“Hola, we’re open!” reads a rectangular blackboard five beer mugs away from Toto’s Garage Pub in Bandra. Peek in and you’ll find Poco Loco, a new Spanish restaurant that has pretty mosaic tiles on the wall, and an elegant owner who walks around making recommendations. “The lamb shanks are excellent,” she’ll say and then glide away to attend to a phone call, one that we imagine is about an issue that’s taxing, yet chic. Perhaps something about how that new shipment of Chilean red hasn’t arrived yet.
The space (formerly occupied by Steak House) is cute, all warm and wooden with regular tables, high chair seating, as well as a mezzanine. The menu here enables decisive ordering, with a quick list of salads, cold and warm tapas, and entrees. The drinks on the other hand – wine, sangria and vino cocktails - make you wish you had the luxury of a long lunch. Or at least a slow sip or two.
We started with the recommended white wine Poco Loco Sangria, where instead of bobbing chopped fruit, the fresh oranges and green apple come blended in the wine. A delicious afternoon drink, as was the pretty watermelon mimosa containing tiny scooped balls of watermelon. The more we sipped, the more we quipped about the need for a festive soundtrack to our meal, as opposed to the sounds-of-the forest-ish music that was playing. Chirp on our shoulders?
Escorting our drinks was the patatas alioli, a cold plate of potato cubes drizzled with a yum garlicky, mayo sauce. Our next starter, the lamb skewer featured a solitary stick jammed with uber-juicy pieces of lamb, red and yellow peppers - small portion that’s big on taste (and price). Complimentary to our table – you must order this – was a bowl of garlic and Spanish olives marinated in herbs and spices.
For mains we got the salmon steak with artichokes and the vegetarian paella. The former featured a super fresh cut of salmon with pools of an interesting, slightly sweet saffron sauce and a side of mash potato. A good order, unlike the paella that seemed to lack both, salt and flavour. Other options on the menu include lamb shanks, grilled mushrooms and Spanish style eggs with chorizo.
Hand Held Feel
Poco Loco wasn’t serving dessert, but they did offer us a complimentary bottle of wine to take home, for being among the first customers on opening day yesterday. We didn’t take the bottle, but were grateful for its message.
Dim but not dingy, chic but not pretentious, Poco Loco with its heart-coloured drinks and sharing platters makes for a fun date night place. Plus, the restaurant’s name when translated from Spanish, means a “little crazy”. Now that sounds just like you two love birds.
Getting there: Poco Loco, shop no. 5, Lourdes Heaven, Pali Naka, next to Toto's Garage Pub, Bandra (W), approximately Rs 2,200 for a meal for two, with one drink each.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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