Portal Restaurant & Bar
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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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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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Food 2 | Service 1 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0
Friday, August 03, 2012