(Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 Blk 408, Singapore) Pocoloco is a relatively new addition to the Ang Mo Kio neighbourhood that's been getting great reviews from the big blogs. They promise upmarket Italian food at reasonable prices.
'Italian food is usually a more premium cuisine, Meaning premium prices. Why is it so expensive to buy Italian food in Singapore? Firstly, the cost of Italian ingredients , all imported stuff. Next, the full table and European service, manpower to do service. Lastly chefs high salary which result to restaurant has to do fine dining concept.. Pocoloco is your first Italian restaurant that will be doing something otherwise, except for the high quality food. Pocoloco will be going into the heartlands of Singapore and of course selling at heartlands price.'
The menu is simple and straightforward. Prices are indeed affordable for what they're serving up, but looking at the other tables, we started to see a problem shaping up. The portions don't exactly look 'hearty'.
The Zuppa di Funghi ($4), mushroom soup drizzled with a little truffle oil and topped with parsley. It has decent consistency with little bits of mushrooms. It's a good bowl of soup, but it's really shallow in portion.
The Calamari ($7) served looks way thinner than the chunky ones advertised on the screen, which loops through the menu way too quickly, making it hard to figure out what's what, especially when everything is in Italian, but I am digressing here...
Thin rings of tasteless and unseasoned squid coated with a thin batter paired with a slightly spicy tomato sauce which is all of the calamari's flavour. I'd recommend skipping this.
The Pollo ($15), which the menu lazily describes as 'chicken', consists of tender strips of chicken covered with brown sauce and served with vegetables and a side of mashed potato. Nothing special here and it tastes similar the chicken at my school's food court. Not too sure if I mean that in a good or bad way, but I suppose I was just expecting more from Pocoloco considering I could get a similar dish elsewhere for a third the price, it's a tad disappointing.
Manzo ($12) is probably one of the most eye-catching dishes on the menu; al dente tagliatelle that's sparingly drizzled with truffle oil, topped with parsley and cooked with three pieces of beef. Nope, you did not read wrongly, and I'm not exaggerating at all - THREE. PIECES. A shame because this is actually a pretty decent dish, but the portion is just miserable.
Fegato d'orca ($15) is a risotto that's cooked with foie gras which is goose liver. The foie gras is pretty well done; fragrant, fatty and goes really well with the risotto - a third of the risotto that is, considering the size of the foie gras. Risotto isn't too mushy and is actually pretty good initially, but gets bland after you're done with the foie gras itself.
The Tiramisu ($6) is one of Pocoloco's signature desserts, but it's just not what we were expecting. A glass containing vanilla mousse with tiramisu powder and a biscuit in the centre results in something really underwhelming, at least for us.
In conclusion, the food that Pocoloco has to offer tastes decent, but the portions are far too small. There's also a severe lack of ingredients in majority of the dishes they serve. Ultimately, this place is quite a bummer because offering miniscule portions at so-called affordable heartland prices only results in customers having to order even more items to satisfy their stomachs. After all, I'd like to believe that 'affordable' food to the most of us means that we get what we pay for in a mix of quality and quantity. I suppose this place would benefit those who would like to try several dishes in a single visit because trust me, it's possible to do so here at Pocoloco. I needed three times of a single portion to satisfy my hunger pangs and ended up spending slightly over $60. Suddenly, 'affordable' does not sound too cost-effective on my wallet anymore...
408 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-779
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
(Last call for reservation at 5pm)