Located at the basement of Ngee Ann City where the popular McDonald’s used to stand, a new western casual diner is now in it’s place. Welcome to Pique Nique (that’s picnic in French, by the way).
Those familiar with the basement of Ngee Ann City would probably be surprised by the absence of the famous “M” logo fast food restaurant. In it’s place came Pique Nique, an American-style bistro that serves a good selection of desserts (think macarons, cheesecakes and pies), opened by our local award-winning pastry chef Pang Kok Keong, founder of the Sugar Daddy Group.We quite like the decor of this bistro. Spacious, informal, stylish and sort-of gave us the “outdoor” feel. That said, perhaps we were too used to seeing McDonald’s, which led us to feel that this bistro is rather, out of place. Then again, maybe it’s just us?
We think the service level is worth mentioning here but unfortunately this time round our comments will not going to be anywhere near the positive note. While we were in the queue, there wasn’t any waiting staff checking with us on the number of pax to dine-in, which kind of made us felt rather awkward standing by the entrance. Only when our turn came were we asked by the staff on the number of pax.
Subsequently, we were ushered to our table and upon deciding on what to order, we faced another problem – getting the attention of the waiting staff. We realized it wasn’t just us but the rest of the customers seem to be having the same problem to catch the crew. We are not sure since it was our first time (as they all say, first impression counts) there but we would presume that the place is really short-handed (or the quality of the waiting staff is really in question).
Nevertheless, food is what we came for so when we finally got the attention of the waiting staff, we proceeded with the order. Unfortunately one of the item that we initially ordered wasn’t available but we were only informed by the waiting staff about 5 minutes later.
This dish caught our eyes when we browsed the menu because from it’s name, we felt this should be something really good but we were a tad disappointed when it arrived at our table. First of all, the serving portion. When we removed the lid of the metallic pot, the soup was less than one-third filled. The ingredients herein are mainly made up of chicken bits, diced carrots and celery, mixed with bits of pasta but the focus of the dish, which is the soup itself, isn’t anywhere near good. To describe this dish in one word, bland. No salt or pepper were made available to us to make it better. To be fair, the bread goes rather well with the soup but it felt as though this dish was made for people who are not feeling very well (and no, that’s not a joke).
For the price we know we can’t actually complain much. Served in this dish are scrambled eggs with toasted bread and strips of bacon. Indeed a very American-ish breakfast but we expected to be offered at least some ham to go with it. What is also absent from this dish would be the butter or jam. Bacon strips are more towards the fatty side also. We are sorry for saying this but for the same price, McDonald’s would be able to serve a more delicious and hearty breakfast. We bet you would agree to that also.
Some say one would never go wrong with burgers and most of the time I tend to agree with that statement. Personally we find the Firehouse in the very least, decent in terms of taste and serving size. What you will be having would be a decent portion of beef patty accompanied with melted cheese and thin slices of pepperoni, topped with chilli sauce and green chillis for the extra oomph. We definitely would want more fries to go along with the burgers though.
Having been to so many bistros and brunch venues, we were rather surprised to find the Latte served here to have absolutely no “art” on the top of the Latte. No doubt we could ignore the visual excitement but the coffee itself didn’t wow us either.
When we first learnt about the existence of Pique Nique, we saw alot of potential in this stylish bistro and couldn’t wait to actually try this place out ourselves, only to be disappointed at the very end. Yes, we could feel that alot of effort was made to make this eatery looks good but that is as far as it goes. Neither the dining experience or the food were able to make us go crazy. That said, Chef Pang’s specialty is in desserts and we didn’t get the chance to try the desserts. Maybe..just maybe we will be back to try the desserts out.
Ratings: 2.5 foodiedoos out of 5