Portico is derived from the Italian word “porch”, where friends and family are invited to someone’s home. I confess I may have described Portico loosely as “A Taste of Home” as I wouldn’t expect Executive Chef Leandros Stagogiannis to whip out your grandmother’s Bak Kut Teh; instead, Portico offers diners a chance to step into the homes of chefs, figuratively.
Your 3-Michelin starred chef does not have his degustation menu for dinner at home. In his kitchen you’d find a stripped down yet equally robust comfort dishes; and at Portico, you get the same hearty home-style creations in a quiet tucked away space. While I usually stay clear from self-titled “classics” like the Sea Bass Fish and Chips ($19) as even my niece could throw a fish fillet and chips into a pot of oil, I was pleasantly surprised at Portico’s offer. The fillet was fresh, with much disbelief it was fished out of Pulau Ubin, and lightly battered enough not to mask its natural sweetness.
One of my favourites has to be the Kombu Soba Noodles ($16), garnished with crispy brown shrimps. The miniscule shrimps felt more like hei-bi, but paired with the soba noodles and you have the Japanese Mee Pok should they have invented it first, with a healthier substitute to your pork lard.
Another comfort find on the menu is the Red Wine Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks ($27). A rather generous serving of beef cheeks braised to a tender touch, and doused with a flavourful bourguignon sauce atop some mash. The Pork Belly Kebab ($13/$24) could have faired better if it was not so charred on the sides; but the accompanying paprika fries made me consider trading in my pork for a larger serving of fries.
Portico offers some inventive homely cuisines; but the bigger draw is its secluded location tucked away from the hustle and bustle, and possibly, a place you can may consider bringing that first date to.
Portico Singapore 991B Alexandra Road, #01-10 Singapore 119970
Tel: 6276 7337
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 8am – 11.30pm Sat: 11am – 11.30pm