My friend Y held a birthday party for her daughter B on Sunday afternoon (Happy 3rd Birthday, B!), and catered some tea time treats from Delifrance.
The photos only show maybe 5% of the spread that we had. Y went the whole hog and ordered practically everything on their party platter list. Besides the canapés (smoked salmon, egg, tuna, crab and chicken mayonnaise) and pastries (pain au chocolat and danishes) in the pictures, there were sweet and savoury mini croissants, madeleines, mini éclairs, and little bite sized cakes and tarts. Everything was delicious – the mini éclairs, in coffee and chocolate flavours, were particularly addictive. The mini ham and cheese croissant was good too, as were the canapés. Overall, it was much better than expected, given the unfortunate image of Delifrance nowadays.
Delifrance has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings, and I’m not sure that I like where it’s going. I still remember when it first opened – it tried to recreate the ambience of a typical Parisian street café, down to retaining the French names of everything on their menu, and providing French newspapers and magazines (at least at their outlet at the now defunct Peranakan Place) for browsing.
Now, perhaps out of necessity, Delifrance has had to change its image and menu somewhat, to much more localized fare. While that is acceptable and probably inevitable in order to move with the times, I really do take offence at the new names for some of their items. I would have preferred it if they had simply reinvented their menu to include local fare. Instead, they’ve come up with bastardized creations and, even worse, they’ve STILL tried to retain some French in the names of the dishes. Honestly, Le Spicy Crab Spaghetti and Curry Au Poulet really doesn’t do it for me. If they had just stuck to purely English names, they would have retained a lot more credibility, in my opinion.
Still, I’m just ranting, perhaps unfairly given how surprisingly good the food was on Sunday. There’s still some life to Delifrance yet.
I’ve always thought Delifrance was very blah and swore off them years ago so this spread was a real surprise. Everything I tried was not bad at all. In fact, it was probably better than the catered food I had from Purple Sage the other day (cause it was easier to eat and didn’t have fancy schmancy ingredients). When W&M went to the actual Delifrance outlet, the food they ordered looked passable as well. I even ended up finishing their dessert (waste not, want not).
While it’s still not some a place I’d actually go to eat, if I had no other viable choices, I wouldn’t complain at all. And as catering goes, I’d wholly recommend it.
Wah... The fact that you can still remember the first delifrance shows that you're at least as old as me. Haha!
I find that Delifrance has done a great job of maintaining the standard of their food through the years. Very reliable for their selection of pastries and sandwiches. If i'm looking for a place to have coffee and a bite, I would always choose to go there, rather than starbuck's, which has a big coffee selection, but horrible food.
I'd go to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Food not bad and i like the really sweet coffee.
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