Porteno is 2 years in the running and already it has risen to the stars. Having recently been crowned at the Good Food Guide awards with the best chefs of the year (Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz), Porteno is also brimming with a 2 hat rating to boot.
Ideal for meat lovers and big groups. It’s Argentinian fare, brought to you by a traditional Parilla (barbecue) and Asado (pit of fire) with carcasses splayed and spinning for your viewing pleasure. This is expertly tended to by Elvis’ dad (Adan Abrahanowicz) and served to you by hot to trot 50’s pin up waitresses.
First up, Ensalada Palermo Viejo. Kind of like your pizza look-a-like and is covered in a tahini base with all the roasted trimmings nestled on top it with a gooey quail egg added for good measure.
Emma G ceremoniously did the honours of slicing and dicing (cos she always does this so immaculately) to reveal a delicious resounding crunch of the hard base and it only seemed fitting as she was London bound for an indefinite length of time. Naturally we had to make her pay for it and dish up everything in sight!
The tuna is cooked to expose a luscious pink in the middle centre and is rested upon this glorious garlic sauce. It is so tasty you could lick the plate and even your mum couldn’t hate you for it. And it all comes covered with asparagus, capers and jalapenos all smokey and charred to give it that added flavour and crunch.
I was pretty impressed with my food eating crew. We all leaped at the opportunity to hack into the blood sausage. Most people get put off by the thought of it. Not us… we practically hoovered it down, not even with the slightest hesitation or an afterthought. It was meaty, smokey and incredibly juicy on the inside.
The 8 hour woodfired pig is justifiably famous and rightfully so. Its moist centre glistens with its own juices and with the fat shining just as bright. It tastes just as sweet. And of course, you can only judge a pig by it’s crackling. With a rock hard blistering exterior and indisputably emphatic crack against your jaw line, there is no arguing that this is the perfect pig.
While tasty, the 8 hour woodfired lamb but didn’t quite hit the same note as the woodfired pig. I guess I’m just a die hard pink in the middle or (red raw if you will) kind of girl when it comes to my lamb.
This is so… good, that it has to be bad! The polenta comes out luxuriantly silky and rich that a couple of heaped spoonfuls is just right.
The fennel salad is tasty, textured and wonderfully fragrant.
Considered another non-negotiable must have item among Porteno fans.
If you’re not a fan of brussel sprouts, try their fried up and nutty version and it is likely to change your tune. It still has that distinct bitter brussel-ness to it but I can assure you most of the aftertaste subsides.
This is not for the faint hearted, it boasts rich and powerful flavours. The quince sits within the gorgeous crumbly base while the gorgonzola cheese is whipped through the muscat ice cream. This is then piped on the tart’s surface. I personally loved the cross between sweet and savoury and find that all the flavours are a perfect accompaniment to one another. But this definitely had a lot of love-hate chit chatter going on at our table.
Probably the best pavlova I’ve ever had and was an easy crowd pleaser among the group. And again, its considered a favourite of Porteno fans.
Unfortunately, the burnt milk custard, orange jam & chocolate ice cream didn’t quite do it for me. I’m not a fan of chocolate orange, so the battle was already lost before it had even begun. And the chocolate was just too rich for me. So really, I’m not really in a position to comment.
Welcome to Porteno, for Argentinian fare served with Argentinian flare.
02 8399 1440
358 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills, NSW