Portico – Singapore

Sometimes the hunt for good food takes me to far-flung places in SIN City. Ok, SIN City is quite small, but some places can be a mite inaccessible, and Portico is one of them.

It’s far west, near Telok Blangah station and it is located within a office complex to boot. I was lucky enough to catch the last few days of the Executive Chef Leandros Stagogiannis (who use to work in  Heston Blumenthal’s  The Fat Duck) before he leaves for greener pastures.I am not sure if the quality of the food has changed since his departure, but when he was there it was delicious.

Check this out.

Sweetbread with onion ouree and heart of palm salad

Sweetbread with onion ouree and heart of palm salad

I am glad to say that my first experience with sweetbread is a positive one at Portico. For the unenlightened, sweetbread is a gland from a bovine, usually the pancreas. Portico’s is breaded, deep fried and tastes like a crispy meatball. The sweet onion puree and palm cuts through the greasy and meaty sweetbread making the dish slightly lighter. I am certain a few people might be able to finish off the plate on their own, but I’d suggest sharing this over a pint of beer.

Fish & Chips, Beef Cheek, Kombu Soba

Fish & Chips, Beef Cheek, Kombu Soba

I absolutely loved the Fish & Chips at Portico. It was fried the British way -i.e. in beer – and comes with a side of curly fries and fresh mint mashed peas. The fish is freshly caught every day from Pulau Ubin and it shows in the flaky and meaty fillets. The beef cheek is essentially a boeuf bourguinon with some potato emulsion and balls of snow pear. The snow pear added an interesting dimension to the dish with its crunchy sweetness. It made the fatty texture of the beef cheek less cloying. The lightest main of the lot is probably the Kombu Soba Noodles with truffles and crispy brown shrimp. It has a comforting savoury taste from the soy sauce and brown shrimp. The truffles also added richness and aroma to the dish.

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The desserts were a little hit and miss for me at Portico. The Manjari H20 ganache with sweet corn ice cream and cashew praline was veering towards the modern western side with the scattered plating and chocolate soil, but surprisingly this was one of the better desserts on the menu. The chocolate was rich and velvety, and the accompanying components matched it well.

The tart citron was a complete disappointment as the filling was too runny for my liking and I didn’t care much for the plating either. The ice cream that came with it was infused with onion oil and garnished with fried onions. I don’t know why they would ruin a perfectly good tarte citron like this but this is definitely one of the times where the saying “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

Not a bad place to visit on the weekends when the live band comes to play. Just don’t order the lemon tart.

Visit www.portico.sg

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