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11am - late
2218, 81 Tai Koo Li, 8 Middle Shamao St. (2nd level near Starbucks)
6780 3399

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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
The lines of customers that are often seen waiting outside Pot Thai will be glad to know there is a new place in Tai Koo Li to indulge in the ever popular Thai style seafood hot pot. MORE dropped in at the grand opening of the new spot, named Marche. With its cool industrial design that feels high-end without being buttoned up, Marche’s atmosphere bears little family resemblance to its older sibling. The soundtrack gives a good energy to the room and there is patio seating.

The menu, available in both English and Chinese, does a good job of explaining the origin of each dish. There is a raw seafood bar with excellent fresh oysters, mussels, and geoduck and razor clams. The seafood hot pot at Marche is presented beautifully with a choice of soup and dipping sauces whose bright colours and flavours show the Thai influence. The seafood platter is marked with little flags showing the country of origin of each item. The plump, pristine fresh oysters and still-moving shrimp also testify to the freshness and quality of the seafood here. The assorted vegetables on the plate are organic. Besides their famous seafood hot pot, Marche opens for lunch and daytime diners can choose from dishes of fried rice, Pad Thai and fried fish until 4pm. There are also several snacks and small plates, like the Australian Wagyu beef grilled tender and elegantly escorted by a pile of crisp garlic chips. There is a short but sweet dessert menu with durian puff, crème brûlée and sticky rice with mango.

In landlocked Chengdu, really good and fresh seafood is an occasion worthy rather than everyday indulgence, and Marche is a good destination for seafood lovers. Lunch dishes are under 100RMB; seafood hot pot around 200RMB to 300RMB per person.