Walking into the sun-drenched Portico for lunch, I'm reminded of how cool and sustainable their in-house herb and vegetable garden is. Just about every dish was garnished/comprised of their own garden produce.
So how does Portico fare under the new direction? Reasonably fair, I think, with bits of tiny disappointments scattered here and there. BUT, if you take into account how unbelievably cheap their set lunch is, at only $28 for a very substantive 2-courses, the food immediately ups a notch, or two.
Service has stayed pretty awesome. Warm, hospitable, and so accommodating. As usual, we name-dropped our friend's relationship with the owner, who comped our dessert and then some!
The Salad-of-the-Day (ala carte price $14) was a well-balanced medley of elderflower compressed coloured watermelon, rosemary feta cheese, kalamata olives and mesclun greens.
The Forest Mushroom Broth (ala carte price $12), on the other hand, was a little too heavy with the woodsy essence, despite being cut with silken tofu and zucchini and mushroom vegetable pearls.
The Miso Crusted Salmon (ala carte price $24) would have been better marinated throughout, and with a crisp, not limp, skin. That said, the curried sauce was excellent, and provided a spiced contrast with the rich fish. Crispy puffy tteokbokki rice cakes and pickled vegetables sided this.
The Chicken Leg Confit (ala carte price $24) was superb as well, succulent and flavourful and fork-tender. This was set atop a mound of braised purple cabbage, maple-scented sweet potato puree, and drizzled with a mildly spiced chicken jus.
Their much-raved about Fish & Chips ($21) did live up to the hype. Seabass is used here, which I love for its meaty but flaky texture and clean and clear taste, encrusted in a thick batter. The crushed peas were scented with mint for a lively countenance, and curled fries completed the ensemble.
Our complimentary Creme Brulee, nuanced and burnished with elderflower plucked fresh from the garden, and so huge it needed all 6 of us to finish.
991B Alexandra Road #01-10
Tel: 6276 7337
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 11.30pm for dinner
Sundays from 9.30am to 3pm
Closed on Mondays