Molecular cocktails, uniquely imagined recipes, cosmopolitan interiors and a periodic chart that decodes the chemistry of drinks, Poco Loco’s second new outlet in Chowpatty, South Mumbai is a heady exploration of flavours.
At Poco Loco, you can’t help but feel being right at the nexus of all the action South Mumbai has to offer. A short, few minutes away from the Queen’s Necklace, Girgaum Chowpatty beach and in proximity to several other landmarks, this marks the second, new and might I say, an already buzzing outpost of Poco Loco—a Spanish and Mexican Tapas Bar.
As you pass by a busy junction on Hughes road, cars whizzing by in every direction, Poco Loco is easy to spot in a glance, standing tall and splashed in a vivid red demeanour.
Inside too, a soundless glimpse of the outside bustle plays on loop, while the eyes scan the colourfully decked up interiors—red is the protagonist here along with the artificial stone embeds that wrap the body of the restaurant. What I love especially is how Poco Loco does not have to push too hard to bring out its boho-Mexican theme. Of course, its menu across food and drinks does give that fact away, but the huge dangling cane lights, a high ceiling festooned with faux green leaves and large arched windows do a fair good job in teleporting you to Mexico.
First, to the bar
The bar perched right in the vanguard of the entrance naturally became my focal point, where I learnt how seriously Poco Loco takes its business of cocktails. This space is lined up with a few high bar chairs and the bar’s facade is carved out of stone-esque white terrazzo from Spain. I am handed a detailed menu that reads out not just a selection of spirits but also a whole bevvy of craft concoctions—molecular cocktails, in-house cocktails, martinis, frozen margaritas, Spanish and Mexican classics. The keyword here is diversity.
The new address of Poco Loco also stirs up a low-cal (or low-calorie) section, pouring interesting substitute drinks for sugar-based cocktails along with a fresh fruit range. You can go for their date syrup to sweeten up the drinks. With chemistry at the core of the restaurant, one witnesses a periodic chart stamped on the wall, graphic and colour-coded, illustrating all the varieties of spirit compositions it creates.
First up, before taking the designated seat, I ambled to the bar to ask the mixologists for recommendations instead of guessing and random-picking it myself. After a few shortlists, I called for Coco Loco. Concocting the drink on the counter, the young mixologist poured in measured portions of white rum, vodka and tequila in the shaker along with some coconut water, coconut cream and ice cubes. After a good clattering shake, the drink was poured into a coup glass, topped with whipped cream (which I’m told is made fresh, in-house) that’s finally smoked with a blowtorch. The result? A gorgeous, frothy, sweet dessert cocktail.
Stopping at one does not sound right, now does it? With that thought of trying another new blend, I called for Nubes En El Ceilo, that translates to clouds in heaven. Made with Baileys whisky, milk maid and cinnamon powder.
The creamy, white cocktail arrived rather fashionably in a stemless martini chiller with molecular clouds trapped under. Certainly, a sight to behold. Other few recommended cocktails at Poco Loco were Albaricoque with whisky, homemade apricot jam, Miel de Naranja with whisky, dark rum, homemade honey orange syrup, figs and nutmeg smoke and Psychotic Technic, think some dark rum, simple syrup, lemon juice topped with coconut cream.
Fiddling with food at Poco Loco
As I finally made my way to the table, Poco Loco’s owner Megha Datwani happily suggested some of the bestsellers to kick off dinner with. After a short while, Gambas Al Ajillo, a platter of shrimps doused in sizzling olive oil, garlic and cayenne chilli arrived on the table with canarian mojos. The soft crackling of the oil added perfectly to it. Its subtle flavours worked well bearing the fact that I am biased towards seafood. I also tried Gambas Habanero Pineapple, a super spicy shrimp recipe that almost had me tearing up in a good way.
The one I had to wait on the most here was Peri Peri chicken with cilantro rice. While I loved the bright yellow, saucy peri peri coulis that inundated the rice, I would have liked the chicken breast that crowned the rice to be less chewy and more cooked for it to be an all-star dish. So for the night, this one was a pass for me.
Unfortunately, I could not make it to the dessert, or the other way round, dessert could not make it to my table. Though, I prepped for another high recommendation, Tamarindo Chile Pollo. Little pieces of chicken coated generously with an in-house made mix of tamarind and chipotle chilli, paired with tamarind mayonnaise. This one won me over with its surprising balance of spice and tang. Can I have another round of this, please?
Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars)
Food: 7/10 | Drinks: 8/10 | Service: 7/10 | Decor: 8/10 | Vibe: 8/10 | One dish we loved: Tamarindo Chile Pollo
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