Food and Travel (Singapore) - - Reviews -

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

TEL 65/6593-8855

OPEN­ING HOURS 11am to 10.30pm daily

WEB­SITE www.porta.com.sg

PRICE Ap­pe­tis­ers from S$18 Mains from S$22 Desserts from S$12

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