A girlfriend of mine was visiting me down from London with her son, and as most of us Dubaian’s do, we take our newcomers over to JBR for some much needed sunshine and R&R. Our kids had a great time at the water park and by the time it hit mid afternoon we were naturally starving.
As we were cautiously deciding on which restaurant to wreck our paychecks at, I noticed Poco Loco. The first thing that caught my eye was its tagline of ‘Latin American Flavors’ and I was curious to know how Latin it got ! Mind you, you don’t have to visit or be from South America to know good food, so I was very very curious on how this lunch would turn out.
While we were waiting for our girlfriend Zohra to join us, we decided to order some starters to calm our rumbling tummies. You can’t hit up a Latino joint without stacking up on some Tortilla chips first, so that was the first one to go down on our checklist. We also started with the Tiger Prawn skewers with Mojo de Ajo and Chives and a Crispy Snapper taco with Salsa Jalapeño, avocado and cucumber.
The guacamole was quite drab for me and I was dipping my chips into the salsa verde for more flavor. Thankfully the blandness stopped at the guacamole. I nearly snorted the snapper tacos down – I almost forgot we needed to share everything amongst three adults- luckily the kids got their kiddie meals. The snapper tacos had the right amount of crunch and flavor and were perfect delightful crisp mini bites that made a lovely afternoon even lovelier.
The tiger prawns were grilled on skewers with a juicy gravy of onions and garlic served on top. The prawns melted in my mouth but it was slightly charred and there was a tiny element of ‘zing’ that was missing. I should’ve asked for some lime wedges but I literally gulped them down – yes I was starving !
My visiting Londoner friend added a Spiced Chicken tostado and one of the main things that really impressed me about Poco Loco was the presentation ! The place dresses up their dishes in such a way that even your eyes are left satisfied. Everything looks so good that you’d feel guilty leaving anything behind.
After we were done with our starters, Zohra made it in time to order some main courses – and yes we did leave some food behind for her. Zohra had spent time in Peru and Ecuador so she suggested we try the Green Rice which is a mixture of parsley, coriander, garlic and lime.
I loved the snapper tacos and was craving more so I ordered a round of Soft Shell Crab tacos and a side of Tiradito of Sea bream, Tiger’s Milk and sweet potato chips ( ceramic blue plate). This is basically raw sea bream, very similar to the Japanese sashimi, popular local Peruvian dish. Luckily for us, my girlfriend from London skipped on the raw sea bream because Zohra and I could not get over how exquisite the Tiradito was. The sauce that it was marinated in had everything – flavor, the right amount of spice, and citrus. The sweet potato chips complemented the raw sea bream perfectly and the combination of the two were a match made in heaven.
Zohra did point out that the green rice was a bit too ‘green’, although I’ve never had it before, I do feel that it wouldn’t hurt the Chef to tone down the parsley by a few notches.
I don’t know if I liked the Snapper Taco better or the Soft sea shell Taco ! I do know I loved them both – is that really possible ? Honestly, the tacos by Poco Loco are a must-have for any foodies out there. They are mini bites of perfection that melted in my mouth and I am coming back for more.
If you guys ever make a pit stop at JBR, Poco Loco is one Latin American restaurant that should not be missed. You can also find them on http://www.pocoloco.ae