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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

[Media Invite] Saturdays with Portico Cafe / Restaurant @ Labrador area

991B Alexandra Road #01-10 Singapore 119970
Tel: 6276 7337

Being an avid cafe-hopper and food-hunter lately, I was still amazed to discover this hidden gem of a Portico Singapore located at Alexandra office area - along the rows of  commercial offices, sitting quaintly between the cross of Telok Blangah and Alexandra area.

Thanks to Openrice SG for the invite, allowing me to experience Saturdays with Portico, a fun-filled day that gives new meaning to weekend cafe-hopping.  Through interactive free activities Portico endeavours to foster a closer bond between us and our food / coffee as we understand the preparation processes. This sounded so fun, and I was excited to get my hands dirty for the planned itineraries.

Portico Singapore is a restaurant, cafe and pub all in one, perfect for diners looking for Western fusion dishes, perfect for coffee lovers to hang around on lazy afternoons, as well as perfect for those looking to unwind and chill over drinks.  The exterior boosts of a garden setting exuding tranquility while the interior sets off a charm of its own, with well-spaced tables and well-chosen paintings.

While waiting for the enticing activities to kickstart, we had a plate of Portico Chicken Wings with chilli lime dip. The chicken wings were crackling delicious on the outside, opening up to tender flesh and extremely well-marinated so one could eat these on their own.

We were divided into 2 teams, and I was with the team that tried Plating of Signature Salad of Vine-ripened Tomatoes (SGD$17.00) , demonstrated by Chef Nixon himself.  The salad looked so deceptively simple, so pretty in bright colours, and Chef Nixon prepared it so effortlessly.

Photosource: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2015/06/portico-tasting-session.html

When I tried my hands at it - with fresh ingredients of jamon serrano slices, organic quinoa and honey melon dressing -  slowly arranging them methodically while trying to recollect Chef Nixon's detailed instructions, and constantly referring to the display set.  Not bad for a first try, though not the prettiest of them all - but hey, it tasted so good because we added ingredients of our efforts, time and passion into it.

Don't you wish you were here to plate your own salad too? They have different items / dishes for you to try every week!

Next, there was a Latte Art Demonstration and Hands-On Session, where we got to watch and get amazed at how it was to prepare a hot, aromatic cup of latte. The steps of preparation looked simple, but the degree of preparation plays a part on whether the coffee would taste good or come with a sour aftertaste.

Photo credit goes to Wenxi aka umakemehungry - thank you!

I got to try out making my own Latte, complete with art, thanks to the helpful barista who ensured smooth and safe completion. During the pouring of the warm milk into the espresso, the flow had to be smooth and in the same direction, so as ensure distinctive lines for the latte art to form.  The taste was good as well, aromatic and bittersweet.

Want to try your hands at creating your own latte art? Contact Portico Singapore now.

Finally, Honey Tasting with Carl Baptista from Pollen Nation - exclusive bees protectors and honey-makers. Carl explained to us how the business got started, what it was all about, and let us try various types of honey. They also conduct education training and talks for schools etc - what a meaningful business.

The first drop was Wild Flowers Honey, instantly finding its way into many of our hearts.

Next, it was Bittergourd Flower Honey, tinged with a delicious bitterness amongst the saccharine taste - I loved bittersweet stuff so this one was for me.

Following that was Cinnamon Honey, every drop was pleasant.

Then we tried Longan Flower Honey, another drop of sweetness that made its way into our mind and soul.

Trigona Honey was next, made from stingless bees.

We also had the special Sentosa Cove Honey, luscious and fragrant.

Finally, Bee Pollen, little sand-drops of sweetness, reminding me of rock sugar grains.

I was fortunate enough to win myself a jar of exclusive Longan Flower Honey, so lovely, and one could still see the honeycomb within. I cannot wait to start consuming this precious honey.

A fellow taster bought this jar of honey for SGD$19.00.  Feel free to contact Pollen Nation for queries and purchases. Thank you Carl, for the explanation, demonstration and tasting session.

It was all in all a very well-spent Saturday, and yes, through plating of my own salad and creating my own latte art, I do feel closer with my food and drinks, and appreciate them more. Thanks for bringing that out in me, Portico Singapore as well as thank you Openrice SG for the invite!

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