Some food courts are not quite the same in Singapore. Picnic, an appropriate name fitting to its garden theme, has opened up at Wisma Atria. Its interior is unlike what you have ever seen before here.
Picnic is a 10,000 square feet space, with the 3 million dollar space designed like an urban park, providing 13 food trucks and stall, with food ordered “Marche” style.
Those in my generation and beyond should remember the Scotts “Picnic” (a food court which in its hey days actually serve pretty-good food), but this Picnic at Wisma has different vibes all together.
The ID is top-notch, with different spaces designed for BIG-GROUP seatings, suitable to hang out with families and friends,. Which are getting harder to find nowadays.
Super instagrammable, and ‘videoable’, where you can dine under a canopy of (fake) trees with lights that change “according to the weather”.
I can just imagine TheSmartLocal people shooting their stuff here, doing quite a neat viral video out of it, with pretty girls prancing around the garden and all that.
In a nutshell, Picnic Singapore has…
– 13 food trucks and stalls
– International range of cuisines, including American, French, Italian and Japanese
– Its own third-wave coffee bar and bespoke cocktail bar
– Price point at $15-$25 for lunch, $20 and above for dinner
– Electronic vending machine, bills are paid on the way out
– Buzzers for self-collection of food
– 3 Seating Zones – a Flower Garden (35 pax), Picnic Area (155 pax), Beer Garden (80 pax)
– Space that can accommodate parties from 20 to 270 people
– A stage with full hook-ups for up to 6 live instruments, using BOSE sound systems
This is based on first impressions.
The design is very chio (attractive and appealing), with enough space to walk around and relax. Provided it does not get so immensely popular that the crowds throng the place (which can possibly be a nightmare).
A lot of thought is put into the entire “picnic” theme, such that a group of friends can leisurely have their meals, chit-chatting while waiting.
However, I do have some reservations.
Most of the food truck and the cashiers are congregated at one small area, creating a potential bottleneck.
Also, compared to competitor Marche where you can roam around and see your food being prepared, there is this limitation here. My guess is they are restricted due to the kitchen having to be positioned one spot.
While electronic vending machine is probably the way to go, the touch screen function may not THAT fast, thus ordering can take a while for new-comers.
This is compounded with the fact that there are no ready menus available, so the only ‘menu’ is the screen.
As long as one diner cannot make up his/her mind, keep scrolling up and down, or do not know how to use the machine, the queue will definitely be held up.
Some of the seating areas are quite far away, and having to walk to and fro to collect your food, can provide some inconvenience.
Food wise, here are some of the stalls available:
– Ezo Hokkaido East – Japanese Curry ($17.50), Tempura Tendon, Butadon ($19)
– Winner Winner Chicken Dinner – Southern Fried Chicken ($18), Korean Fried Chicken ($18), Har Cheong Gai ($19), Beer Battered Fish & Chips
– Le Coq Roti – French or Asian Roast Chicken ($50 for whole, $26 for half)
– Flour & Water – Pastas and Pizza ($14 – $19)
– Taiwan Signatures – Beef Noodles ($17), Lu Rou Fan ($14)
– Tikka Taco – Nonya Chicken Curry Prata Taco ($16), Signature Pork Belly Prata Taco ($16)
– Daebak – Ginger Soy Chicken or Spicy BBQ Pork Tacos ($16), Beef Bulgogi Ricebowl ($18)
– Rosti Haus – Japanese Rosti ($17), Korean Rosti ($18), Spanish Rosti ($18)
I had a Buta Don ($14 for lunch, $19 for dinner) from the Ezo Hokkaido Eats.
Food wise, better than the average food court, but not to be compared to a legitimate Japanese restaurant or don shop. The pork slices were marinated in quite a tasty tare sauce, but grilled till tough and fairly dry.
From the Korean Daebak stall, I ordered a Budae Jjiae Ramyeon ($19 with cheese) in which the best parts were the chicken cubes, fried before adding in. Soup was probably moderated down, and thus not as spicy as what I could have imagined.
Both other food halls at Wisma Atria has done relatively well – Food Republic (and this is probably the first in Singapore) and Japan Food Town.
Picnic should probably appeal t the younger consumers, and can be a cool place to hang out, provided it doesn’t get too crowded.
Wisma Atria #03-15 (near the taxi stand), 435 Orchard Road Singapore 238877
Tel: +65 6734 8352
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (trucks start from 11am, last order 9:30pm)
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.