Time Out says
I have a theory: we are all – to varying degrees, granted – children at heart. By this, I don’t mean we are childish (although many of us are) or immature (even more could be reasonably accused of this). I refer to the fact that we still can be, and are, enchanted by simple little things like a perfectly quirky little caféatelier, where menus are meticulously printed by hand on equally meticulously stitched little cloth squares, and where every nook and cranny is jammed with memorabilia that evince little cries of pleasure at the sheer whimsy of it all.
And whimsy is what Poco Handmade has in spades. This minute little café is essentially a studio for the artist owner, with a few tables at which punters can dine while admiring the arts and crafts that form the backbone of the inspiration for the décor of this quirky little space. Hand printed pictures with unexpected messages like ‘I am so over your questions’ are hung on walls, while a long retired bicycle has a new lease to life as still art, replete with straw carrier basket and other adorable accoutrements; it’s Hello Kitty for adults and customers are lapping it up.
This play-like quality seems to have pervaded the kitchen as well. For although the simple Japanese food is decent enough, there is something about it that evokes more than a passing memory of mucking about in the kitchen as children.
A wonderfully springy chicken roll replete with chicken ham, crabstick and other tasties makes a perfect snack for adults and kids alike, while the abura-age sushi is typically excessively sweet and is here topped variously with flying fish roe, hijiki and a crispy pink fish floss. Main course proferrings include the unagi don with reassuringly fluffy rice and perfectly hot miso soup, and other standards like the ebi with soba — the soba a touch too mealy for my taste — and chicken katsu curry don, which came with a vapid curry sauce that did little to complement the competently fried chicken cutlets.
Judging from the number of shutterbugs clicking away when I was dining there – every table literally had cameras ranging from SLRs with multiple I-mean-business lenses to point-and-shoot snappies – I suspect however that food is not the main draw at Poco: it’s the promise of eternal childhood that Poco affords that’s so enticing, and the punters are, understandably, mesmerised. Fay Khoo
1, Lorong Kurau, Taman Bukit Pantai, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2287 5688
Opening times: Open daily except Mondays, 12noon-9.30pm
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