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Friday, August 17, 2012

Portabello Bangkok - European Cuisine Review - Sukhumvit 49

Portabello - European Cuisine at Sukhumvit 49, Bangkok 

Overall Score  8.5/10
Taste   4/5
Ambiance  4.5/5
Service  5/5
Value   3.5/5

Portabello - Italian Restaurant on BumRes.com

The Portabello is a European restaurant with the concentration on the Italian cuisine.  In the beginning the Portabello was at the Pure Place of the Sammakorn Village on Ramkhamhang road.  The establishment relocated to the Sukhumvit 49 location in December last year.  Open for business seven days a week but only dinner during the week.  On the weekends, the Portabello starts serving at 11am and keep up to serving food and cocktails with the acoustic band playing until midnight.  Its ordeal location surely attracts a great crowd of young people in Bangkok.  Portabello is accessible from the Soi Thonglor 13.   The set up like is a residential conversion; two stories home with the old fashion look and the interior has the beach house concept.  Flags of Great Britain were found as a touch element to get the European vibe. 

Food at Portabello is leaning toward the European cuisine but also had a hint of American.  The menu was not so big but still had a good variety of dishes to choose from, which is a nice example practiced by many upscale restaurants.  Our server also told us that the menu changes every three months or so.  The owner is constant creating and seeking for new and interesting dishes to keep up with the trendy young customers.  Prices range between 200 to 300 baht mostly; reasonable rates for restaurants in this neighborhood.       

For the party of three, we had a total of nine dishes.  Yes, quite a bit of food for a lunch on Saturday, isn’t it? We are big eaters, lol…  In this review, I will talke more about the ones I like and be brief about other dishes.  First dish to come to the table was the London’s Beer Batter Fish and Chip (360 baht).  To be honest, I wasn’t sure what kind of fish it was; I believe it was Sea bass.  The batter was amazingly crisp wrapping the fine texture fish inside; so delicious with the tartar sauce.  And the “Chip” may be too simple of a name for the fried potato wedges (with the skin).  It is rarely found in Bangkok.  Next up was the Hong Kong style calamari with fresh garlic and chili (180 baht).   This dish reminded me of the Salty crispy fried shrimp with chili and garlic at Chinese restaurants.  The conversion to calamari is a great idea.  Another tasty appetizer was the French’s crab meat au gratin (290 baht).  Served with garlic bread, the small portion gratin was full of cheese and crabmeat.  This one is good while it’s hot.  My friend liked it a lot but I though the flavor was too mild.  For Gratin, I usually like the surface a bit browner since it will bring texture and taste to the cheese more.

Now the fourth menu at Portabello@ Sukhumvit 49, Creamy mussels with celery and smoky bacon in white wine sauce served with fries (380 Baht).  NZ Mussels weren’t the freshest ones but the wine sauce was light yet garlicky.  Fifth dish was the Crispy duck and ginger vinaigrette and rocket salad (290 baht), which was a fusion of Oriental and European.  It was interesting to see the chilies and shallots with the rocket salad and cheese.  Not a bad choice at all – The salad came with a nice portion of duck.    

Sixth dish was the Spaghetti with bacon, garlic, dried chili and Portabello mushroom (360 baht), which was simple and standard.   Next one was the Portobello mushroom quesadillas with salsa and mango chutney (290 baht).  It didn’t look like a Mexican quesadillas I know, but I actually liked it.  It must be the crispiness with the salsa and the sweet mango sauce.  We had so much food already by this time and there were still two more dishes to come.  One is the Bruchetta Naam sprinkled with spicy cheese (175 baht), which was simple merge of Thai and Western cuisine.  Naam is a Thai preserved pork sausage – usually served with young ginger and whole chilies.  This time the Naam is on a toast with cheese; an odd combination but fun and tasty.  Last dish of the lunch at Portabello was the Traditional British's banger and mashed (360 baht).   Sausages were standard good, matched well with the rich mashed potato.  Yeah, we made to the end.  It looks like we will skip desserts.

Nine dishes may sound like a lot of food.  No doubt it was but it wasn’t as bad as you think because the size of these dishes was fairly small.  Some of them were like snack food or something to share with friends while enjoying cocktails.  These creative fusion menu at the Portabello were simple yet unique and good to a standard but I must say that everything was just average.  About the food, I wasn’t overly impressed or especially touched.  However, overall experience was absolutely pleasant.  I love the atmosphere very much.  Staffs were friendly and took good care of our table.  When there is a live band playing, Portabello will be a perfect spot to chill at night time.  I might have to go back for their cocktails another time.  You guys should definitely check in at Portabello!    

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