August 22, 2016

Poco Loco @ Ang Mo Kio ~ Affordable Italian Grub In The Heartlands, But Food Quality Can Be Improved

Poco Loco aims to serve Italian cuisine at prices so affordable that people can have it everyday if they want to.

Located on the ground level of a HDB block in Ang Mo Kio, the eatery is causal, small, and cozy with simple furnishing.

This is the kind of place I wouldn't mind popping by when I want a no-frills meal in air-conditioned comfort while wearing my dressed-down best (ie slippers and tees lol).

On the menu are a selection of Appetizers ($3-$12), Soup ($4-$6), Salad ($6-$16), Pasta ($9-$12), Risotto ($11-$15), Main Course ($15-$20) and Dessert ($5-$10). Daily Specials (depending on the availability of ingredients) are also available

My eyes blinked unbelievably at the prices. $10 for Bolognese Pasta, and Crème Brulee is just at $5 with no service charge and GST? I hope the folks behind Poco Loco (who also runs Siam Square Mookata) are making enough business profit!

But for them to try and earn that little bit more by refusing to serve tap water while trying to push up the sales of bottled mineral water doesn't pleased customers like us in any way though.

We shifted our focus back to the food and concurred that the Burrata Salad ($16) was very enjoyable. The cheese provided a rich creaminess in the mouth, complemented by the Parma ham's saltiness and a tinge of bitterness from the rocket leaves. This is a classic "hard-to-go-wrong" combination.

For mains, we had the Chicken ($15) which was a huge let down with meat that was tough and dry. We thought it might have fared better if a fattier thigh cut is used instead of the lean fillet, but perhaps it just boiled down to incompetent cooking for I've eaten very tender and juicy fillet and breast meat before. The tasty brown sauce gave it a redeeming bite but as a whole, it has failed as a chicken dish.

The seasonal special Tagliolini in Sea Urchin Sauce ($16) was another disappointment with no uni topping nor any uni flavor in the sauce. Thankfully, there was still the Beetroot Risotto ($11). It had a lovely earthiness which wasn't too overpowering, and grains were cooked to the right al-dente texture.

My dining companions and I were divided over the food. One thought it was of decent "ok-lah-still-can-eat" quality while we two felt that it was not worth the calories. Maybe we have ordered the wrong items and other dishes on the menu might be better.

In the end we decided to cut short our losses and skipped the desserts.

An Italian meal at Poco loco might not cost much, but I don't think I would want to eat it everyday even if I can afford it. Our local food at the nearby hawker center would be more satisfying.

Poco Loco

Ang Mo Kio
Address: Blk 408, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, #01-779, Singapore 560408
Contact: +65 8436 3363
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm-3pm & 6pm-10pm

Address: Snow City Level 2, 21 Jurong Town Hall Road, Singapore 609433
Contact: +65 8438 3833
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm-3pm & 6pm-10pm

Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST (3) Correct at point of published date.

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