The next time someone says vegetarian food is boring, suggest a visit to La Pôz Place. Not one without its missteps, but definitely full of surprising flavours!
In a country that grows increasingly hostile towards carnivores, La Pôz Place comes as a sanctuary and how. While meat might be non-negotiable for most diners, this restaurant is here to tweak your perception of a plant-based diet.
Upon entrance, you immediately find yourself enveloped in a warm yet vibrant atmosphere. Designed by renowned architect & interior designer Minnie Bhatt, La Pôz Place presents as a work of art, a promising start to the evening. The colonial building leads to a verandah flooring in pink and white marble that complements the pastel walls and the plants in the space. Between the swing in the waiting area and the wrought iron bearings for the lights, the place has a whimsical charm about it which says elevated without overwhelming.
The servers are attentive and welcoming to say the least, and politely take you through the many different customizations you can request. From vegan to gluten-free, to knowing which dishes contain alcohol or locally sourced produce, there’s some definite food for thought whilst dining at La Pôz Place.
While the menu is divided simply into small and large plates, with some pizzas and specials from the chef on offer as well, it’s interesting to note that you can regulate portion sizes as per your preference. So if something seems a lot more appealing than a small plate, don’t hesitate to ask your server if they can whip up a bigger portion!
To start off the meal on a refreshing note, we had the Caramelized Grapefruit, Malta Orange, and Hass Avocado Salad. The toasty citrus flavours of the fruits combined exceptionally well with the greens and little balls of cheese thrown in at random. However, the quantity proved to be a tad much even for a small plate, and was strangely difficult to eat. For the perfect bite, we’d recommend getting a bit of it all on your fork/spoon.
Next up was a platter of bite-sized bread with a myriad of toppings. The first one included Hass Avocado, Red Bell Pepper Jam, and Pickled Radish on a toasted slice of French Baguette. The baguette, or sliver of what was intended to be a slice gets lost amidst the competing bold flavours atop it. The toppings sound far more interesting than they tasted. That being said, it didn’t make for a bad bite, just an average one, which some consider far worse a sin. The Bruschetta of Cannellini Beans, Roasted Peppers, and Parmesan was a flavour explosion and definitely a must-try! A small bite in, I started getting overwhelmed by the sour peppers, but my friend thoroughly loved it; so I guess this one’s a debate you’ll have to settle over a plate of it.
What came as a pleasant surprise were the Plant-Based Meat Croquettes in Pomodoro Sauce with French Baguette. I was a little apprehensive about my first experience with plant-based meat, but La Pôz Place served up croquettes that really turned my opinion around. It’s evidently not meat, more like meat mixed up with some vegetables. But it serves the purpose here with the right amount of chew and tenderness without getting stuck in your teeth. The pomodoro sauce is delightfully vibrant and goes extremely well with the bread and plant-based meat.
When words like Neapolitan crust, hand tossed, and wood fired govern the pizza section, you’d be hard pressed to avoid one. We opted for the Caramelized onion jam, fresh red chilly julienne, feta and fresh bocconcini in a San Marzano tomato sauce. The name’s a mouthful, and so is the pizza. While we can’t fault the crust, there’s not much to be said for the pizza barring the diner’s journey to discover the aforementioned onion jam. With several other tempting and equally elaborate options on the menu, you might want to give this one a miss.
The large plates saw our expectations moderately high, desperately hoping for some redemption. While the menu is extensive and the ingredients impressive, it’s the failure of execution that had us worried. As we waited on our order, we were finally graced with La Pôz Place’s signature Baby Potato in Bravas Sauce, Aioli, and Rosemary Oil. The dish looks impressive in that it manages to stay true to the homey and comforting vibes of the original. The positives unfortunately end there, with the skin of the potatoes too tough to bite or cut through, and the sauce hardly packing a poke let alone a punch.
On a more upbeat note, the Textures of Mushroom, a special by the chef at La Pôz Place, definitely lived up to its name. It’s a big plate crammed with what looks like everything you can do to a mushroom and more, set atop slices of toasted bread. A little hard to cut and divvy up amongst two people aside, it’s a delicious marriage of crispy, creamy, buttery, and above all, unmistakably mushroom flavours. I actually took the fried and super crunchy enoki aside and ate it like a pakoda, but there was enough mushroom on the plate that it didn’t fully matter.
While we wanted to sample the Roasted Pumpkin stuffed in Homemade Activated Charcoal Ravioli, the server insisted we don’t miss out on the Hand Rolled Tortellini stuffed with White Truffle Oil and Green Pea as well. One bite into the ravioli, and I started to feel like I was cursed to never taste a truly satisfying one. If you forgo desires of roasted pumpkin flavours, it’s pretty decent barring a thick pasta. The tortellini tasted relatively better, but not really enough to particularly rave about.
One of the pitfalls of food reviews is the intermittent inability to breathe by the time you get to desserts. So it’s important that what’s served up is indulgent without being too heavy. La Pôz Place does deliver, but not in the way you’d expect. The Tiramisu looks textbook, with distinct inviting layers. Unfortunately, it isn’t the slightly boozy, coffee flavoured hit one would envision, but rather a pale, much sweeter version of the dish. The Panna Cotta served alongside the Red Wine Poached Fig disintegrates surprisingly quickly, but doesn’t have any faults otherwise. The Red Wine Poached Fig, however, was so decadent it could very well be a standalone item on the menu.
If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned the drinks, it’s because the mocktails on the menu come server recommended. And it definitely impresses.
La Pôz Place in all honesty is a pricey affair that promises a lot more than it can deliver. But with the dishes that do manage to work, they could leave you impressed and satisfied enough to come back for more.