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Portico @ Alexandra Road June 24, 2014

Posted by gurkhason in media invite.
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Portico Hungarian Pork Collar Kebab and Paprika Fries

It has been awhile ago that I have dined in Portico, a new casual dining eatery located at Alexandra. Actually I wanted to keep it as my best kept secret, but I couldn’t resist to recommend this gem of a find to my many friends who solicit for good dining ideas because I am a “food blogger”.  Might just as well to blog about it so that more people will get to know about this.  This is the ultimate utilitarianism!

Portico Bar Counter

Portico actually means “porch” in Italian leading to entrance of a building.  This cosy dining café, restaurant and bar comprise of a main dining room, a bar and lounge area as well as a open area that allows diners to dine in lush greeneries of edible herbs and plants.  Don’t be surprised some of them are used in the dishes that the chef specially whip up for its customers.

Portico Exterior

Portico is a great place to knock a few beers after work, or have an idyllic brunch on a weekend.  It is perfect for any occasion like baby shower, birthday celebrations and ceremonial ROM party.  I really love the lush greenery at the porch area.  At day time, the picturesque surround are calming and as night falls, the area become charming as Portico becomes an inviting house.

Portico Interior

To create a comforting dining environment, the team at Portico specially hand-picked their furniture to create a homely feel.  As you relaxes your senses, the entire dining experience becomes more wholesome, pleasant and enjoyable.  Most diners now go beyond the food to picking the right venue for a relaxing meal.

Portico Crispy Soft Shell CrabCrispy Soft Shell Crab ($9.50)

The crispy soft shell crab are good as snacks to begin the meal.  Probably a good idea to order with a cocktail. I had this paired with Kaffir Royale, a sweet cocktail with the aroma of kaffir lime leaf.

Portico Fried Herb Crusted ChickenFried Herb-Crusted Chicken Wings ($7)

These herb-crusted chicken wings were made of mid-wings that is left with a single joint.  As such it is like eating ribs.  While the herb crusted chicken wings is flavourful however I found it is a little too dry for my liking.  The chicken wings are serve with tomato and ginger, garlic and coriander chilli salsa which makes it more refreshing than eating on its on.

Portico Grape and Quinoa SaladGrape and Quinoa Salad, Sugar Snap Peas and Fresh Raspberries ($14)

Another interesting item I have tried is the Grape and Quinoa Salad with sugar snap peas and fresh raspberries.  This dish is stimulating to senses as you can see the colourful and vibrant display of the salad and the taste the contrasting texture of the ingredients.  The benefits of quinoa is plenty:  it is high in protein, gluten-free and is a complex carbohydrate with low glycemic index and hence good for weight management.  I really like the refreshing taste of this salad.

Portico Crispy SweetbreadCrispy Sweetbread, Onion Puree and Heart of Palm Salad ($17/$29)

As I indulge on the sweetbread, it was revealed that the sweetbread is quite a misnomer.  It is not a “sweet-bread” but the thymus gland of animal.  I like particularly the onion puree that complement well with this interesting dish.

Portico Kombu Soba NoodlesKombu Soba Noodles, Truffle and Crispy Brown Shrimp ($16)

Fan of truffle would love this soba noodle dish that is accentuated with rich truffle oil.  The soba noodles were a little chewy flavourful.  There are crispy brown shrimps to give an different texture to the taste bud.

Portico Sea Bass Fish and chipSea Bass Fish and Cips, Crushed Peas and Fresh Mint ($19)

Portico Seabass fish and chip

Another of my favourite dish is this sea bass fish and chips that is lightly battered and cut open to an almost snow white flesh.  One surprising fact is that the sea bass is actually locally sourced  from a farm in Pulau Ubin; a offshore island in the north-east of Singapore.  The crushed peas and fresh mints is unique and pleasing to the palate leaving the otherwise greasy dish a refreshing note.

Portico Hungarian Pork Collar KebabHungarian Pork Collar Kebab and Paprika Fries,
Crusty Bread and Tsatziki ($13/$24)

Another crowd pleaser is the Hungarian Pork Collar Kebab that is from Hungarian Pork.  The woolly Mangalica pork not only has lots of curls, it has lots of lard too.  Do you know that they nearly went into extinction in the 1900s and were saved by the Hungary Scientists. Although known as the most fatty pig, however its fatty meat is high in omega-3 acids and natural antioxidants.

Portico Red Wined Braised Wagyu Beef CheekRed Wine-Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek and Bourguignon Sauce ($27)

I am also impressed with the succulent braised wagyu beef cheek that is so tender that every bite just integrates the beef cheeks in the mouth.

Portico Dragon Fruit Mango and Lychee Shaved IceDragon-Fruit, Mango and Sugar Snap Pea Fruit Salad
Lychee Shaved Ice ($13)

When it comes to dessert, my favourite would be the above.  The special highlight must be the delightful lychee shaved ice that is both refreshing and uplifting.

Portico Tart Aux Citron and Onion Ice CreamTart Aux Citron and Onion Ice Cream ($14)

Onion Ice-cream is certainly unimaginable, however I report that I actually love the taste of the creamy onion ice-cream.  It is rich in taste and flavour but yet does not overwhelm.  Surprisingly, it actually blends well with the lemon tart acidic citron taste.

Portico Manjari H2O Ganache and Sweet Corn SorbertManjari H2O Ganache and Sweet Corn Sorbert
Roasted Hazelnuts and Cashew Praline ($16)

For the chocolate lovers, the manjarin H2o Ganache is a must order.  Manjari is made of 64% dark chocolate and a special technique was used by adding chocolate to water (instead of cream) to create the ganache.  As such, there is no cream to take away the natural flavour of the chocolate as usually the cream will mallow away the flavour of the chocolate.  The natural sea-salt is sprinkled on the entire rendition of the dessert to bring a sweet and salty finish.

I had such an enjoyable dinner at Portico that it has been one of the finest casual dining café and restaurant bar I have visited this year.  I wish more places will serve such fine, innovative, interesting and honest food that will keep itching me to come back for more.

Portico
991B Alexandra Road
#01-10
Singapore 119970
Tel: 6276 7337
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 8am to 11.30pm
Saturday: 11am to 11.30pm

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