Chico Loco

The hype: The Loco Group opens concept Number 4: a fast-casual Mexican joint that’s all about spit-roasted chicken. Forget tacos and quesadillas—rotisserie chicken takes centrestage here, in a comfortable fast-casual space in Telok Ayer. If you’re here for lunch, just plonk your order on a chit sheet and take it to the counter.

The vibe: Chico Loco makes the most of its coveted location on Amoy Street, recreating a buzzy outdoor courtyard inside a heritage conservation shophouse. An installed skylight makes the airy, spacious dining area feel even more welcoming, with exposed brick and terracotta tiles adding homey Mexican flavour. For a place that prioritises quick dining, it sure makes you want to stay a while.

The food: With just two mains on the menu, Chico Loco offers a pretty straightforward dining experience. But straightforward doesn’t mean boring—especially when your choice of spit-roasted Chicken ($8 for a quarter, $32 for whole) or Lamb ($12 for 125gm, $23 for 250gm) arrives succulent and tender, and charred in all the right places. Rest assured that all the chickens are hormone-free and ethically sourced, before they’re brined in umami solution and roasted over naked flame. That said, the sliced lamb is a surprising standout, all scent of game removed.

The restaurant offers a wide selection of sides and starters to complement its main event. Definitely go for the ChicoSlaw ($6), a Thai somtam-inspired take on cole slaw with tangy green papaya, mango, lemongrass and lime; or the buttery rotisserie Rice ($4) for carb-loading.

Also good are the crispy fried Hot Tenders ($12) paired with spicy BBQ sauce and sour cream—an addictive sharing plate despite its simplicity; and the Mexican Prawn Toast ($13), which smears tiger prawn paste, chilli, pickled cucumber and salsa macha on bread sourced from Burnt Ends Bakery, for a fiery explosion of flavours in your mouth. Don’t forget to grab dessert: the sole Super Natural Coconut Soft Serve ($6) comes with a brief selection of toppings (additional $1) to amp up the cinnamon-tinted aftertaste.

The drinks: Beverages here are no mere afterthought—for coffees, try the Mex Mocha ($5.50), with added Mexican spice to invigorate your caffeine hit. If you want something refreshing, there’s Sparkling Fruit Agua Frescas ($5) in a variety of flavours like green apple & prickly pear and passionfruit & mango.

Still, it’s the boozy beverages that are a hidden gem here at Chico Loco. Sample some of the group’s all-new craft beer range on tap, courtesy of Trouble Brewing, like the easy-drinking Pesado Pilsner ($13) that will take you from morning to night. Otherwise, it’s the toned-down fruity cocktails you should be aiming for—like the Frozen Chico Margarita ($14) and Frozen Loco Paloma ($14).

Why you’ll be back: For hearty comfort food that never feels sinful, married with refreshing drinks and a gorgeous space. Discounting a certain UK franchise that first popularised the idea, Chico Loco proves that spit-roasted rotisserie chicken can exist quite deliciously as a standalone concept—who knew?