Portico – Dinner

It’s Restaurant Week once again and I decided to use this chance to try out some restaurants which are new to me. I haven’t been actively looking for new places to try recently because it seems like the standard of food overseas is so much better and most local restaurant serving non-local food tend to disappoint. Looking through the list I found a few restaurants which I’ve wanted to try after hearing about them or looking at their pictures and Portico is one of them.

What attracted me were the style of food (creative) and the ambiance of the restaurant. The restaurant is located off-town but yet not too secluded. It is 5 minutes away from Labrador Park MRT and situated in a building that doesn’t look like it has restaurants open to public. It was night time when I reached, hence no pictures of the surroundings, but it was somewhere more special than the usual shop house or shopping mall restaurant. It was like a hidden gem within over crowded Singapore.

The restaurant itself was big and spacious and the furnishing was modern and clean looking with lots of wood. The alfresco seating looked appealing too and there’s an outdoor swing. There are good pictures on the website which definitely depicts the ambiance better than my description. The ambiance of this restaurant is rare in my opinion and scores well in my books. While night time can be charming and romantic, I would think it would be even nicer with daylight.

For Restaurant Week dinner, the 3 course menu cost $35.00++, which is very value for money for a dinner like that in Singapore. Every course is fixed without options. Luckily for me, I do like the options on the menu.

63 deg egg, smoked duck breast, onion soubise, chocolate and garlic soil

The egg was perfect, like all eggs cooked sous vide should be. The duck breast was flavourful and I liked how it was tender enough and well flavoured. The chocolate soil was interesting. I wouldn’t imagine having chocolate with duck but this combination turned out alright and I liked how it gave texture and innovation to this dish which would otherwise be boring without it.

Charred onglet, shallot petals, caremelised yam puree, bacon and pea ragout, bitter chocolate and beef sauce

I conclude that the theme for this set dinner is chocolate, since everything had chocolate in it. While it was fine for me, more traditional eaters may not enjoy having a sweet sauce for a savoury dish like steak. The beef had a doneness which I like even though I did not request (or rather, was not asked) for the doneness. It was well charred with subtle saltiness from salt granules and the meat was not too dry despite being onglet/hanger steak which is way less fatty than the usual steak cuts like ribeye. This cut of steak can easily taste animalic but I found that they handled it well and it tasted fine. The portion of beef given was quite substantial too.

However, I found that there were too many sides in this dish – potatoes, tomatoes, bacon and pea ragout, yam puree, shallots – and I think found excessive sides overwhelming. I mean, I could finish everything and everything on it’s own tasted fine, good even, but put together it was too messy to appreciate the beauty of the dish.

The Blackforest

Again there’s chocolate element in this last course. The name does not sound appealing to me because I do not like blackforest cake, but I was surprised by how beautiful it looks and even more surprised that it tasted so good. The chocolate crumble fizzes in the mouth and I found this dish very fun to eat. When eaten in combination it really does taste like a blackforest cake, especially with the kirsch cherry. This is basically a deconstructed blackforest cake with fizziness and vanilla ice cream – which makes it better than the regular cake.

Overall I really like this restaurant. The unique charm of the restaurant itself already won my heart but I liked it even more for the creative food. I was most pleased with the dessert and would like to try more creations from this restaurant in future.

*****

Ambiance: 9.5/10
Food: 8/10
Value: 8/10 (restaurant week)
Overall: A hidden gem in Singapore. Worth a try if you are looking for somewhere unique.

*****

991B Alexandra Road
#01-10
Singapore 119970

Tel: 6276 7337

*****

Tuesday – Friday:
11:30am – 3:00pm

Last Order at 2:30pm

Tuesday – Saturday:
5:30pm – 11:00pm

Last Order at 10:00pm

Saturday and Sunday:
10:30am – 3:00pm

Last Order at 2:30pm

Closed on Mondays

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One thought on “Portico – Dinner

  1. Hey I agree that the location is rather unique! I stay nearby so I pass by this place everyday. It is located in an area where there’re more offices than homes for people to live in, yet it is not exactly a shophouse, That is why to you it is like a hidden gem. After reading your review I’m quite tempted to try the food there! The price is reasonable & I’m a dessert lover! It’s my favorite part of a meal. If you as someone who dislike blackforest can fall in love with this dessert it must very good! Pleasing to both the eyes & the stomach…

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