Thursday, March 22, 2007

Food Review: Portobelle

I just got back from dinner at this place called Portobelle, situated at Killiney Road. It's just a 5 mins walk from Somerset MRT and located in between a row of shops. Hidden away from the crowded streets of Orchard, it is the ultimate hideout for a meal after a day of work.

How did I know about this place? I came across a review on some website and the comments left by all the patrons were rather outstanding. Since it's not easy to find nice Mediterranean food around, it was worth a visit. I decided to make a reservation because the was only able to house 25 patrons. I'm not about to walk over to the Killiney coffeeshop as some substitute.

We reached there slightly earlier and I suppose we were the first dinner patrons for the night. A middle age guy came to serve us the menu and water (w/o us having to request for). There was quite a few dishes that seem to have a significant core ingredient - eggplant, mussels and ... ... (okay! i unbelievingly forgotten it in that very split second) ;p

Our orders consist of:

Starter - Hummus Bi Tahini (chic peas, garlic and tahini puree) with Pita Bread

The serving is quite small for this but just sufficient for the 6 pieces of perfectly cut Pita bread. I'm not one who likes to eat raw garlic but their finely minced garlic seem to be quite mild with the rest of the ingredients added. This is not recommended for non garlic lovers. The pita bread is warm and soft, just the kind of texture I love. I just couldn't get enough of it.

Main 1 - Nere (Cuttlefish ink pasta with brandy flamed prawns, cooked in rich garlic cream sauce)

I ordered this main dish as I've never tried cuttlefish ink pasta before but their variation seem different. The pasta is cook with the ink and the sauce is white and creamy. The prawns are fresh with the natural taste of sea salt and it blended in so well with the brandy that I didn't even taste a hint of alcohol. The pasta was cooked just right but somehow it wasn't linguine as I had ordered. Lastly, the cream sauce just made it even better and I didn't feel bloated after finishing it. Everything seem to be in perfect harmony with each other.

Main 2 - Alla Cozze e Carciofo (NZ mussels sauteed with bacon and white wine, cooked with chef's special tomato sauce)

My friend ordered this next dish and I was surprise at how big the mussels were. Not to mention there were 8 of them laid beautifully around the plate. The tomato sauce wasn't too sour. In fact, it tasted wonderful with the sweetness of fresh seafood and fragrance of bacon. Not exactly halal, I suppose. Mussels were just heavenly and full of the ocean's goodness, all the way from faraway New Zealand.

We decided to cut short our meal there as the dessert wasn't to my favor. I'm not a coconut person and neither do I enjoy have alcohol or Tiramisu. So we went back to our friendly neighbourhood for our all time favourite, bubble tea. ;p

Oh! I forgot to mention that the service there was very friendly and he made sure that we enjoyed what we ate. Definitely, recommendable.


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