Situated a mere 2-4 minutes walk away from Labrador Station, Portico Host’s location is accessible despite being hidden in a factories-looking-like place. In all honesty, you would think that the entire location would be closed after 1800 given the stillness and serenity surrounding it.
Portico believes strongly in hosting guests just like how they would, in their own homes. Therefore, think classic homely dishes. But, reinvented, with a touch of finesse. This interesting concept has definitely played an essential role in helping the restaurant attain the following awards: Chope’s Diner’s Choice Awards New Restaurant of the Year 2014, Wine & Dine’s Singapore’s Top Restaurant 2016 and 2017.
The restaurant’s alfresco dining area provides a comfortable and cozy environment for you and your friends to enjoy dinner after a long day at school/work. Need a drink? Not a problem either! The bar counter is situated conveniently at the entrance of the restaurant.
Besides enjoying the Western and European style food, the white horse and swings are rather good props for a phototaking/instagram session, i’d say! So, snap away… 🙂
First dish of the food tasting session was… Grilled Squid ($16).
Squid is probably a common dish found in restaurants but the sides that came along with it at Portico Host added different layers of taste. Plated along with avocado, onion, arugula, caramelised walnut and chilli bacon with citrus dressing, you get to taste the savoury aspect of the squid followed by the sweetness of the walnut and the very subtle spice of the chilli bacon. Lastly, the tangy citrus dressing adds a little oomph to end off this dish!
Next up, we had Seared Chicken Breast ($20). You may be thinking it’s an EXORBITANT price for chicken, especially when it’s just a small, tiny weenie part of it. However, (again…) the sides are not your usual mashed potato/ baked beans. The chicken is accompanied by kumera puree, roasted vegetables, confit cherry vine tomato and a quail egg. How often do you hear of quail eggs in your dishes, much less say.. KUMERA PUREE? What’s that? (I hear you… xD) It’s sweet potato that is blended to form a delectable, slightly sweet paste! Eating chicken wasn’t just a bland affair, with the addition of these carefully chosen sides.
Now, it’s time for BBQ Pork Ribs ($28). The meat was soft and tender, making it easy to remove from the bones. I also liked that the tomato and corn were both slightly grilled, bringing a subtle smokiness to your tastebuds. One thing to note though, the ribs are marinated with a layer of sauce that’s both sweet and smoky at the same time. The taste is great for those who love their food with flavours. As for those who prefer a lighter taste, you may want to take breaks while eating this dish 🙂
Our other meat-y dish of the night was Duck Leg Confit ($26). For this dish, mashed potato, purple cabbage stew, red pepper coulis and port wine sauce are added. Upon first bite, the thin crispy skin already won me over. The meat was also cooked to a soft texture while the mashed potato had a good and smooth consistency. ( PS I really hate mashed potato with lumps in it… 😦 )
Allow me to introduce my FAVOURITE dish of the night! “Sing Chew” Spaghetti ($20) is essentially sautéed spaghetti, tossed with a variety of seafood including clams, mussels, prawns and squids. Laksa leaves are also added to the coconut broth while cooking. The end product is a plate of delectable pasta. In all honesty, the spaghetti, which is soaked in coconut broth, reminds me fondly of the familiar Laksa dish. However, the broth at Portico is definitely richer in flavours and thicker. The addition of seafood also aids in breaking the monotonous texture of the spaghetti.
As the saying goes, there is ALWAYS room for dessert. Here is Portico’s Tiramisu ($13). It consists of mascarpone cheese, kahlua, vanilla sponge, espresso and edible soil (chocolate cookie crumble). First off, A+ for the adorable presentation! Although chocolate wouldn’t usually be my #1 choice at the ice cream parlour, the one here was pretty impressive. The ice cream was creamy and not overly sweet while the soil helped to add the crunch. The tiramisu itself was also a joy to have as the ingredients complemented each other extremely well! 😀
Now, it’s time for the REVEAL- the man behind the scene at Portico Host!
Before coming to Portico Host, he has worked with Tung Lok Group, Kitchen Language, Kriston Food and Beverage as well as Creative Eateries Group of Restaurants. Having a keen interest in Fine Modern & Asian Cuisines, Chef Earn is always looking to innovate, armed with new culinary techniques. So be rest assured your tastebuds will be well taken care of at Portico Host!
- All NTU/NUS students/staff/alumni are entitled to a WHOPPING 15% off total bill (upon showing your matriculation/staff/alumni cards)
- Quote “Melissa” for a FREE SOFT DRINK with every main course ordered! (Valid until 25th September)
Address: #01-10, 991B Alexandra Rd, 119970
Nearest MRT: Labrador Park
Tel: 6276 7337
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 1130-2330