Everything is in SM Megamall! Ippudo just opened, the lone Tim Ho Wan Philippine branch is there as well, and now, this popular food destination – St. Marc Cafe. It’s amazing how Megamall, which 3-4 years ago seemed to be nearing the end of its days, bounced back and is now offering foodies (and fashionistas alike, especially with the opening of H&M later) some of the best dining options in Manila.
(Abe, which is my favorite among other relatively pricey Filipino restaurants like Sentro, Mesa, and Fely J’s, has recently opened a branch. Still there is the more competitively priced and another personal favorite Mannang’s at basement level.)
Sorry, back to St. Marc. This Japanese cafe franchise was brought here by Ben Chan, the man behind Bench. It is known for its chococro, a portmanteau of chocolate and croissant. Last Saturday afternoon, the small shop was overwhelmed by customers—not quite like queues in government offices—but there’s a long wait nonetheless. A proactive staff approached us and asked if we were ordering takeout, and when we said yes, she processed our order with one caveat: we could only pick up our 1 1/2 dozen of chococro 30 minutes later. We said sure, only because we were going to line up at Tim Ho Wan directly across (to eat pork buns—we are… um, a ravenous bunch).
In case you’re still with me: So yup, that’s two restaurants, both of which are enjoying long queues.
When we got our chococro later, it was still warm: the bread was chewy and flaky, and I liked the added flavor and t
he texture of the sesame seeds. (Update: My friends pointed out to me that there were no sesame, but that they were nuts; but I swear I tasted them!!! [But then the photo does not lie :-P].) The chocolate wasn’t too sweet, which is just how I like it, though I wish it was present in my every bite.
Will I trek to Megamall for this? No. Will I line up for more than 10 minutes for this? No. If I was already in Megamall, passed by the cafe, and saw I’d be done in less than 5 minutes, then yep, I’ll get a box of chococros.
St. Marc Cafe
Ground floor, Mega Fashion Hall,