Portal Restaurant & Bar

88 St John Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 4EH - View on a map
Telephone: 020 7253 6950

Portal Restaurant & Bar Restaurant In London
Details Image
Overall 8.3
Food 8.0
Service 8.0
Atmosphere 9.0
Value 8.0
Based on 1 reviews

what the critics say

Metro

Marina O'Loughlin - 3/5

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - The food offers refined versions of rustic Portuguese classics: bisaro – part pig, part boar, entirely delicious – braised for several hours until the interior is supple and tender, the exterior a ripe, black crust, served with acorda, that curious and addictive bread porridge, spiked with chorizo. Or duck rice, crammed into a crisp pastry wrapper like a vast cracker; a bit dry, perhaps, but there's enough of the acorda to share...The largely suited and booted clientele reflects the steepish prices. But as far as the cooking goes, it's better than I've had in upscale restaurants in Lisbon and Porto.

your comments review this restaurant and win a bottle of champagne

I have never felt compelled to write a review of a restaurant before but, looking at some of the negative reviews here, I feel that some balance is required.

My wife and I visited Portal on my 30th birthday and had a fantastic evening. The glass room at the rear of the restaurant is charming and welcoming. The service equally so, and as far as I could tell almost entirely Portuguese. The food is good, probably not much more, but certainly innovative and enjoyable. The vegetarian options were also a welcome departure from the usual mushroom risotto-eque fare that is found in so many other restaurants. There is an excellent selection of Portugese wine and the somelier was helpful and knowledgeable.

When we admitted at the end of the meal that our pre-dinner drinks had not been added to the bill, we informed the waiter. He was very gracious in apologising and added the drinks. As a thank you for our honesty, and very much unpromted, the maitre d' brought us two complimentary glasses of port.

Perhaps it was Olympics fever. Perhaps it was the beautiful weather. Maybe it was because it was my birthday. No. Overall, I think we enjoyed our evening simply because this is a good restaurant.
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MGD
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 8
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I had such a disgracefully bad experience at this restaurant recently I feel compelled to share it.

We pre-booked a table outdoors for dinner as it was a sunny day and a special occasion (my birthday). When we arrived, we were given a table inside, but near the door. Good enough we thought!

As we went to order from the Tapas menu, we were strictly informed we could not order tapas unless we were seated outside. As we were centimeters from the door, we asked if they could make an exception as we were both keen on the tapas menu. The answer was absolutely not.

We went on to point out that we'd originally requested a table outside, and would it be possible to honour our original request, in order for us to enjoy the tapas, and given it was a special occasion. Again - no way. They were concerned that other diners might want the empty tables outside.

We were then faced with an awkward situation as the staff dragged a makeshift table outside (the other side of the door - say 2 feet from the table we were sitting at) and instructed us to sit there. It was uneven and awkwardly in the middle of the doorway/courtyard which made us uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. The entire time, the normal outside tables remained empty.

To add insult to injury - the food was hugely disappointing. The crumbed pork filets came cold and dry - turkey twizzlers woud have been a gourmet treat by comparison and the other dishes were average at best.

In short, my birthday night was absolutely ruined. I had an awful, uncomfortable, overpriced meal and came away with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.
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kez - View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 2 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0
Friday, August 03, 2012

Terrible food, very strange combinations and not at all seasonal food.

The service very slow and the owner always there like a clown, very annoying person for a restaurant. But the atmosphere was ok.
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Albert J
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 2 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 2
Friday, March 02, 2012

Looks like a nice place from the outside, but a terrible experience as soon as you encounter the service....

I don't know if terrible service and a bad attitude are part of the "authentic" Portuguese experience, but the service, (and particularly the bartender) here couldn't have been more indifferent and awful.

We were literally the only two people in the entire bar area on a recent Friday night (maybe this should have been the first warning). I asked for a Manhattan, which is not an obscure request (even in Portugal) and the bartender just said "No." Uhh what? Ok, I guess I'll just settle for 2 small glasses of "house" white wine, (which was a mere 14 pounds). Seriously, if you want bad service at an unreasonable price, then by all means this place is for you...
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TJ
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 2 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 1
Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just returned to Portal having been away for sometime ,what an absolute treat this must be Londons hidden gem ,the food was fantastic ,the wine top draw and the staff very attentive and friendly ,a special mention to the cocktail barman Stephain what superb cocktails ,the bloody mary was the best I have ever tasted ,I wil be returning very soon .
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Chris
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9
Thursday, July 07, 2011

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