Deliberately I waited to visit this restaurant after the Sydney hype had died down a little. As we arrived at the front door for our 6pm booking, I felt guilty pushing my way to the front of the line so I could enter the reception area. Yes, at 6pm there is line that goes all the way out the front door and around the corner.
We enter the restaurant and there is nothing fancy about the fit out but everything is immaculate starting with the staff. Everyone is really friendly and well presented. As you walk in you are ushered to your table. The restaurant is packed and its still only 6pm. We are shown to our table where friends are already waiting. Our waiter has to be one of the best waiters I have had in Sydney for a LONG time. He is attentive but no overbearing, happy to make recommendations and really wants to make sure that what he suggests is something you will enjoy. He helps us pick out some cocktails and wine which were all amazing. The Pisco Sours go down a treat.
We order a mix of things to share but the main even here is the slow cooked lamb and pork over charcoals. We order a mix of entrees (empanadas and tuna), sides(polenta, deep fried Brussel sprouts and fennel salad) and charcoal meat(pork, lamb and sirloin). The servings are really generous so don't get too excited and order everything like we did. There is no doubt, the pork is definitely the stand-out and melts in your mouth.
Not worried about eating too much, we also order some desserts. The Argentinian Pavlova with Dulce de Leche is amazing!
After dinner we all head up to the bar upstairs which is a really great bar space. It has big leather booths for you to relax in and enjoy an after dinner drink. If you cant get a table downstairs, try upstairs they will even offer you things off the bar menu.
Porteno definitely offers a consistent experience. After having eaten here twice in one month it only got better and the service was consistent each time. This place offers great value including a tip, it worked out to $100 per person which is great for the amount we drank and ate. Definitely worth going if you have a group of people as you can get a booking. We have all toyed with the idea of having a permanent booking here. This is a great all round restaurant. Not too fancy and the focus is good food in a fun atmosphere.
Really have enjoyed each time I have been here and look forward to going again soon.