Weets Eats: Take a taste tour of Europe at Porta
Porta Fine Food & Import Company is the latest food outlet to open at Park Hotel Clarke Quay. It takes over the space formerly occupied by the unremarkable buffet restaurant Brizo Restaurant & Bar - does not have big shoes to fill, but it does more than that anyway.
The restaurant serves modern European cuisine, which means you will get a bit of everything from every corner of the continent.
It sounds like a cop-out but you do feel like you are getting a nice variety of dishes, even though the menu is small.
The food here is simple and hearty, without a hefty price tag.
This last point is an increasingly important one, given the state of the global economy.
And when the food is inexpensive but does not taste cheap, it is an even bigger draw.
With budget in mind, you should consider the set lunch. It is $18 for a two-course meal, and $22 for three courses.
The vegetarian option from the set lunch menu is a savoury joy to behold.
2 TYPES OF CHEESES
The Ravioles De Royans ($22 a la carte) is ravioles (smaller than normal ravioli) filled with two types of cheeses, with a tangy sauce to cut the heaviness. It is a hearty and comforting dish.
Exclusively on the lunch menu is Chilled Angel Hair, with avruga caviar and kombu seaweed, and drizzled with truffle oil. I'm not one for chilled pasta but this one was refreshing and bright.
Crossing over to Spain, the Spanish Octopus ($18) from the Starters menu satisfies. There is a nice char on the octopus, which gives it a seductive smokiness.
While my dining companions all raved about the Iberico Pork Secreto ($26), I found the pommery honey glaze too enthusiastic for my liking. I'm thankful that mustard seeds were added to the mash because that gave the dish balance.
I associate burgers with America, but I guess they eat them in Europe too. In any case, the Porta burger ($23) is delicious. The Angus beef patty is juicy, with caramelized onion, cheddar cheese and crispy smoked bacon on toasted sesame bun, and it is served with chunky French fries.
You can pay $1.50 for a tiny bottle of Alain Milliat ketchup. Splurge, because it will be worth it. The combination of the sweetness of the ketchup together with the almost-creamy beef patty is an experience.
Porta Fine Food & Import Company
WHERE: Park Hotel Clarke Quay
OPENING HOURS: Opens 11am to 10.30pm
CHARITY ICE CREAM
Creamier's Chocolate Tau Yew Tempeh Crunch ($4.50 a scoop) - created in collaboration with Wild Rocket chef Willin Low - is inspired by dark soy sauce and when mixed with tempeh, it's a tasty tribute to local food.
This is available at Creamier Toa Payoh and Creamier Gillman Barracks.
Proceeds from the sale of this ice cream will go to Morning Star Foundation in Beijing.
HALF PRICE DONBURI
Newly opened Kuro Maguro (7 Wallich Street) offers donburi at CBD-friendly prices, from $18.80.
And till tomorrow, you get 50 per cent off the Otoro Meshi donburi ($32.80), limited to one bowl per person.
Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant Ricon de Diego is working with One-Ninety Restaurant (Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, Tel: 6831-7250) to present a six-course menu with wine pairing on Feb 28 at $138 per person.
Dishes include Lobster Gazpacho and Slow Cooked Veal Tenderloin. Seats are limited so book early.
From Feb 7 to Feb 21, Melt Cafe (Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, Tel: 65 6885-3500) will be offering a Lobster Bonanza for dinner, with dishes such as Lobster Laksa, Lobster Maki Roll and Boston Lobsters on ice.
The buffet is from $75 a person.