We’ve heard many mixed reviews about Picotin, a casual eatery/pizzeria under the Saint Pierre group – A’s friend says the place smells of horses, B hated it because of a bad experience with the service, and my colleague P absolutely loves the place.
Picotin is located near Turf City, and granted, while walking from your car to the restaurant you may get a whiff or two of horse, but once you get inside proper, I assure you there’s absolute no horsey pong whatsoever. Besides an indoor bar with only bar counter seating, all dining tables are al fresco, but there are quite a number of fans going so it’s not as hot as you’d imagine. Being outdoors, everything’s quite dimly lit so it’s hell for taking photos.
A and I shared the French Onion soup, clams a la Marinere (white wine and butter), and mussels a la Parisienne (garlic butter and cheese). The soup was unexceptional, but I really like the clams. The juices from the clams, white wine and butter was absolutely addictive and perfect for soaking up with bread.
We then shared a pizza, creating our own by pairing their 4-cheese Campolina and adding smoked bacon. The pizza was fantastic – I think it’s the first 4-cheese pizza I’ve seen that lists mascarpone as one of the cheeses. The 4 are gorgonzola, parmesan, mascarpone and mozzarella. The smoked bacon added a further savoury hit. Perfect combination, if you ask me. They should add this to the menu and call it the atetoomuch pizza, har har.
Desserts were ok but next time I won’t waste my calories. The profiteroles were a bit generic – the ice cream was good but I found the choux pastry a bit hard. The chestnut crème brulee was not what I expected. I thought the crème itself would be infused with chestnut flavour or something. Instead, the entire base of the ramekin was smeared with chestnut paste, then ordinary vanilla crème was poured on top. A bit of a cop out, plus the chestnut paste was really too sweet.
Anyway, that’s about the food. About the service, though I didn’t have half as bad an experience as B, I must admit that I was less than satisfied with the overall experience. Maybe they took one look at us and assumed we weren’t worthy, because we were seated at the less crowded wing of the restaurant, and all the way at the end to boot. Or to give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe we had a largeish booking of 7.
As a result, it was quite hard to catch the waiters’ attention for anything. There’s a specials board, which I only noticed as we were about to place our order; if I hadn’t asked for it to brought to us, no one offered to do so. This is one of my pet peeves – if the restaurant has non-menu specials, make them available to everyone, and tell your guests as you give them the menu. Why make them go through the menu, decide what to order, then throw everyone off course by reciting specials just as they’re about to place their order?
Some of the waiters were quite polite, but one woman took the cake. Not a single smile on her face all night, and when P asked which of their desserts were specials and were recommended, the waitress simply said none. Good grief…
Will we come back? I’m not sure. The pizza was good, but there are other places I’d rather try first.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up after hearing some bad things about it. The food’s good but falls just short of great. The prices are also reasonable if you don’t order the mains which my friends said were very so-so only.
The setting itself is very nice and outdoorsy. They’ve got plenty of fans but if you sweat a lot like me, I’d recommend not going on a hot night.
The service is very iffy though. The first waiter we got was excellent, but everyone else seemed kinda blur.
Overall, I wouldn’t mind coming back every now and again. Just not very often.
100 Turf Club Road
Breakfast 8 am to 11 am
Lunch to dinner 12 noon to 10 pm