Pique Nique, Takashimaya
Pique Nique reminds me of a little girl's tea room, where everything is so pretty and girlish. The most exquisite desserts can be found here, ranging from light fluffy cupcakes to decadent chocolate-based ones. The savouries are centered around American comfort food, so you get up to 10 varieties of burgers, 5 types of hotdogs, and 5 different macaroni & cheeses. This is a heaven of sorts for Ernie, who loves all things cheesy and recommended this place.
Pique Nique occupies the spot previously tenanted by Macdonalds in the basement of Takashimaya, beside KFC, so I understand that they can get quite busy on weekends and peak dining hours. However, the cafe was barely filled when Ernie and I had a weekday lunch. I have to say that despite the fact that there weren't many diners to handle, service was disappointingly lackluster. The staff were generally lethargic and out of sight so much so that we had to walk over to the kitchen serving counter to place our order ourselves because there was no one around for us to wave over! It was as though the staff were taking their self-appointed siesta. This was very disappointing, because I'd have expected more of a place helmed by someone of Les Amis pedigree (i.e. Chef Pang Kok Keong).
Food-wise, they were pretty good. Somehow, Pique Nique manages a lighter, more delicate version of the usually very hearty American style. A little pricey, but relatively worth the quality of food.
The Grilled Cheese Toast ($7) is a set of thick sliced crusty toast grilled with 4 different cheeses, American, mascarpone, gouda and cheddar, for a multi-layered flavour.
The Mushroom Mac 'n' cheese ($14) with elbow macaroni, gouda, mascarpone and roasted field mushrooms was balanced and light, creamy but not overly rich, pleasant to the last bite.
I loved the Hot Chilli ($5) with a cheesy melted cheddar topping.
The chilli was robust, unusually spicy (for "ang moh" food) and complex in flavours. Possibly the best version of this American staple I've tried.
391A Orchard Road
Tel: 6238 6705
Open daily from 10am to 9.30pm