Bro recommended this place a couple of weeks back. his description of the food he tasted triggered an instant curiosity in me. determined to try and since i havent meet Cece for weeks, i decided that we should go check out Porta Porta.
Entering the restaurant, it's not very big. yet it has a very rustic feel. very different from any of the restaurants i have been to recently. i felt as if i was transported to italy. if the lightings of the place were incandescent, it would definitely have set the mood better. one has got to see for oneself the deco of the place. it looked as if it's quite messy but, it grows on you. it's a very special feeling :)
The place serves italian food. menu is pretty simple. lots of pasta, some soup, some appetizers and some dessert. bro recommended that i try the tasting menu of which we get to try soup, starters, mains and dessert, dished out by the chef and from the stuff in the menu and we don't get to specify. as we didnt know how big the portions were, we wanted to order the tasting menu and a plate of vongole spaghetti. the waiter seeing that we are both girls suggested instead that he will add the vongole spaghetti into the tasting menu coz if we were to order one plate, it's unlikely that we will be able to finish the whole dish.
first came the bread. wrapped in towel and served on a basket and it also comes with a dip. first the bread. not as warm and hot as i wished or expected. what's nice is that the crust is crispy like eating keropok yet the insides was fluffy soft. lotsa of olive oil were used i supposed coz fingers become rather oily.
dip it into the olive oil with anchovies, garlic slices and onion, you'd think it's an overkill. surprisingly, it's quite nice! would have kept on asking for more bread if we were super hungry, but we decided that one basket was enough and wise decision indeed for we were not prepared for the dishes which followed.
the appetizer was tomato bruschetta. more olive oil, but it's not bad. believe the taste of the tomatoes was enhanced by some good quality salt and it's sourish, sweet as well as savoury.
next came this lasagna looking dish. but instead of pasta inbetween the layers, there's eggplant. love the tomato sauce and the slightly harden cheese. personally, i don't really like eggplant, but this dish was pretty good. it has such varied texture and flavours i wouldn't mind eating it again. though, lotsa of olive oil was being used again.
soup arrived next and yah, the colour looked similar to our previous dishes. we were told this was fish soup. after tasting it, i sure don't remember drinking any fish soup which tasted like lobster bisque, though not as thick. i sure felt like i was drinking seafood soup than fish soup. it's light and i can drink it forever. it's so flavourful i'd order this the next time i'm there!
next came the squid ink ravoli stuffed with crab meat cooked with tomato sauce with crab meat. it was pure indulgence. i couldn't taste much of the squid ink, but nevermind. anything squid ink i like. the crab meat was really fresh and enhanced the taste of the sauce. i want to eat this next time too!!
after seeing the oranges, red, yellows etc, this risotto dish came. simple as it looked, it sure packed a punch. this is something i will try again too! the risotto was cooked perfectly soaking up the creamy flavour of the mushroom sauce. each mouthful makes me want more and it's really unstoppable!! i just kept scooping and savouring each and every mouthful.
the vongole finally arrive, but i was disappointed. it's different from the usual vongole pasta i've tasted. though i must say they were really generous, but i didnt taste the sweetness in the clams ad the sauce as well as the pasta didnt come together very nicely. lucky we didnt order 1 plate. bro told me later the 1 plate is really huge!
calamari and prawns is a must try!!! the batter is almost not there, it's there for that little bit to nicely coat the squid rings and prawns. the squid rings were big and very Q so they were very chewy. love it! the prawns definitely fresh but pity only have two. eating them individually, you know that there's a sprinkling of something on the calamari and that my friends is the secret ingredient that really enhance the taste of this dish. you can also mix it with the chopped tomato and the black thingy coz the lemon is squeezed on top of that side vege combi. but i like the calamari as it is.
finally, the meal ended with a light tiramisu. it's just enough to end the meal on a sweet note.
it may seem like there were a lot of tomato-ish items which initially i thought so much tomato sauce would be too much, but surprisingly, the tomato sauce had their own flavours which matched the dishes very nicely.
the whole degustation menu cost only $47++ but if you pay by cash, there's no ++. for so many dishes and for this price which feeds 2 not so big eater, i think it's really reasonable. the portions they served were generous indeed!
am thinking of going back again soon with a better camera of course and more friends to try different stuff!!! :D