Despite being constantly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in Singapore, I often found myself choosing dining places with a more relaxing atmosphere. It does not have to be filled with crystal chandeliers or lined with intricate furnishings, just somewhere that my friends and I can dine comfortably and just chill out. In a rare opportunity, I stepped into Portico Host and felt absolutely at home.
The place is furnished somewhat like an apartment, with shelved walls and garden swings. Portico Host is also a great place for studying and hanging out with your friends!
Read to the end for exciting promotions for NTU and NUS students/ staff/ alumni!
Whether or not you’re into Instagram, the Instagram-worthy white horse and swing at Portico Host should not be missed. You can feel the breeze as the swing sways to the wind or take a selfie with their charming wooden horse. Portico Host’s alfresco areas felt a little like the front porch of a friend’s place, truly a stark contrast to the bustling surroundings. I felt pretty much at home when I was there.
However, it is good to note that the alfresco area is not very well lit at night. As such, you may wish to drop by the place earlier or get your shots captured before your dinner.
Portico Host serves a range of western fusion dishes and here’s my top 3 favourites from their new menu:
1. “Sing Chew” spaghetti (S$20)
I was never a fan of pasta until I tasted this amazing creation from Portico Host.
The Sing Chew spaghetti tasted a lot like laksa, its sautéed noodles tossed in coconut broth, mildly spicy and extremely fragrant. The broth was more like a sauce than soup (in traditional laksa), and hence thicker in texture. This dish was also topped with generous amounts of fresh seafood!
2. Tiramisu (S$13)
I’ve tried tiramisu served in pots at a handful of cafes and was delighted to hear that Portico Host was serving this exciting dessert. Chef Earn had meticulously prepared this visually appealing dish, layering the soaked cake with mascarpone cheese and cream. The “soil” at the base were actually crushed cookies to be enjoyed with ice cream.
The flavours were rich and the dessert was not too sweet, even though I would have preferred more cake than cream and cheese. The portion of this dessert in Portico Host was rather large and I found it just right when shared with another person 🙂
3. BBQ Pork Ribs (S$28)
I loved the sauce of the ribs – tangy, spicy and really tasty. The ribs were well marinated and complemented the sauce well.
However the ribs was slightly dried out and hence this dish from Portico Host only made it to the 3rd on my list 😦
If you’re more adventurous, you may wish to try Portico Host’s other contemporary dishes, such as the Seared Chicken Breast. I especially enjoyed the sweet potato puree that they’ve prepared together with the tender chicken meat. It had a lingering taste of honey, sweet yet light at the same time. Of course, there are other dishes you can choose from!
Seared Chicken Breast (S$20)
Grilled Squid (S$16)
How to get there?
Portico host is located a short walk way from Labrador MRT or ARC mall. I’d be honest that it is not a place where you can simply walk upon aimlessly. That being said, it’s not difficult to find as well, here’s a map from the nearest MRT station:
Address: 991B Alexandra Rd, #01-10, Singapore 119970
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm (last food order at 2.30pm) and 5.30pm – 11.30pm (last food order at 10pm), closed on Sundays
Tel: +65 9127 6316
About Senior Head Chef Khng Ming Earn
Currently the Senior Head Chef of Potico Host, Ming Earn or commonly known by the culinary industry as Chef Earn, he is in charge of the daily kitchen operations, food inventory management, food cost control, human resource, administrative and kitchen facility management and plan menus for the restaurants and events.
Throughout his years of culinary experience, he managed large-scale events, like 2800 pax Western sit-down dinner in 2016 and 4600 pax Asian sit-down dinner for Far East Organisation in 2015. Other events that he managed were the Australian High Commissioner – Sit down and Buffe Dinner, Singapore Tourism Board Awards at the Esplanade and the IMF 2006. Chef Earn’s strength lies in the fact that he is able to manage events with large numbers, satisfying everyone’s varying taste buds.
During the time when he worked with Purplesage Group Pte Ltd, the company won the Winner of the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence 2009 and 2010. Being well recognized in the industry, he was invited to Tokyo to be the guest chef for a week.
Chef Earn has also worked with Tung Lok Group, Kitchen Language, Kriston Food and Beverage, Creative Eateries Group of Restaurants. With a keen interest in Fine Modern & Asian Cuisines, Chef Earn is constantly looking at ways to create his dishes with new culinary techniques and liven them with his own personal flair.
For all NUS and NTU staff/ alumni/ students, don’t forget to flash your staff/ alumni/ matriculation cards for a 15% discount off your total bill! Also, you can quote my name “Dingyi” for a free soft drink, for every main course ordered 🙂 You’re welcome!
Thank you for having me, Portico Host and Smitten Team!
Have you visited Portico Host? Do share with me in the comments below!