Portico, meaning ‘porch’ in Italian, symbolises the concept of inviting guests into the homely setting of the establishment. Replacing Hosted on the Patio, Porticio welcomes locals and foreign expatriates to bring their family, friends and colleagues to gather in their ‘house’. An all- day dining cafe, restaurant and bar, Portico is headed by Executive Chef Leandros Stagogiannis (formerly from The Fat Duck, UK and local outfits FiftyThree and St Pierre) who has come up with a modern Western- inspired menu of original hearty home- style creations.
The entire establishment consists of a main dining room, bar and lounge area that is situated right beside a lush garden set. From the al- fresco dining area to the interior, it is obvious to notice the team’s conscientious effort to ensure that every single detail of the ambience fits the overall theme. From the colour of the walls and the type of flooring, to every hand-picked piece of furniture and the series of unique crockery, Portico does certainly deliver what that has been promised for the experience it seeks to provide, that is not to forget the featured menu and the style in which the dishes are prepared as well.
Crispy Soft Shell Crab ($9.50)
The Crispy Soft Shell Crab here at Portico would definitely blow away the competition of its own kind. Delightfully crisp and lightly greasy, biting through some parts of the Crispy Soft Shell Crab revealed the rich creaminess of the crab roe that was utterly delicious. These tasted so good that it would be enjoyable enough just to have them on their own.
Fried Herb- Crusted Chicken Wings ($7.00)
Served with tomato and ginger, garlic and coriander chilli salsa, the way the Fried Herb- Crusted Chicken Wings were executed made them rather addictive. Flavourful and crisp, these bites would make delicious appetisers to share while waiting for the main dishes to arrive.
Grape and Quinoa Salad, Sugar Snap Peas and Fresh Raspberries ($14.00)
A rather interesting salad that is more for an acquired taste, I must say. Featuring the Quinoa- a kind of superfood that is protein rich with a variety of amino acids, contains almost twice as much fiber as any other type of grain and provides several more health benefits, the addition of the fresh bright flavours from the tomatoes, grapes and raspberries and the crunch from the peas helps to provide respite in between the mouthfuls of quinoa.
Crispy Sweetbread, Onion Puree and Heart of Palm Salad ($17.00)
Probably another dish that some might like or not- other than the breaded exterior that was fortunately not too greasy, I thought the Onion Puree (which was a tad more on the sweet side) helped the dish to be more taste- friendly. For me, I was rather fond of the number and wiped the plate clean.
Kombu Soba Noodles, Truffle and Crispy Brown Shrimp ($16.00)
The Kombu Soba Noodles, Truffle and Crispy Brown Shrimp was a number from Portico I had been looking forward to prior to my visit, and thankfully, I was not disappointed. Cooked to al- dente perfection, the strands of noodles were perfumed with the aromatic hit of Truffles and went exceptionally well with the Brown Shrimps, adding another delightful layer of flavour and texture for the tastebuds and bite.
Hungarian Pork Collar Kebab and Paprika Fries, Crusty Bread and Tsatziki ($13.00)
The huge platter would be an ideal option for those who wish to share the items with their family and friends so as to enjoy a wider variety. The main highlight, the Hungarian Pork Collar Kebab boasted a fine proportion of lean meat and fats, and the tender meat was distinctly well- perfumed with smoke and char. Not to forget those Paprika Fries that were really quite addictive and also, the Tsatziki- Greek Cucumber Yoghurt that I kept spreading on my bread. A larger serving is available for the price of $24.00.
Red Wine- Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek and Bourguignon Sauce ($27.00)
My absolute favourite for the night- a regular customer who stopped by our table, enthusiastically claimed that this particular crowd favourite is renowned for being one of the most commonly spotted dishes in the restaurant during all the times he was there. The Beef Cheek chunks were mouthwateringly tender and were nicely infused with the medley of sweet and savoury notes came together remarkably- the execution made the delicacy soul- satisfying. This is certainly a noteworthy rendition to try on one’s visit
Dragon- Fruit, Mango and Sugar Snap Pea Fruit Salad, Lychee Shaved Ice ($13.00)
This might well be one of the most refreshing desserts I have had- from the selection of fruits, the freshness and light flavours, this would make an excellent choice for those who feel rather bloated but still would like to indulge in desserts to end a fulfilling meal.
Tart Aux Citron and Onion Ice Cream ($14.00)
I was rather sold on this plate, both aesthetic and taste wise. The Lemon curd was sour-sharp but would grow on one after a few mouthfuls. The entire gastronomical experience became slightly more mild when accompanied by the Onion Ice Cream, which might be a little more tricky for it to please most of the crowd. The ice- cream boasted more of a savoury profile with a hint of sweetness and one would probably prefer to have it with the Lemon curd though I had it on its own.
While Portico might be a little out of the way for some, the trip is definitely more than worth it. Regardless of ambience, food and service, the restaurant scores. This is definitely an ideal venue for bringing your family and friends to should you be looking for a place that is not too noisy and crowded but a homely and cosy setting and where homely fare is available.
Many thanks to Ms. Hsian Ming from Sixth Sense for the kind invitation and for hosting us!
991B Alexandra Road
Contact Number: 6276 7337
Mondays to Fridays, 8.00am till 11.30pm
Saturdays, 11.00an till 11.30pm