Porteño in Surry Hills

Going to Porteño was quite a feat. We had to gather five foodies that were willing to dine fancy without a reason other than the name and fame of the restaurant. And in my circle of friends nowadays, it was rather hard to find. The most foodie of my friends have all gone overseas to live. Anyhow, we ended up pooling our connections and got a booking so that we didn’t have to wait till 9p.m. for and excitedly, we all turned up for the Argentinian fare one Friday evening.

I think the last time I was here, it was for a 21st for a pair of twins, and we were smashing plates, but no one in my party remembers if this used to be a Greek restaurant all those years ago. *Shrugs*. I didn’t mind, it’s just that the place still retained a very mediterannean feel for me with its marble tables and floor tiles and that made the whole experience feel like we were invited to a Argentinian home eating food from some fantastic home cooks. The crockery felt like what you would expect to find in any Argentinian’s home. But I have never been to Argentina and only have been to one Chilean home in my lifetime so I am not an expert.

CHORIZO PORTENO
Housemade Pork Sausage

But I know Chorizos and this was the first dish we got, glad that it was a familiar one and that the flavour was good.

MORCILLA
Blood Sausage with Red Peppers in Garlic

Then the adventure really begin. We weren’t squeamish about blood sausages as we have grown up eating blood products in our culture. But the black sausage took us with surprise with its moreish flavour. It was earthy, well seasoned and really creamy in texture (almost like a Pâté).

ENSALADA DE QUINOA
Quinoa Salad, Harissa Eggplant, Preserved Lemon & Mint Yoghurt
MORRONE Y BRENJENAS ASADA
BBQ Eggplant & Bullhorn Peppers with Garlic, Chilli and Sherry Dressing

 That wasn’t the only creamy dish for the night. The eggplant was almost like it had been pureed. Some parts of it was a lot more charred than others and didn’t have as pleasant a flavor and some others got more oil than I seemed to get on my spoonful. I loved my bite, they didn’t. Ah well. The Quinoa salad was Yum! Everything I can’t seem to get in my quinoa salads. But I could just eat a bowlful of this one on its own for lunch.

CHANCHITO & CORDERO A LA CRUZ
8 hour Woodfired Pig & Lamb

Porteño is famous for its wood fired pit, so $46 for each of these dishes didn’t seem overpriced. The meat falls of the bones and melts in your mouth. What more can one expect? Awesome pork crackling? Yep they got that one down pat too.

VERDURAS DE OTONO
Marinated BBQ Wild Mushrooms, Young Potatoes, Braised
Cavolo Nero, Red Quinoa & Creamed Cauliflower

The perfect dish to wash the oleaginous meats dishes down. This simple combination of power foods was light and refreshing and creamed cauliflower so smooth it was as though nature made cauliflowers that way.

PULPO AL MALBEC
Malbec Braised Octopus, Chicken Fregola Risotto & Witlof Chopped Salad

A nice dish to finish the night’s unctuous dishes with. Porteño is also known for its seafood dishes and this was a good one to try. The sweet seafood taste balanced with the bitterness of witlof salad, it was a yumm dish and  again very refreshing after the fatty meat dishes.

I don’t seem to have a picture of the fried brussels sprouts but I must say they do live up to its hype, never thought brussels sprouts could be made to taste yummy. But, to get it tasting that good, it takes a lot of grease and I don’t think I could feed my children this no matter how desperate I am to get them to like brussels sprouts. But they’d definitely convert with this dish for sure. Many have.

A traditional chocolate torte with apricot and cream. Rich and rustic but I wouldn’t necessarily be ordering this to finish of the meal we just had. I might like something more tart, lemony and light I suppose, but this did feel like something an Argentinian grandmother is likely to dish up.

 A burnt leche custard that is delicious, well balanced with the fennel ice-cream, the rhubarb and the popcorn introduces the right level of surprise in texture to its otherwise creamy counterparts.

POSTRE CHAJÁ South American Style Pavlova with Peanuts

Something that was again rustic and hearty. We were really stuffed by this point though and unfortunately didn’t have much more room for this dessert. If only we didn’t have to leave our table for the next sitting, I would have loved to just sip at my Pedro Ximenez and soak in the happy noise and digest away some of that deliciousness. But sadly, we need to share and someone else was about to begin their own Argentinian adventure.
So there you have it. Something that was on my bucket list that I ticked off. That was easy.
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2 thoughts on “Porteño in Surry Hills

  1. Ok, I am not much of a meat person worst if blood is involved LOL! The first few dishes are straight out of Fear Factor episodes for me but when I reached the Quinoa salad I was smiling again! Well, that’s what they say “One man’s meat is another’s poison” I am glad you had some fun night out and enjoyed your dinner :)

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    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

    • Yea, I think I would have been rather upset if we didn’t have the Quinoa salads to help us digest and absorb away all that oil. If only I can learn how to make them so yummy like they seemt o be able to. :)

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