Porteno is a South American BBQ restaurant owned and run by the team behind popular Surry Hills tapas joint Bodega. Like Bodega, Porteno doesn't take reservations but unlike Bodega this place is huge, covering two levels.
The service is friendly, the ambience is stunning and the food inline with the standard set. Shared Starters: ZUCCHINI FLOWERS deliciously crispy with just the right amount of ricotta inside. DUCK LEG skin was beautiful and crispy, while the meat was pink and moist. OCTOPUS - was a little bland. It was cooked well in that it wasn't chewy, but the flavor just wasn't there. BEETROOT & GOAT CHEESE SALAD - was a pleasant accompaniment to our mains, but the highlight was definitely the brussel sprouts. They were cooked perfectly so that they weren't too hard but not soft either, and were served on a delicious bed of lentils. So good! For mains SLOW COOKED LAMB & PORK, both with crispy crackling. Both meats were moist and melted in the mouth. Served with a delicious bowl of chimichurri on the side for an extra bit of flavour.
Recently went back to this place and much to my disappointment they have lowered their standard of service here compared to my last review. Every time we used to come here the staff were super attentive and entertaining, however this time the staff lacked customer service, took away my glass of wine when i was not even finished, no explanation of the food they served and overall just disorganised. Food here' is always great, but it doesn't make me that excited to come back here anytime soon.
The food is to die for, but you do pay for it, and for the exclusivity and other bells and whistles. I think the lamb is slow cooked, very yummy and mouth watering. They certainly do hospitality well, and the door girl, Sarah, she had got to be the coolest front of house ever, love her feminine style and pin curls, worth it just to see that.
Porteno has been one of those places that's been on our list of "must try" but we never got around to it. Finally someone organised an event and it was the perfect reason to go and sample what the fuss is all about. I left the food decision power to the people on the table. I was just happy to try a nice repertoire of their foods. We started with their House Baked Bread & Olive Oil with Chicken Liver & Ham Pâté and a side serving of Marinated Olives. Starters like this are simple and starts off meals with a bang. Their Grilled Mushrooms with Burrata and Asparagus was silky smooth. It offers a nice contrast of flavours that appealed to the majority at the table. I for one wasn't a fan but mushrooms have a hit and miss effect on me. Sometimes the earthiness is too pungent. The only thing that stood out about their BBQ Veal Sweetbreads was it's name. It was quite underwhelming and forgettable. I'm glad they introduced the Chilli Chimichurri to the table with aread more