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Spanish Premier League

In space-starved Bandra, a new restaurant has to hit the ground running because here, people flock fast to a new joint, and flee faster from a bad one.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2012 15:23 IST
Sarit Ray

In space-starved Bandra, a new restaurant has to hit the ground running because here, people flock fast to a new joint, and flee faster from a bad one. And three out of five that promise “authentic” Italian, Spanish, Mexican etc cuisine, are fancy schmancy with the decor, but a letdown when it comes to the food.

The newest entrant is the week-old Spanish restaurant, Poco Loco, which replaces Steak House. And this one, we reckon, is here to stay. Poco Loco manages to utilise the space cleverly, and it has the vibe of a cosy, family-run restaurant; the sort that you might expect to find in a European town.

The decor is simple, with a bar area and a little mezzanine level. Paintings of matadors and a mural of a town with red roof houses inform you of the setting. The food menu features salads, mezze and mains, while there’s a separate sangria and wine cocktails menu.

The Poco Loco Sangria (Rs.250), with green and red apples crushed in white wine, is undeniably good and reasonably priced, but sticklers for classics might prefer their fruit chopped. There’s a neat wine list with a variety of international and Indian labels, which is, again, well-priced — the cheapest is a glass of Indian chenin blanc (Rs.144).

The Champinones a la Plancha (grilled mushroom in garlic and olive oil, Rs.120) is flavoured with herbs and a sauce we’re tempted to lick off the plate. The portion, however, might be too small for the Indian appetite. The same goes for the Chorizo y Morcilla (Rs.225), a platter of grilled Spanish-style sausages with capsicum.

The Patatas Bravas (Rs.120) — baby potatoes coated in a tomato sauce and a hit of chilli — is a bit like a quick-fix starter that we fancy being able to make at home.

The highlight, however, is the main course — the Paella Poco Loco (a type of Spanish rice with chicken and pork in chilli saffron sauce, Rs.525) takes time to be served (the menu says it will take 30 minutes) but it is worth the wait.

The rice is nice and sticky, and the chicken succulent. We did, however, hope for pork, and not bits of pork sausages.

What we like
* The food and decor
* Well-informed staff

We don’t like
* The minuscule mezze portions
What: Poco Loco
Where: Pali Naka (near Toto’s Garage Pub), Bandra (West)
Call: 99200 33803
What’s on the menu: Spanish cuisine, wine, sangria and cocktails
Drinking: Yes
Smoking: No