Review: Hola! It’s Time To Go Poco Loco

Wine aficionados and expats who miss their local food can go a little crazy, literally, at Poco Loco. Situated in a busy Bandra lane, one may even miss the tiny board that reads this restaurant’s name but every time the door opens, the Spanish music and aromas might just allure you in. It looks miniscule from the outside, but as you enter you realise the space has been put to optimum use without making it look too cramped. So much so that half a dining area is created on top, giving it a two level restaurant feel. We took a table for two right next to the bar and open kitchen, so we could see the bartender and chef in action. The soft Spanish guitar playing in the background makes you feel like you’re in a local European cafe, what with a mix of Spaniards, Englishmen and Indians sitting around, chatting away. Not too bad for a recently opened wine and tapas bar serving Spanish cuisine, we think.

Wine is what we love and when we saw the long list of international wines and cocktails, our dinner had to start with that. We decided on their Sangria Poco Loco, a speciality of the bartender where he puts his personal twist to the original mix. Instead of pieces of fruits floating in your wine, he prefers blending them in a mixer. A heady mix of white wine, orange juice, pineapple and other seasonal fruits, we weren’t sure about the thick texture of this Sangria, but it was a refreshing change and we like the simple crunch of invisible fruits. A smoothie of red berries sounded tempting; unfortunately it wasn’t available so we went for Tres L, a regular mocktail made from lychees, lime and lemonade. While sipping on our fruity wine, we went through a list of salads, cold and hot tapas and entrees, out of which we decided to go for the tapas first since it’s a staple Spanish snack. The Salmon Ahumado with capers and fresh dill that has six tiny pieces of smoked salmon was delightful. We loved how the salmon just melted in our mouth and its subtle taste was broken with the capers that added a tangy savour to the cold tapas. Next up was the Choriza Y Morcilla, a combination platter of grilled Spanish style sausages that burst with flavours and was a contrast to our salmon tapas. The pork sausages were juicy and well seasoned, only if they would mention that it was pork on the menu, since the diner has to assume its pork and not chicken.

We conversed with two Spanish gentlemen dining next to us while waiting for the entree; they told us how they would’ve loved a basket of bread on their table. “We eat bread with everything” they sighed but were happy to be eating what was almost authentic to their culture. The Paella Poco Loco with chicken, pork and sticky rice baked in its own pan with a chilli saffron sauce took us on a gastronomic tour of Spain and back with each bite. We loved how every ingredient went so well together in this dish and wished the quantity was more. A must try if you want to fall in love with Spanish cuisine. Our second entree, however, made us regret our decision almost immediately after the first bite. Pollo A La Brasa, half roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetable garnish was a little too undercooked. Chewy and something you might’ve tried at many restaurants before, it wasn’t out of the ordinary and we suggest you skip this one and go for a sea food entree instead.

We were hoping for our meal to have a happy ending, and it did indeed with the sinful molten chocolate cake that still gives us goose bumps when we think of it. A chocolate lover’s delight, you’ll be lucky if they have it, since the restaurant outsources it’s desserts for now. Poco Loco is definitely a great addition to the cuisines scattered around Bandra and finally, Spain is just a suburb away!

A meal for two would cost Rs. 2,500 approximately including alchohol.

Address: Shop no-5, Lourdes Haven, Pali Naka, Next to Toto’s Garage Pub, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050

- Sneha Mankani

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