As an affordable Italian restaurant in Singapore, PocoLoco is a gem waiting to be discovered. Tucked away in the Upper Thomson neighbourhood, you could easily miss it if you don’t pay attention.
Reviewed as “Food King Good”, they started off at Ang Mo Kio and has expanded to Jurong (Snow City Level 2), Royal Square@Novena, Yishun Wisteria Mall, and Upper Thomson – all slightly off-the-radar locations.
PocoLoco is known to take quality Italian-sourced ingredients and transform them into affordably-priced dishes.
After all, Italian food is often seen a premium cuisine.
Aside from the imported raw materials, it often requires well-trained culinary and service staff for full table service, adding to the cost of running the business.
It is quite different at PocoLoco. Since it started off at the heartlands of Singapore, and continue to sell their food at “heartlands prices”.
If you have a thirst for European cuisine, check out these recommended dishes, lifted from its well-executed menu. You may find Japanese influences here and there, but Italian cuisine is at its core.
A must-try pasta is PocoLoco’s Tagliolini.
Tagliolini, what? Actually, it’s not tagliatelle either. Both are traditional egg pasta cut into ribbons, so let’s say tagliolini is tagliatelle’s lesser known cousin. The difference is in the ‘taglia’ or cut, with tagliolini strands around 2-3 mm wide.
Enjoy this pasta with a Japanese-inspired cream sauce with mentaiko (marinated cod roe) from the Chubu region of Japan.
The spicy cod roe which imparts that orange-pink colour, giving it slight spiciness which complements the buttery, creamy sauce.
Uni Tagliolini ($21.40)
A variation of the previous pasta is Uni Tagliolini. This time, they use fresh Hokkaido sea urchin in the sauce, bringing a sweet taste with a faint scent of the sea.
It is prepared pepperoncino style – if you love a dash of spicy, these pickled pepperoncini peppers (a.k.a. Tuscan peppers) will add a lightly sweet heat tang to your pasta.
When you mix the sea urchin into the pasta, you get that rich, buttery and ‘sea-taste’ in the mix.
Order this as your main or even as just an appetizer, if you’re planning to go all in.
Smoked Tuna ($14.90)
It’s hard to imagine going Italian without a pasta dish in your meal. Try their Smoked Tuna Pasta served with a creamy cheesy sauce.
The gorgonzola, a type of fresh, blue-veined cheese produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy, adds a biting taste that cuts through the creaminess of the sauce.
It also adds buttery, salty notes making this a savoury pasta through-and through.
Fegato D’oca ($18.70)
Fegato di oca aka foie gras is one of the premium ingredients you’ll find laden on your dish.
A slice of this luxury food product made from duck liver is topped over a plate of risotto.
A Northern Italian rice dish, the risotto is cooked with a flavourful broth until it becomes creamy. Order this to experience a blend of rich and velvety flavours in your palate.
Canelloni Ripiene De Angelo ($17.00)
Moving on to filled pastas, this canelloni dish uses minced lamb drenched in white béchamel sauce as its filling.
The large, green-coloured tube pasta is hand-made fresh to achieve a quality product (boxed pastas are a no-no).
If you love layered pastas like a lasagne, your palate will be familiar with this style of filled pasta.
Pollo De Senape ($18.10)
Another main you could try is the Pollo de Senape (senape is mustard in Italian), especially if you prefer white meat.
Using chicken tenders, they saute the strips of meat in a creamy sauce spiced up with mustard. Mushrooms are also thrown in to add a depth of earthy flavour.
Roasted Pork Rack ($23.50)
If your eyes roll in delight at the sight of a beautifully roasted rack of pork, then this could make you go mamma mia.
Made with Iberico pork, the rack is well-seasoned and cooked tender and juicy that its meat comes right off the bone.
A thin layer of salsa verde adds a mustard-like taste that complements the flavour of pork.
Some of the popular starters at PocoLoco include Bruschetta ($5.90), Gamberi – sautéed prawns and butter, garlic and lemon ($9.50), Vongole ($11.70), and Portobello ($13.80).
A recommendation is to start off your meal with different types of mushrooms, sautéed until soft and al dente to the bite.
This dish also makes good vegetarian option – as an appetizer or a side dish to your creamy pasta.
This seafood appetizer combines the delectable crunchy of deep-fried calamari with the piquant kick of a spicy tomato sauce.
Using fresh squid that has been sliced and evenly battered, this dish is a delight to bite. Make sure you savour it right after the dish is served to maximize its crisp-level factor.
Zuppa di Riboluta Toscana ($9.50)
Next up is an Italian soup, prepared particularly Tuscan-style. It combines assorted vegetables and complements their nutritious profile with a boost of flavour from Parma ham.
This type of dry-cured ham (sometimes called Prosciutto di Parma, comes from the Parma region of Italy. Its saltiness and tremendous flavours add a remarkable flavour to this soup.
So cosy up and enjoy the warmth of your zuppa with the accompanying homemade toasted bread.
Tiramisu ($8.50) and Panna Cotta ($5.90)
End the meal with sweet treats, such as Panna Cotta ($5.90), Tiramisu ($7.90) and Matcha Lava Cake ($11.70).
PocoLoco has made it easier for us to enjoy quality Italian food at pocket—friendly prices.
PocoLoco – Upper Thomson
215F Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574349
Tel: +65 8436 3363
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm Last Order 2:30pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Mon – Fri),
12pm – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Sat, Sun, PH)
Reservation Online – PocoLoco
PocoLoco – Novena
Royal Square @ Novena, 103 Irrrawaddy Road #02-08 Singapore 329566
Tel: +65 8699 6664
PocoLoco – Yishun
Wisteria Mall 598 Yishun Ring Road #01-37/38 Singapore 768698
Tel: +65 8826 1919
PocoLoco – Ang Mo Kio
408 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-779 Singapore 560408
Tel: +65 8436 3363
PocoLoco Microbrewery – Jurong
Snow City Level 2, 21 Jurong Town Hall Road Singapore 609433
(Alight at Jurong East Station on the East West Line and walk 10-15 min or transfer to Bus No. 335 or 66.)
Tel: +65 8438 3833
Opening Hours for all PocoLoco outlets:
Lunch 12pm – 3pm Last Order 2:30pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Mon – Fri),
12pm – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Sat, Sun, PH)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with PocoLoco.
These are not heartland prices! I was under the impression that the pastas were affordable, but I ate at the hawker centre instead after seeing the prices at their AMK outlet.
The article stated that: “* This entry is brought to you in partnership with PocoLoco.” and has the Tags “Advertorial”. Everyone knows that the term “heartland prices” refers to prices around S$4-6, so using the phrase is a tad misleading. Yes, it is true that good italian food and imported ingredients are not cheap but should not misuse the term “heartland prices”. Let’s call a spade a spade. Maybe should just stick to term “affordable”. Other than that, I can say their food is good (at least for the Snow City outlet which I tried).
For the price that’s at Poco Loco, it was not worth it at all.
Risotto with mushrooms, the mushrooms are squashy and unrecognisable with hard rice.
Pasta nero taste bland like added only the ink in?
The worst of all is the Tiramisu. Seems to made out of cream. Yes fresh cream the worse of any tiramisu that was tasted before.
It’s not economical for the taste at all. Might as well go pastamiania for this kind of price. A real Italian food is not like that at all.
Besides this, the waitress dropped the caramari and ignored the fact that she dropped!