Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Port House, 16th April

I have a tendency to walk past places I think look nice and then put them on my List so I don’t forget to investigate them. When I came across The Port House on the Strand, I made a note of it because port is a favourite drink of Stephen’s. As it happens, when I finally went I didn’t take Stephen and didn’t drink any port.

Instead I went for a (very) light bite with my mum before we watched the five-star show Gypsy.

I walked in and was quite enchanted by the place. It feels like walking into a cellar or cave – in a good way. It is extremely dark and cosy with candlelight. It would make a really good romantic meal. I had expected to waltz in at 6:15 and get a table but it must get a lot of pre-theatre business as the place was pretty much full.

My mum doesn’t eat very much these days so we only ordered three dishes to share between us (and I ate most of those). Luckily I had had a snack beforehand. We got the confitado de pato and patatas bravas con alioli and, because we felt we should have some vegetables, the pisto – diced, slow cooked vegetables with oregano, paprika and olive oil with a fried egg on top instead of manchego. The dishes were a bit hit and miss. The vegetables were really just a slightly watery ratatouille which an egg on top didn’t make particularly interesting.
The duck confit leg was delicious, as duck is wont to be. The membrillo sauce it was served with was a nice, sweet contrast.
The patatas bravas were decent – I didn’t think the ‘fiery’ tomato sauce was particularly hot but the garlic mayo was definitely garlicky and I liked them.
Everything is around the £4 or £5 mark and I think you get a decent portions for this. We also had a glass of very nice red wine.

Sadly, that’s all I had so I don’t know what their pintxos or other, more interesting dishes were like. I would like to go back to give a broader, perhaps fairer review but there are so many places to get to, a repeat visit is low on my priorities. I would definitely say, nip in and if there’s a free table/seat at the bar, stay a while with a nice glass of wine and give it a try. There could be some nice surprises on the menu.

Port House Tapas Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.