PORTA Fine Food & Import Company at Park Hotel Clark Quay has recently revamped its a la carte menu, and centering this new menu are ingredients commonly overlooked - herbs and spices. Usually the unsung heroes of many great dishes, new minted Executive Chef Alex Phan at helm recognised their ability to add dimensions to dishes, and there you have, new dishes that highlight their humble profiles.
Charred Prawn 4/5
As a starter, Charred Prawn ($16) fulfilled its role as its elusive charred taste stimulates each of my taste bud, and the punchy Marie Rose sauce elevates that.
Sweet Potato & Kale 3.8/5
Tuna Tartare 3/5
My usual favourite Tuna Tartare ($18) didn't quite delight me as much this time round, whereas the Sweet Potato & Kale ($14) is something to reminisce about. While people raves about how roast kale tastes better than raw kale, the tahini dressing that binds the ingredients together changes that perception for sure. It's thick but not too creamy, and adds loads of texture to this leafy salad. Slightly savoury, the roast sweet potato tastes even yummy with it. Along with cranberries and crunchy walnuts, a bigger bowl would be my breakfast anytime.
Norwegian Salmon 3/5
Moving on to the mains, we started off with Norwegian Salmon ($24) served with a creamy, spiced pumpkin puree. The spiced pumpkin puree does give this rather common dish a character. The exterior of the salmon could be more crisp though.
Beef Short Rib 2.5/5
The 12-hour braised Beef Short Rib ($28) however, was dry and came across rather gamey with a metallic taste that unfortunately, made more pronounced by the curry mash.
Wild Mushroom Orecchiette 3.5/5
I really like this Wild Mushroom Orecchiette($22) for its varied textures which I can enjoy all in one spoonful. The mushrooms had been charred to release theirs flavours, while the al dente orecchiette were coated with the right amount of garlicky sauce and cheese.
Spring Chicken 4/5
Spring Chicken ($24) with taro puree could possibly be Porta's signature. The chicken was extremely tender, and what differentiates this dish from the others is the smooth and flavourful taro puree that never seems to be enough.
Strawberry & Basil Panna Cotta 3.5/5
For desserts, this Strawberry & Basil Panna Cotta ($12) is a stellar example of how herbs can uplift flavours. Though using basil in desserts are not new, this particular creation sums it up well.
Avocado Toast 2.8/5
Apple Bacon Pancake 2.8/5
Brunch is available as well but I feel brunch items may not be Chef's forte. I tried the Avocado Toast ($16) and Apple Bacon Pancake ($16). No doubt the flavours are there but when brunch dishes look outrageously gorgeous and meant to be just as wholesome as mains, these somewhat pale in comparison.
Do try out their craft cocktails, with pretty amusing monikers such as They Died With Their Boots On, Footsteps In The Dark etc. I like my Porta x Hendricks Singapore Sling, which is bittersweet with the right amount of citrusy acid.
Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
Porta Fine Food & Import Company
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
1 Unity Street
Tel: +65 65938888
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (NE Line), Fort Canning (DT Line)
Daily: 11am - 1030pm
1) Alight At Fort Canning MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn left and walk to junction of River Valley Road and Clemenceau Ave. Cross the road and turn left onto Clemenceau Ave. Walk down Clemenceau Ave. Turn right onto Unity Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit E. Walk to bus stop at Clark Quay Station (Stop ID 04222). Take bus number 54. Alight 3 stops later. Walk to the end UE Square Shopping Mall. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]