Portico – This New Restaurant Stands Out With Its Homely Take
Portico was one of those restaurants I had an immediate liking to the moment I entered. The space reminded me of a living room I always wanted to have.
Then I realised Portico means ‘porch’ in Italian, and the main dining room was like a home with an external garden which can seat 100. Objectives achieved by the owners.
The first question I asked “Where they get their furniture from?” I also noticed that the framed photos contained candid pictures of their staff.
There are many (too many) new restaurant openings in Singapore, and Portico is actually one of the few I would recommend.
Helmed by Executive Chef Leandros Stagogiannis (with big beard and bigger head) who is formerly from UK’s The Fat Duck UK and Singapore’s St Pierre, there is a certain level of creativity and standard in the dishes.
My favourite items were the Kombu Soba Noodles ($16) with truffle and crispy brown shrimp, and Sea Bass Fish and Chips ($19), complemented with crushed peas with fresh mint.
The noodles were multi-dimensional in taste, with every bite triggering the taste buds with its robust flavours. Though I wished it was a notch less salty in execution, because eating an entire plate on your own may feel too much.
Comfort food won the votes of those at my table. In the end, it was the humble Fish and Chips that got us talking. We all liked the freshness of the fish, locally caught from a supplier at Pulau Ubin.
Guilty as charged, I loved the crispy curly fries most which reminded me of a certain fast-food restaurant (no longer in Singapore). Views on the peas with mint were divided – some thought it felt like toothpaste. The fish could have been fried longer than it should as it turned almost brown.
The Red Wine-Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek with Bourguignon sauce ($27) was another exceptional dish, succulent and flavourful.
Perhaps they were short-handed when I went, serving time took quite long. Some customers looked visibly inpatient.
Overall, there were more hits than misses at Portico. Its environment makes it a suitable gathering place for after-work meals and drinks, and makes it one of the more memorable recent openings.
991B Alexandra Road #01-10 Singapore 119970 (opposite Alexandra Retail Centre ARC, Labrador Park MRT station)
Tel: +65 62767337
Opening Hours: 8am-11:30pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-11:30pm (Sat), Last orders 2:30pm and 10pm
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