Friday, August 08, 2014

Portico, Alexandra Road

I guess my primary interests in Portico (#01-10, 991B Alexandra Rd, tel : +65 6276 7337) was due to Leandros Stagogiannis (doesn't that guy look like Mike Portnoy) who had previously been chef de cuisine at Saint Pierre, head chef also at the defunct Fi53fty Three and had previously been doing pastry at The Fat Duck. It makes for an interesting resume for progressive/modernist cooking with Asian influences. And that they served sweetbread on menu.

Which was unfortunately not available when we were there.

On hindsight, there were hits and misses from what we've had. More hits than misses fortunately, and then some thoughts. It's not a full measure by any yardstick of the food at Portico, just some of my thoughts on what we ate.

grape and quinoa salad, sugar snap peas and fresh raspberries

This salad was chilled and refreshing. The quinoa was properly cooked, the raspberries tart and the grapes sweet. A simple medley of flavours and textures. That being said, I could probably reproduce this at home with the exception of the watermelon which seemed to be flavoured with honey. 

kombu soba noodles, truffle and crispy brown shrimp

The Japanese influence cannot be more obvious here. This was probably another thing I could try replicating. I have no idea where to get kombu soba, but I'm pretty sure regular soba would do the trick since the flavours of the seaweed were virtually non-existent. But there was sufficient salt and truffle oil and the noodles were springy that made good eating. Those little shrimps added crisp and their bit of fragrance. The flavour grows onto you. I can't figure out what those little bits of stuff in there are though.

fish and chips, crushed peas and fresh mint

Let's start with my favourite part. The crushed peas with mint was really good. It's crushed peas, mint and probably enough butter as I could tell. The flavours aren't too difficult to imagine, but it's still very delicious. Fish was actually pretty good. I hear it's locally sourced sea bass. The flesh was tender, moist and flaky at the same time clad in a thin batter. That batter seemed a little over done in the fryer though. 

What ruined this was the curly fries. Those tasted exactly like the ones that can be gotten from McDonalds. In fact, the reminder of McDonalds kinda ruined the experience. They should have stuck with regular fat chips and maybe triple fry them instead of these.

the Portico burger

The Portico burger was a little disappointing as well. I think pretty much everything worked. The toasted brioche, the cheese, the bacon and I didn't even mind their home made BBQ sauce and ketchup which were not excessively used. That's some care right there which I appreciated. What didn't work for me was the beef patty. The meat lacked the natural flavours and I read that it's a 28/72 ratio that they're using. Omakase Burger makes better tasting patties than these. Seriously not cool. And these overdone fries, again are a sore reminder of McDonald's. I certainly expected much better for those.

tart aux citron and onion ice cream

Their onion ice cream with crispy fried shallots were interesting. This was a first for me and it actually works and plays nicely with their smooth and creamy lemon curd which I liked.

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