Right. I wanted to post about Picnic Urban Food Park after my first visit there three weeks ago. But then I got occupied with all my gaming posts about Persona 5 and Uncharted 4. During the process of which, I also accidentally deleted the pictures I took of the place. (!!)
Decided to get down to it, and began by revisiting the place. For those who are unfamiliar, Picnic Urban Food Park is a relatively new themed food hall located on the third floor of Wisma Atria. Tucked away in a corner, it’s also quite a large establishment with different sitting areas, all of which are themed to resemble an urban city park.
As for cuisine, the main attraction here is the variety of stalls and food trucks selling both local and international dishes. Personally, I would describe the place as a hipster food court.
Before I get to the food, let me say that I fell in love with the place the first time I saw it. I’m a huge sucker for anything themed, be it themed parks, themed restaurants, or themed malls. This, naturally, stems from my love for video games and fantasy fiction, and I simply love that feeling of being teleported to somewhere, something else, by the simple act of stepping through a doorway.
In the case of Picnic Urban Food Park, that teleportation feeling is not only present, it’s augmented by the food hall having quite an eclectic menu featuring both popular Asian and Western dishes. The whole place gives off a certain adventuring, exploration kind of feel.
To relate to my recent video game posts, it feels to be the sort of place those kids in Persona 5 would visit. For an infiltration meeting. A mission success celebration. Etc.
Anyway, I tried the Vodka Rigatoni last night, this being one of the featured dishes.
Not too sure how I should describe the Vodka Rigatoni since I’m no foodie. I’d just say it was intense and moist?
Many restaurants are obsessed with serving their pasta half soaked in watery broth or half as hard as candy. Not this one. It had the right bite and plenty of taste. It was also rich without being overpowering, with an adequate amount of aftertaste.
As for dessert, I decided to try the Nutella Crepe. This was, unfortunately, somewhat of a mistake. I completely forgot how rich Nutella is.
As you can see from my picture, the lady who made it was quite generous with the drizzling, the end result of which being I was utterly stuffed before I was halfway through the crepe. Next time, I’d have to ask for lesser spread or opt for ice cream instead.
Picnic Self-Ordering Panels
One other thing about Picnic Urban Food Park. When I first visited three weeks ago, all stalls were using a self-ordering system.
This system consisted of a touch-screen panel working in conjunction with an electronic unit you receive upon entering the food hall. In short, you order, you return to your seat, and wait for your unit to buzz. When it does, you collect the food at the stall you ordered at. At the end of your meal, the unit is used at an exit kiosk to calculate your total bill.
This was not the case for last night’s visit. Some of the ordering panels have been removed. Some of the stalls have also changed, with the latest addition, Omakase Burger, now occupying a large space. (Omakase doesn’t use the panels, BTW).
Overall, the dining crowd is larger, most probably because of Omakase, which was once hailed as the best burger in Singapore. Going back to the panels, I guess the self-ordering system might have been a tad too troublesome to manage, in spite of the manpower savings it brings. I personally don’t mind them, I find them fun to use, but I do know of people who firmly believe their orders at a restaurant or café should be taken by a human, not a gadget. I guess most of the food hall’s diners are in this category.
Update Aug 2018
Visited on a Saturday evening to see how Picnic Urban Food Park has changed since my last visit.
Picnic Urban Food Park is at 435 Orchard Road, #03-15, Wisma Atria. Hours are from 10 am to 10 pm daily.
(Update 2020: Regrettably, Picnic Urban Food Park permanently closed, another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic)
Read my other Geeky Restaurant Adventures posts.