Porteno was the restaurant I was looking most forward to on my trip to Australia. On my flight, I watched No Reservations Sydney, and Anthony Bourdain visited Porteno. He made everything look so delicious. This place is definitely a meat lovers dream
It was Thursday night and about 8 o’clock, and we didn’t think it would be that busy. We walked over from our hotel, and we had a 40 minute wait. But, while you wait, they have a nice bar upstairs called Gardel’s Bar to have a few drinks while you wait. Dark, with a good atmosphere.
This place is a carnivores dream. They serve Argentinian meats, mostly cooked over an open flame. We decided on the Chanchito a la Cruz ($46), as well as Pan de Casa ($2 per person), and the Ensalada de Quinoa ($16).
We started with the Pan de Casa, or house bread. I loved it. The bread was served with very good olive oil, and pork pate. The pate didn’t have a strong liver flavour, but still very rich. It was a perfect mix of ingredients for a pate. I hate most livers cooked on its own, so the mild liver flavour in the pate was very pleasing.
The Chanchito a la Cruz is roast pork. The meat was very tender, and the skin was perfectly crisp. It was delicious. Honestly though, I think I made a wrong decision with my meat selection. We only chose one because it is $46 per order, and for two people there is just too much fat. I thought I could handle it, but I can honestly say I can’t. Two pieces is enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but just way too rich and fatty for my blood. It was even sitting in more fatty drippings from the pork. There were a few good meaty pieces, which I was glad to see though. You should try it, but I’d recommend ordering it for a larger group, and order a few of the other meats. We would’ve liked to try the lamb. It’s probably the best pork I’ve tasted, but now I know you definitely can have too much of a good thing.
The Ensalada de Quinoa was pretty good too, and it helped cut the fat from the pork. It had some nice meaty eggplants, as well as preserved lemon, and mint yogurt. It was refreshing to say the least especially with all the fat in the pork.
This place has a very cool vibe and style. I love it. Anthony Bourdain kept calling them hipsters on the show, but I really liked the style. It kind of reminded me of the 1930s style bar that you get to spend time at while you watch Sleep No More in NYC. Make a reservation before you visit, and make sure to come with a large group so you can try all of the meats, and hopefully not spend too much.
Although it was what I looked most forward to, it didn’t fully live up to the hype because of a poor ordering decision on my part. I’m definitely coming back if I’m ever in Sydney again. This time I’ll be prepared.
358 Cleveland St
02 8399 1440