fbpx

ST MARC CAFE, Philippines: Tokyo’s Chococro Lands in Manila #ChococroPH

St marc cafe philippines

Location: Ground Floor, SM Mega Fashion Hall, Megamall; Greenbelt 3 (Soon to Open)
Official Website: www.saint-marc-sg.com
Facebook: Saint Marc Cafe Philippines
Instagram: ChococroPH

St Marc Cafe Menu

St Marc Cafe Philippines Menu

It’s funny. Incidentally, the day ST MARC CAFE opened its doors to Manila last August 15, 2014, I was happily drowning myself in their Strawberries and Milk shaved ice dessert at Shinjuku near Gyoen Garden, Tokyo.

Several locals turned their heads at me as I slurped ice after ice, cooling myself as I think I have melted under Tokyo sun. Everyone else only had either a laptop or Iced Coffee in their table, and I didn’t spot anyone eating Chococro. I don’t care. The summer heat of Tokyo was unbearable. But hey, for the price of 560 yen, I was willing to pay this much just to cool myself down.

Here in Manila, I am not so sure. Is Manila willing to pay P230 for this shaved ice dessert? Let me tell you. It’s just made of strawberry, ice and milk. Not so worth it when you think about it now, right?

St marc cafe philippines

As one of Tokyo’s main specialty bakery and patisserie (and worth noting that Tokyo has a soft spot and affection for French bakeries and cuisine), St Marc Cafe first opened its shop at Ginza Maronie Boulevard in Tokyo back in 1998, and since then it has become synonymous with Chococro pastry. It’s logo, bearing “Chococro”, is enough to embed its trademark in the minds of the market.

St marc cafe philippines

Don’t get me wrong. St Marc Cafe’s Chococro or Chocolate Croissant made from Ghana and Ecuador cocoa beans is delicious when hot. For only P55, it’s cheap for anyone looking to eat something sweet or have dessert while falling in line at Tim Ho Wan. If you’re going to buy a lot of these, make sure you reheat them first before enjoying them. Strawberry Chococro is also available for a limited time only if you’d like.

St marc cafe philippines

St marc cafe philippines

St marc cafe philippines

Likewise St Marc Cafe’s Fuji dessert made from flaky pastry and topped soft served ice cream and what have you’s is a welcoming change to the Filipino palate. It’s great to indulge every now and then, but I don’t see it hitting mainstream like what Milk Tea has done for this market.

St marc cafe philippines

St marc cafe philippines

St marc cafe philippines

St marc cafe philippines

Other breads that have caught my eye were the Egg Salsa (P100) and French Toast which have potential to become great breakfast choices. I like the soft boiled state of the egg perched on top of Kouign Amann-like texture and stuffed with tomatoes. The contrast is remarkable and I’m hailing this to be better than the Chococro.

Even the sandwiches could replace what people would regularly buy at Starbucks for lunch.

St marc cafe philippines

St marc cafe philippines

I feel that its range of coffee has the potential to go mainstream. Prices for coffee aren’t expensive and people could really get used to some Matcha Latte for a change.

St marc cafe philippines

But then, it really limited itself by being inside a mall. (And one that has reputation for hard to secure parking spots.)

The Verdict: Inaccessibility

Two years ago, St Marc Cafe was once known to be great coffee shop choice at Singapore’s major malls like Vivo City. The fact that it has only became a hit once and never did continuously picked up its momentum was the issue on accessibility. I’ve seen St Marc Cafe back in Singapore go really empty during peak hours. I myself was a tourist and didn’t bother going inside.

Several of Tokyo’s stores were conveniently located outside malls and therefore, salarymen could easily grab a coffee and chococro for breakfast and head to their offices, as they’re always pressed for time.

Here in Manila, St Marc Cafe will be limited to mall hours as its housed inside SM Mega Fashion Hall. This limitation allows people to only try it if:
1. It’s a holiday and people want to splurge
2. It’s a weekend, and people want dessert after a meal at Tim Ho Wan or grab a chococro first while someone lines up at Tim Ho Wan
3. Person just wants to try out Chococro.

If I were Ben Chan of the Suyen Group, I’d put St Marc Cafe outside malls and inside tiny streets of central business districts, just like what Toby’s Estate did. That way an ordinary worker could grab a Chococro and Matcha Latte for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. Now that’s yummy.

St MARC Cafe Philippines Rating:

Taste and Originality: (3.0 / 5)
Customer Experience: (3.0 / 5)
Value for Money: (2.5 / 5)
Brick and Mortar: (2.0 / 5)
Average: (2.6 / 5)