Po is a concept by Lo & Behold Group, known for its bold, edgy and innovative concepts. Po is the flagship restaurant of The Warehouse Hotel, which is also the inaugural boutique hotel by the group. The name Po is shortened from Popo, meaning grandmother, paying tribute to her contributions to Singaporean favourite home cuisine. You will get to know her when you open the menu in the restaurant.
Entering The Warehouse Hotel, you will be welcomed by the enormous lobby, with an industrial look and high ceiling, decorated with different sizes and motifs of wheels. You won’t miss the huge bar in the lobby, complete with an extensive seating area for the patrons to chill and enjoy their drinks. On the right side after the entrance, you will find Po restaurant.
The décor at Po provided a more intimate dining experience. Nicely decorated round tables with rattan chairs, a combination of a modern dining experience with a nostalgic feel. A must-order here is the popiah, hinted strongly at the setting on the tables.
Dinner started with Belinjo Crackers ($9) served with belachan and kecap manis dip. Po served the sweet version of the belinjo crackers. It is crispy and crunchy, followed by a mix of sweet and bitter flavours. The belachan is spicy, fragrant and got POWER, according to the group.
Since everyone liked the Belinjo Crackers, we also ordered Indonesian Prawn Crackers ($9), also served with belachan, kecap manis dip. However, the prawn crackers were isappointing. There is almost no prawn flavour in the crackers and it tasted a bit dense. Stick with the Belinjo Crackers.
Soft-Shell Crab ($22). It can easily be mistaken for har cheong gai. The batter is covered the soft-shell crab to the point you can’t see the crab shape. However, the batter delivers a super crispy texture, followed by the juicy flesh of the crab. The batter is very tasty on its own, you can eat it without the lime mayo.
Otah ($18). My first impression when I bit into it was SOLID. The otah is dense, packed with mackerel, prawn paste, jumbo crab meat and homemade heritage spices. I can taste the fish, the crab meat and I am comfortable with the spiciness level. Yumz!
Charcoal-Grilled Iberico Satay ($24). Thick, plump and succulent pork skewers grilled to perfection. The meat is well seasoned and I can taste the lovely charred on the edges of the satay. The satay sauce with the pineapple is not rustic enough, I find it missing the OMPH. It will be nice to have the ketupat as well.
Popiah Classic ($32 for 1 – 2 persons, 4 skins). Since we have 6 people, we decided to order 2 sets of the Popiah Classic. The set is nicely presented. The popiah skin is served warm. It has the right thickness, soft yet bouncy at the same time.
The key ingredient is the fillings, made with pork, shrimp, bamboo shoot, bangkuang (jicama), carrots and holland peas. Stewed over a long period, the ingredients get caramelised and create a unique umami flavour. Wrapped together with sprinkles of eggs, crushed peanuts, crispy flatfish, crispy shallots, coriander sprigs, beansprouts and sweet sauce. Housemade chilli sauce and freshly ground garlic are available, but they are not getting into my popiah.
The fillings and sprinkles provided are very generous, we have a lot of leftovers. Luckily, you can order extra servings of the yummy popiah skin, to finish off the ingredients. Yum Yum.
Kurobuta Char Siew ($20). The pork collar has a nice balance of meat and fats ratio. It is cooked to the point the middle part of the pork is still pink. It has a sweet, juicy, crispy exterior and melts in your mouth. Awesome.
Paper Spring Chicken ($68). It took 45 minutes of preparation time, so it arrived when we almost finish our popiah. The whole spring chicken is stuffed with glutinous rice, conpoy, dried shrimp, chinese sausage and mushroom. During the baking process, the essence of the chicken is infused into the stuffings, while the stuffings also flavoured the chicken and help the chicken to retain its moisture. The chicken is well seasoned, juicy and succulent, however, without a doubt, the start of the dish is the rice.
We conclude our meal with Giant River Prawns Konbu Mee ($38). Po version of Hokkien Mee. The noodle is cooked with fresh river prawns, prawn stock, pork belly, pork lard and Sakura ebi. When you slurp the noodle, it was just exploding with flavours. The river prawns are sweet and fresh; however, the pork lard is too crispy for my liking.
The drink menu at Po is very extensive as it combines with the bar menu as well. It has 12 signature cocktails on the Po menu and it will be rotated regularly. I ordered mocktails Spritzerlati ($17) Melati Distilled Botanicals, citrus syrup, soda. It is refreshing, yet I can taste the depth of flavours in it.
The service is professional, attentive and helpful. The service staff knows the majority of the cocktails & mocktails plus they also help us to get extra services of belachan.
Overall, it was a great experience dining at Po. While the food might seem familiar, the team at Po elevated those using better ingredients and modern cooking techniques. The menu might be slim; however, they try to produce the best version of each dish. I recommend Po’s Otah, Softshell Crab, Popiah Classic, Char Siew and Paper Spring Chicken. Cheers!!
Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and Above
320 Havelock Road
The Warehouse Hotel
T: +65 6828 0007
OH: Daily 12.00 – 14.30; 18.00 – 22.30