Picnic Wisma Atria is a new food hall that recently opened in this Orchard Road shopping mall. Together with the Food Republic food court and Japan Food Town, the opening of Picnic makes Wisma Atria the mall to go if one is undecided about what to eat. One can probably find something to eat in the three big dining venues with multiple vendors. Picnic seeks to create an outdoor dining atmosphere within the cool comfort of an air-conditioned space without pesky insects. According to a Straits Times article, Picnic is a venture of Mr Cheng Hsin Yao, founder of Omakase Burger, and his investors.
The Picnic Wisma Atria food hall is a new concept but it brings to mind three places – Marche, Timbre+ and Aoyama Flower Market. Like Marche, Picnic uses a similar food ordering and payment system where each person is given a buzzer which also acts as a electronic record of his orders and used at the point of exit to compute how much to pay.
Picnic Wisma reminded us of Timbre+ in One North (see our review here) with its use of food trucks as food stalls serving a diverse range of food. They also have a mini stage where we presume live music or events will be staged in the future.
The massive use of plants throughout the restaurant, including inside the glass tables reminded us of the Aoyama Flower Market in Tokyo where a cafe is located within a flower shop and one can dine surrounded by all kinds of beautiful flowers and plants. Picnic takes the concept further. There are large plants and picnic tables on swathes of artificial grass to create an outdoor dining environment.
The coffee bar at Picnic serves a decent coffee. A cappuccino here costs $5.50 and long black costs $4.
Here are pictures of the payment booths and buzzers that record your orders and sound when any order is ready for collection at the stall.
There is a wide range of food stalls ranging from the dessert stall selling cakes and ice-cream under a tree to the different stalls styled like food trucks selling different cuisines from around the world, including Coq Roti French Rotisserie, Rosti Has, Daebak Korean, Taiwan Treasures, Flour & Water Pasta and Pizza, Edo Hokkaido Eats, Tikka Taco and Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. There are more stalls that we did not manage to capture. We guesstimate there are about 15 stalls.
Each stall has a large touchscreen menu with which orders are placed in conjunction with the buzzer. Here are some random pictures of some of the food menus to give you a rough idea of the food to expect at Picnic Wisma.
It was not easy to decide from such a wide range of choices. In the end we settled on a lobster grilled cheese sandwich ($18) from the sandwich stall (the name of which I cannot remember) and beef noodles ($13) from Taiwan Treasures. The lobster sandwich was very good. It was nicely grilled. There were chunks of lobster in the sandwich and the condiments within the sandwich were well-balanced in taste.
The portion of beef noodles was quite small. The taste of the stewed pork was very good. The noodles had good texture. But the soup was a bit too salty for our liking.
On a separate trip, we tried the Beef Bulongi Tacos ($13) from Daebak and Korean Fried Chicken with Truffle Fries ($12) from WWCD. The tacos were average. The chicken was coated in a crispy batter and drizzled with a sweetish sauce. It was delicious.
Overall, the Picnic Wisma Atria food hall, is an interesting addition to the dining scene at Orchard Road. We have not tried enough stalls to come to a definite conclusion about Picnic, but initial impressions are positive. The dining area is artificial but pleasant and the staff in attendance were helpful and courteous. We will certainly return to try more of the food here.
Wisma Atria, #03-15
435 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6734-8352
10am to 10pm
(trucks start at 11am, last order at 9.30pm)