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Spanish armada docks in Bandra

Poco Loco, the most recent entrant to the Bandra hospitality market, opened its doors a week back and early on a Friday night we were the last ones to find a table for two in the small-yet-elegant eatery. A dimly-lit tiny space with dark wood tables embellished with floating candles, a bar with high chairs overlooking a contemporary open kitchen and a neatly tucked away mezzanine makes for a perfect setting for a date on cloudy monsoon weekdays.

Replacing the dull and overpriced Steak House next to Toto’s, Poco Loco’s limited-yet-comprehensive food menu and the larger alcohol range is sure to satiate the spirits of wine lovers and foodies alike. After glancing at the food menu, we plumbed for one of the four salads on offer, which was made with fresh artichoke

Salmon a La Pimienta

(Rs 180). The salad, with big chunks of artichokes, dressed with sherry balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and served on a bed of salad leaves, was basic and unpretentious. Each bite of the artichoke released a sweet taste, and we could feel its mushy texture followed by the tart of the vinegar.
Next up, we ordered for Tres L (Rs 175), a delicious mocktail with lime, lychee and lemonade.

The drink was aerated, different from its description on the menu — the lychee was the overpowering element of the drink and we could barely taste the lime. The Salmon a la Pimienta (Rs 250) and the Chorizo Y Morcilla (Rs 225), from the hot Tapas section, were served with a large portion of mashed potatoes and broccoli. The large fillet of grilled salmon was coated with a perfect seasoning, and thick and creamy green pepper sauce. The salmon was cooked right, with each flaky layer melting in our mouths, the mash was an ideal accompaniment with the fish. Absolute value for money, this.


 Paella Poco Loco

The second hot Tapas was a platter of grilled Spanish sausages tossed with bell peppers. The sausages were succulent and the well-seasoned bell peppers added a much-needed crunch to the platter. The quantity, however, was disappointing. From the cold Tapas section we ordered for Patatas Ali-Oli (Rs 120). It consisted of boiled potatoes, coated with light garlic mayonnaise and sautéed garlic. It’s something you could whip up at home, but we’re not sure the execution would be anywhere close to what their chefs managed; all we needed was a pitcher of beer.

The piece de resistance, however, was the Paella Poco Loco (Rs 525). Served in a traditional black ceramic pot, the short-grain rice, mixed with plain chicken and chunks of spicy pork sausages, was perfectly cooked. As per the menu, the Paella Poco Loco should have included seafood along with pork and chicken, but we couldn’t find any.

We noticed orders being cancelled and a few deliveries returned by customers. Our orders were mixed up, forgotten and our food arrived an hour after placing our orders. However, these appeared like start-up troubles, and the food and courteous service more than made up for these hitches. Poco Loco hasn’t begun to serve desserts yet, but the owners intend to introduce light and simple Spanish treats soon. We can’t wait!

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