Ever stepped foot into an “atas” food court? If you haven’t, Essen @ The Pinnacle should be your very first stop.
Featuring a wide array of modern stalls, including the popular Garçons and Two Wings, the indoor food court boasts a mixture of Western Mediterranean and fusion cuisine. If you’re looking at getting restaurant grade food at an affordable price, this is your best bet.
Patrons can choose between the al fresco dining or the indoor seating, which is not only spotless but also has air conditioning installed within. With a great ambience and a fuss free setting, this is almost as good as dining in a restaurant itself.
My favourite part of the food court is definitely the wide variety of bottled alcoholic beverages they have on display. You can expect to find everything from cider to craft beers, and even beer on tap.
For starters, we had a go at the Mushroom Beef Burger ($14.90) from Burger Buddies. For those who are fond of mushrooms, you will be thoroughly satisfied with the generous serving of shiitake mushrooms slapped on top of a thick slab of beef patty.
Topped with cheese, the ingredients are sprinkled with parsley and wedged in between two perfectly grilled sesame buns. To complete the set, a side of criss-cut fries were served, as well.
We couldn’t pass up the Wings In Salted Egg Sauce (12 pc for $16.90) from Two Wings. Served on a wooden board, each wing was evidently crisp from the frying batter and boasted a delectably juicy flesh within.
While it was a tad oily from the salted egg marinate, the flavours were definitely more elevated than the regular chicken wing. Pair this with a fresh pint of craft beer, and I guarantee that you will be contented with your meal.
Everybody loves pizza and we’re clearly no exception, so we tried the Smoked Duck Pizza ($15), one of the more unusual offerings from La Stalla. Baked to order, the pizza came fresh from the oven and was still hot when it was served to us.
Unlike major pizza chains, which often have thick crusts, this one was thinly made and notably crispy at the edges. The feeling of eating handmade pizza is truly indescribable. I just wished they were more generous with the smoked duck.
There’s no way we could leave without first having the Black Mussels & White Clam In Japanese Sake Bath ($15.80) from Wild Wild Catch. The flavours of the sake broth were so intense that I practically slurped up most of the soup before I even got to the clams.
The juicy white clams were fresh and absorbed most of the garlic and herbs from the broth. The best part was definitely the flecks of chilli padi hidden within.
This came with a side of garlic bread, which I was rather disappointed with; it’s just regular white bread with butter slapped over it. If they could improve on this, it would surely make for a great combination together with the clams.
To round off our meal, we had the Crispy 12-Hour Belly Of Pork ($16.90) from Garcons. We really enjoyed the crispy and juicy pork belly slices as it had just the right ratio of fatty and lean meat. The delicate tenderness of the meat contrasted perfectly with the crunchy crackling skin on top.
Accompanied with a side of mashed potatoes and mesclun salad, this would make for a hearty meal on it’s own or a sharing platter among a few. The mashed potatoes were particularly creamy and the honey-balsamic vinaigrette provided a nice tanginess that complemented the overall flavour of the pork.
With hawker stalls becoming more modernised and food courts catering to gourmet food palates, Essen is just one of few that has re-invented the concept of a food court. Offering something a little different from the usual food courts we’re so used to frequenting, the quality of food from each stall here is definitely worth coming back for.
Expected Damage: $15 – $20 per pax