Small is beautiful
Debuting with a menu dominated by small plates and fruity Latino-inspired cocktails, a modest-sized Khar tapas bar and cafe makes a big first impression
According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution! Now, while we may or may not subscribe to that pun-ridden idiom, we simply could not ignore these chuckle-inducing words scrawled across the scarlet painted wall in front of us. On a recent post-monsoon afternoon with the October sun at its peak, we sauntered into the brand new Poco Loco nestled on Khar’s busy SV Road.
Espuma de maracuyá
Our aim was two-pronged: to get some much-needed air-conditioned respite and to sample a few small plates and cocktails that seem to be the mainstay of this café-cum-tapas bar from the people behind the popular Shatranj Napoli that’s also in Khar. Done up in dark, brooding shades of maroon and purple, accentuated by dull gold hardware, and another wall featuring a quirky periodic table of cocktails, the smallish space is both chic and whimsical at the same time.
Sidling up to the bar, we ordered the espuma de maracuyá (Rs 400), a deceptively potent fruity cocktail that’s the happy coupling of a liberal pour of gin with fresh passionfruit purée, all tarted up with a dash of lime juice. We paired the drink with our first tapas plate of gambas al ajillo (Rs 400), with six medium-sized prawns sitting in a cast-iron pan, and dunked in olive oil flavoured with crisp slivers of fried garlic. This was also served with crusty homemade bread (as our attentive server pointed out) to mop up the accompanying spicy, almost neon orange Canarian mojo chilli sauce — a popular condiment from Spain’s Canary Islands.
Unable to resist the lure of one of our favourite tapas stars — patatas bravas (Rs 180), we called for a portion. And we weren’t disappointed with what our lunch companion referred to as Spanish aloo chaat that sees irregular cubes of fried, seasoned potatoes slathered in a tangy garlic mayonnaise dressing. Continuing the tapas leitmotif of our relaxed afternoon meal, we found ourselves devouring six generously plump croquetas de pollo (Rs 350) with the creaminess of the white sauce-enriched chicken mince croquettes spiced with a hint of paprika pimentone.
Gambas al ajillo
Adding some heft to our otherwise small plate-dominated meal, the tasty Tex-Mex style lamb burrito (Rs 375) was jam-packed with juicy, shredded lamb, black beans and rice. All this enrobed by a flour tortilla with its supporting acts of cooling guacamole, salsa rojo, sour cream and a cheese sauce that had split slightly and not as unctuous as we had hoped. And thus, the only minor aberration to an otherwise delightful experience.
Croquetas de pollo
Choosing to stay back in Mexico for our desserts, the beautifully presented tres leches (Rs 300) lived up to its three-milks-for-the-price-of-one claim to fame. Its evaporated milk-saturated vanilla cake component topped perfectly with a cloud of whipped cream and a duo of edible nasturtium flowers, made us promise ourselves a round two on another sunny day. Soon!
At Poco Loco, ground floor, Navish House, SV Road, Khar West.
Time 12.30 pm to 1.30 am
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Don't miss the Butterfly festival in Mumbai this weekend!