THE BUZZ Located at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, PORTA is a chic yet laidback dining concept that offers hearty, modern European fare. There is also a retail area here that allows diners to purchase fresh produce to create a wholesome meal at home.
AMBIENCE Having a meal here easily makes ones feel as though they’re eating in someone’s home – the 243 sqm space, which is located at the ground level of the hotel, offers a variety of seating styles. There is a casual main dining room, a cove seating area, a cosy reading room, a formal private room that can seat 16 people, and an expansive alfresco area – together, the establishment is able to accommodate up to 134 people.
After a hearty meal, diners can shop for fresh produce and gourmet retail products used in PORTA’S dishes at The Store, which comprises a series of cabinets and chillers, as well as beautiful island counters where the products are displayed. In the morning, the cabinets would be transformed to a buffet breakfast line to accommodate hotel guests.
FOOD & DRINK Helmed by executive chef Michael Suyanto, who has worked for luxury 5-star hotels and the Les Amis Group, he strongly believes in presenting his dishes in a clean and simple manner – he prefers to allow the flavours from the fresh produce to impress.
Our meal started on a high note with the Burratina with Momotaro Tomatoes (S$18), which was faultless and kept a tight balance of sweet and saltiness. Also delicious were the Spanish Octopus with Patatas Bravas (S$18), and the Foie Gras with Toasted Rich Brioche (S$24). The former was fresh, chewy and offered a wonderful interplay of textures and flavours, while the latter packed a powerful flavour punch – each mouthful was truly a lavish delight. PORTA'S casual vibe and unpretentious cooking make it a relaxing place to knock back a few drinks, nibble on good food and banter with the affable staff.
For mains, we decided to order a few dishes to share: the Ravioles de Royans (S$22), which is a vegetarian dish, was both hearty and comforting – be sure the scoop all the ingredients and sauce together in one spoonful so you can taste how the flavours meld together in a lip-smacking symphony. Needless to say, we obliterated this in seconds and wished we savoured this a little longer.
Next, the highly-marbled Iberian Pork Secreto (S$26), one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, turns out to be our favourite – chef Michael cooks up the meat so perfectly that it is not only bursting with flavours, but the texture is melt-inyour-mouth tender. The pork is served in a robust, delicious sauce.
For those who prefer heartier items, the Porta Burger (S$26) made with Angus beef patty is an absolute must-try – the beef patty, which was deftly cooked to medium doneness with enough charred bits on the outside, was juicy, tender and so delicious.
By the time we hit the desserts, we were near the brink satiation, no thanks to the wide variety of dishes we had before, but as we always say, there’s a separate stomach for desserts – after much contemplation, we decided to order the Valrhona Chocolate Fondant and Frozen Souffle, and these two mind-blowing sweet treats were the best way to end a sumptuous meal here. The former is a dessert that gets better with each spoonful, while the latter, which is chef Michael’s creative take on a classic soufflé featuring a frozen meringue robustly flavoured with grand Marnier, is definitely worth a try.
Like its cuisine, the service remains as impeccable as ever – unobtrusive, professional, well-timed and with that personal touch. ADDRESS Level 1, Park Hotel Clarke Quay, 1 Unity Street
OPENING HOURS 11am to 10.30pm daily
PRICE Appetisers from S$18 Mains from S$22 Desserts from S$12