulldog souvenirs. But to me, the best thing about this place is: It has a kid’s menu! It serves all-day breakfast!
We started our meal with the highly-recommended Au Chocolat frozen hot chocolate ($12), a creamy chocolate fudge drink topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I won’t call it a milkshake – it’s more like a chocolate smoothie. It isn’t too cloyingly sweet because the slight bitterness from all that cocoa balances out the sugar. I’d highly recommend this for sharing, at least with one other person, because the serving size is colossal. Unless you are an ardent chocolate lover and wouldn’t mind the calories from all that cream, of course.
While waiting for our food to arrive, we snack on a ginormous cone of truffle fries (UP $15, available on Tuesdays for only $10, check with server for in-store promos). These thick fries are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, served very hot with truffle sea salt sprinkled all over them. Asher cannot get enough of them and ignores the potato puffs that are served with his linguine bolognese (kid’s menu, POA). Thankfully, he is happy to dig into his linguine too. It was professionally served with a small mound of what I believe to be either grated grana padano or parmesan cheese.
Soon, our entrees start arriving at our table, including mini versions of June’s promotional Summer Burger Bonanza. The Black Pepper Beef Burger ($28) features a 100% USA beef patty dipped in in-house black pepper sauce, topped with sautéed Swiss brown mushrooms, melted cheddar cheese and gherkin mayonnaise.
A tangy layer of homemade tomato salsa replaces the usual ketchup in the Mexican-style Beef Burger ($28), and smooth guacamole spread replaces the mayo. Spicy jalapeños and lettuce offer some crunch when you bite into the burger.
Alvin’s favourite is the third Bonanza burger we tried. The Singapore Chilli Crabcake Burger ($30) features a battered crab patty in the middle and is layered with fresh Roma tomatoes, lettuce and a generous serving of chilli crab mayonnaise. All of the burgers are served with crispy French fries on the side.
Then there is the signature burger ($25), featuring a 100% USA grain-fed beef patty with cheddar cheese, sundried tomatoes, olive jam, a juicy portobello mushroom and bacon stacked on top. You can choose your doneness of the patty. The moistness and flavours of this burger appealed to me the most.
After being served with five portions of potato fries, the Au Chocolat mocha pork rib ($35) aspires to be something different, being served with thinly sliced sweet potato fries. These roasted pork ribs are marinated and coated with dark chocolate and gourmet coffee sauce, which work surprisingly well in this savoury dish. The ribs are finger-smackingly sticky and the meat falls nicely off the bone. We would have polished this off if we weren’t so stuffed with fries and burgers.
True to the bistro’s name, chocolate is omnipresent in the menu. The duck confit ($28), features a pan-roasted leg of duck served with chocolate orange sauce, atop a bed of potato mash, steamed veggies and wine-poached pear. The duck itself was too dry for my liking but I liked the combination of flavours and the generous portion of fresh vegetables.
Finally, we end off our meal on a sweet note, with Au Chocolat’s signature chocolate tower cake ($18). This cake is not for the coy, pinkie-lifting-off-the-teacup-handle-type of dessert lover. Creating it must’ve been a feat in itself and demolishing it will be a feat too, as it encompasses six layers of moist chocolate cake filled with milk chocolate chantilly cream and crunchy chocolate pearls, under a robe of dark chocolate ganache. You can drench it with warm chocolate fudge sauce, served alongside it, and eat it with a scoop of vanilla gelato to balance out all that sweetness.
Lastly, we take home a palm-sized Lavender Blueberry macaron ($8) filled with chocolate ganache, specially made for Father’s Day. As you can tell, the folks at Au Chocolat really advocate the spirit of sharing your food.
So, if somebody in the family likes chocolate, and everybody loves to share large amounts of good food in a whimsical setting, you have to check out Au Chocolat. They also have a Great Singapore Sale promotion on now until July 27, available on weekdays. Perfect for those lunches with your office kakis!
Bay Level L1-03
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Opening hours: 10am to 11pm (last order 10pm)