Something for the Carnivores – Porteño Restaurant
Porteño – Sydney
358 Cleveland St, Surry Hills
Chef: Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz
Hats: 2 Hats
When the Foodie Mookie crew asked a restaurateur friend about Porteno his only comment was “go, if you like meat you will enjoy it”. Now Mookie tends toward vegetarianism, but Pookie is a born and bred carnivore. So we find ourselves waiting outside Porteno as the clock strikes 6pm. There is already a line but the waiter accommodates us and finds a table upstairs at Gardel’s bar while we wait for a table in the restaurant proper. A selection of house made charcuterie was offered in the past but this, alas, is no longer the case. A pity to be sure, but the wine is superb (Tikal Jubilo). We are escorted down to the restaurant and seated near the wine room with its many hanging legs of jamon.
With Bodega under their belts and looking for a new restaurant to explore their shared shared love of Argentine BBQ the boys who originally met at Four in Hand launched Porteno. The chefs split their time individually between the two restaurants, their taste comes through loud and clear in the music playing in the background at Porteno. Uncompromising, the have done their own thing and its truly has worked. The menu is very similar to an Asado (Parrilla) in Argentina. The aroma of the open fire bbq pervades the restaurant and on this cool evening the warmth is welcome. There are certainly less offal on the menu but spotting the sweetbreads Pookie insists they be ordered. The wagyu with chimichurri, brussel sprouts and cheese & pepper dishes are great. The slow cooked pork is really quite delicious, as are the chorizo and morcilla but the true star in this show are undoubtably the sweetbreads. Proven in Mookie ordering them each time we have since visited even when we have had guests. Porteno is an great example of good Australian produce in an Argentine Parrilla style restaurant. The restaurant is permeated with the scent of burning wood and the meat is a welcome warmer on a cool evening. The wine list had some excellent Malbecs though the Cabernet Malbec from Tikal really stole the wine show. True to our friends recommendation, if you really like meat, this is THE restaurant for Sydney’s carnivore foodies and their friends. It has become our go to when the Foodie Mookie crew is fanging for a meat feast!.