I can't get enough of food! I'm also passionate about music, dance, writing and makeup!
Published August 25th 2013
Waterfront restaurant without the price
Being a single mum, I always look out for discounts, especially to restaurants. So when I found a really good discount of 2-for-1 meal to Portobello through Shop-A-Docket, I was interested. I checked their reviews online before deciding to go there. The reviews were all good and being close to home, I decided I'll take a punt.
The first time I went was for dinner on a very rainy dreary Sunday night with my Dad. I got frustrated even before stepping into the restaurant because it was so hard to find. The restaurant front doesn't face the street, it faces the Port River. Being old fashioned that I am, I forgot to take out GPS on my phone to guide me. I even called the restaurant to get directions but that didn't help either. It was so hard to see the signs or the restaurant name in the pouring rain. After driving up and down many times, we finally found the restaurant, tucked away between two apartment buildings.
After knowing where it is, we realised that there were no parking lots close to the restaurant – only street parking that was filled with residents' cars. We had to park three blocks away, and tried to dash through the rain. By then, I felt so bad for my Dad. I thought to myself, this better be worth it. And it was.
Upon entering the restaurant, I was extremely impressed by the stylish and modern décor. My eyes were immediately drawn to the bright red wall that displayed their alcoholic choices. Every restaurant has something that stands out and for Portobello, it was this wall.
The waiter was very polite and seated us immediately. He even apologised for our inconvenience. I asked for some extra serviettes to dry ourselves and he gave us a whole waddle of it straight away. Our waiter was attentive throughout our whole dinner – one of the best waiters I've come across in all my dining experiences.
Being a modern Italian restaurant, the menu had everything you would expect – pizza, pasta, risotto, and other mains. However, they also do tapas, which looked very appetising. We ordered a grain-fed Porterhouse steak with baby rosemary potatoes, steamed broccolini, and mushroom sauce and an oven-roasted herb-crusted barramundi, served with warm green salad and preserved lemon dressing. We also ordered a Greek salad on the side. Our food arrived quite quickly.
I tried my Dad's steak and it was to die for. It was cooked to perfection. I used my own knife that wasn't a steak knife to cut it and could do it with ease because the meat was so soft and juicy. The baby potatoes were crunchy and chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. The broccolini was steamed perfectly – not mushy, and not raw, just right. There wasn't much mushroom sauce which concerned me a little upon looking at it. But once I had a bite, the meat was so juicy that it didn't need that much sauce. They had reduced the sauce a lot so it was rich, thick and full of flavour.
The barramundi was also very nice. The herb crust was golden brown and crunchy. The fish itself was roasted perfectly; flaky and soft. The green salad with preserved lemon had just the right kick to it. The Greek salad was very fresh, and very crunchy.
After our meal, I had a look at their dessert menu and couldn't resist trying the crème brulee, a dish that I have tried in many Adelaide cafes. Their crème brulee was not the best I've ever had in Adelaide, but still really good. The custard was smooth and silky, although the colour was not the vibrant yellow that I'm used to see. The hard caramel was crunchy, giving a good crack when I first knocked it with the spoon. However, the thickness of the layer was not even throughout. The middle was thicker, which made it just slightly hard to bite. The sugar content of the whole dish was perfect – the lightness of the custard contrasted the sweetness of the caramel layer. I finished this dish very quickly!
That one bite of steak tantalised my tastebuds for more, so I decided that I will go back, just to have the steak all to myself. This time I went for lunch, so we had a beautiful view to look out. The atmosphere was much more relaxed, more kid friendly. I ordered the steak and my friend ordered the garlic prawns served with rice. The food took a little longer to arrive than my dinner experience, but the quality was still there. The steak was again equally outstanding. The prawns were beautifully presented. It also had the right combination of lemon, cream and salt. My friend who couldn't handle too much carbohydrates finished it easily.
Established in 2009 with the new Port Adelaide development, it is an all-rounder in good food, good service, and good atmosphere. Since their opening five years ago, Portobello has already won three awards, two in 2010 and another in 2012. Portobello also gives back to the community by supporting various local organisations.
I highly recommend Portobello. Even without the voucher, I think the price for their food and service is still reasonable. It's comparable to restaurants in Glenelg pier, with a waterfront view, but more affordable. This restaurant will be even better during the warmer months.