Pronto: Japanese-Italian Fusion Cuisine & Happy Hour Highballs In The CBD

With more than 300 branches in Japan, Pronto has made its first international foray into Singapore at Japanese gourmet enclave GOCHI. This establishment is situated near Telok Ayer and Raffles Place MRT.

All you folks working in the CBD have reason to celebrate, for Pronto is a cafe by day and bar by night.

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That means you get to have coffee AND alcohol under the same roof, at different times of the day.

True to its name (“ready” in Italian), Pronto’s staff are always ready to serve and make your experience a memorable one.

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Elements of wood, stone and cushy chairs are shrouded in warm fluorescent lighting — not unlike many Japanese concept cafes around.

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The various knick-knacks on display give off a rustic, homely vibe.

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In need of a stiff drink? Bask in the presence of whisky at the bottle-lined bar counter.

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From the Kyoto Matcha Latte (S$6.50/S$8.50) to their own take on Brown Sugar Bubble Milk Tea (S$6/S$8), Pronto’s extensive drink menu is pretty impressive.

Much to our delight, the Iced Café Mocha (S$5.50/S$7.50) wasn’t overly sweet or milky. Crowned with whipped cream, it was rich and decently dark.

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For someone whose caffeine of choice is strong black coffee, the Pronto’s Special (S$4/S$6) was a pleasant surprise.

This elegantly executed cup of Italian joe was robust and aromatic. Good enough for me.

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Pronto’s specialty is the Jim Beam Highball (S$7), expertly crafted with strong soda and Jim Beam bourbon. We opted for the dangerously refreshing Pink Grapefruit Highball (S$8) which didn’t taste like alcohol, compelling us to drink more.

Another highlight is the Japanese-style draft beers poured from a “Creamy Foam Tap” to achieve a “Golden Ratio” of foam to beer.

Oh yes, all highballs and beer pints are S$4 and S$6 each respectively during Happy Hour from 4 –  6pm. Cheers to that!

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As lunch is a casual and often rushed affair, Pronto offers a lunchtime menu of pasta and salads, all of which must be ordered at the counter.

The Scallop & Bottarga Aglio Olio (S$13) is one of the lighter options on the menu, in contrast to the heavier Salmon & Avocado Basil Cream (S$13) and Parma Ham & Rocket Carbonara (S$15).

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This perfectly al dente aglio olio may look unassuming, but don’t be alarmed once the spice hits you.

The punchy heat was balanced out by the fresh scallops and asparagus but eventually became boring after the first few forkfuls. A bolder flavour would’ve completed this promising plate of pasta.

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Table service commences at 5pm when the dinner menu emerges.

Four cans of tomato paste were placed on the table, serving as a foundation for the Parma Ham Carpet (S$14/S$10 for half). The manager then arrived for a little interactive moment, armed with Salad (S$5/S$3 for half) and a pair of tongs.

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This “magic carpet” was complete by a ramekin of Frozen Grapes (S$1), which I highly suggest you order. Trust me on this.

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Look at that. Who wouldn’t want to be presented with a carpet of glorious parma ham?

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We tried the ham on its own, and boy, was it meltingly soft and tender. Every sliver was rich and savoury, suffused with a necessary hint of sweetness and a luscious mouthfeel.

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One would typically associate parma ham with melon, but nope. Frozen grapes, otherwise referred to as nature’s candy is the alternative I never knew I needed.

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You’re supposed to eat all three components together. The salad served as a crunchy buffer, while the saltiness of the ham and icy sweetness of the grapes that burst in my mouth complemented each other wonderfully.

This was easily my favourite dish out of everything we tried. Imagine how great of a bar snack it’ll make. Even better, why not order an accompanying Assorted Cheese Platter (S$18) and live life to the fullest?

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The Chicken Namban (S$16) wasn’t just fried chicken kaarage smothered in a creamy and slightly tangy tartar sauce.

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Much like prawn paste chicken, every piece of meat was juicy, succulent and packed with flavour. I especially enjoyed the crispy golden brown skin with a thin layer of fat embedded within.

If I were you, I’d order this with a beer and have a ball of a time.

Pronto’s the place to go, whether you’re looking for a fine lunch spot or a place to chill and unwind. They’re also open bright and early at 7.30am, serving up Breakfast Sets (S$5 & $7) for a quick bite before work.

You might have to brave the lunch crowds on weekdays, but otherwise, the prime location, relatively affordable fusion dishes and alcohol deals will make you return.

Time to make a trip down, pronto!

Expected Damage: S$20 – S$30 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5


23 Church Street, Capital Square, Gochi, #01-02/03, Singapore 049481

Our Rating 4/5


23 Church Street, Capital Square, Gochi, #01-02/03, Singapore 049481

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 11.30pm (Mon - Thu), 7.30am - 2am (Fri), 11am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)

Operating Hours: 7.30am - 11.30pm (Mon - Thu), 7.30am - 2am (Fri), 11am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)