MARCHE CACHE: Shirley Tang and Stephane Herve invite you to sample their wares, like the Emmanuelle Baillard juices and nectars and the clementines in vanilla syrup.
With so many gourmet shops popping up all over the island - selling meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruit and gourmet groceries - it is quite possible to do like chi-chi Europeans do and patronise only small shops.
The shop is run by Stephane Herve, 37, who was a chef at various restaurants and a food division manager at gourmet chain Culina.
Try some nectarine juice, they'll say. Want a taste of anchovies? How about some cheese?
Shopping here is such a pleasure, with new things to discover on every shelf.
I highly recommend the Emmanuelle Baillard juices and nectars.
Emmanuelle Baillard juices and nectars
For people who don't want to drink wine with dinner but want something more exciting than water, try the Chardonnay grape juice ($6.50 for a 250ml bottle).
I also like the clementines in vanilla syrup ($13.50 for a 150g jar).
Clementines in vanilla syrup
If you like gingerbread, pick up some Mulot & Petitjean gingerbread with apricot ($21 for a 200g box).
Tiong Bahru has always been a magnet because of its old-style architecture and the great food served in atmospheric coffee shops.
Le Bon Marche, 78 Guan Chuan Street, 01-41, tel: 6226-3269. Opening hours: 10am to 7.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 11am to 5pm (Sundays). Closed on Wednesdays.