I love free food, so when The Portman invited me to have dinner (partially) on them, I was like, ummm, yes please! The Portman is a gastro pub situated on top of a real pub near Marble Arch. I wasn’t sure I was at the right place at first because downstairs kind of feels like an old man’s pub. However, as I had a drink downstairs and waited for my other half, their hits of 2010 playlist was on fleek! Don’t let the exterior fool you!
Upstairs is fairly newly renovated (although the ladies toilet could use a little work) and the banquette was really comfortable. Seems like a place you would go with colleagues after work, as the hubs and I were the only couple there. Playlist moved to 80s slow jams and it was awesome.
It was really hard to choose what to eat. I was leaning towards the crispy squid but my love of soups got the better of me and I had the broccoli and Stilton soup of the day. It was so good! Not too blue cheesy and the croutons were covered in garlic butter. It was a tad too hot though, so by the time I was able to eat the croutons, they were a little soggy. Still delicious. My husband had the ravioli that was fresh, al dente and tasty. I liked that they allowed you to chose if you wanted to have the sauce and how much.
For our mains I went with good old steak. It was an OK cut of meat but cooked and seasoned very well. I was super excited about their ‘stealth’ fries, which were apparently double cooked with the skin on. The real thing was slightly disappointing (but I did have pretty high hopes). The fries weren’t that crispy. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate them all, but maybe they need to be triple cooked? My steak also came with a salad but I don’t think there was any dressing, so after a few bites of dry leaves I stopped. Plus, I already got my five a day in the soup.
We obviously had dessert and I inhaled the Ferrero Rocher cheesecake. I had to curb my inkling to devour their entire cheese selection because I already had the cheese soup. People who bake cheesecakes are like people who put raisins in cookies (insert rolling eyes emoticon here). Thankfully this one wasn’t! It was really good, a tad rich and, in my opinion, emphasized the worst part of a Ferrero Rocher: The nuts… which actually isn’t that bad.
Overall we had a really good time, the staff were very friendly. They also had a great wine list. I would probably go back if I was in the area doing some shopping. I will say it was a bit expensive for a gastro pub. That being said, we did drink a lot, so that was a big chunk of it.
51 Upper Berkeley Street, W1H 7QW
0207 723 8996