8 hour wood-fired milk fed Mirrool Creek lamb

Do you believe in fate? I don’t really, I’m far too practical to ever believe that things happen “for a reason”, but sometimes I think that something is challenging me to believe that there are greater powers at work. Like, the will of a greater power for me to shove my face into a pile of meat.

What am I talking about? Well, a month ago, we tried to book a table at Porteño. A month ahead, Friday or Saturday, either session, and they were all booked out. Though we were put on a waiting list, I pretty much assumed that “waiting list” is restaurant code for “no can do but please rate us for customer service” so we gave up hope and made a reservation elsewhere. As the day drew closer, I wished and prayed and even rocked out some hoodoo. Anything that would get us into Porteño and would you believe it? On Thursday, we got a call that a table had freed up. For seven people, no more, no less. PER-FUCKING-FECTO.

I believe!

Ok, no I still don’t really believe. But we sure did go to Porteño!

Porteño is fricking awesome and that’s pretty much all I want to say. If you’re a vegetarian, steer well away because two steps into the restaurant and you’ll run into this:

These guys literally have slabs of slow cooked meat lying around ready to carve. If this isn’t a carnivore’s heaven, I don’t know what is.

Aside from the obvious lure of the succulent, juicy meat, Porteño is a great venue is many other ways. With Gardel’s Bar upstairs, downstairs is dedicated to the consumption of meat, Argentinian style. In fact, I’m told that everything they have is from Argentina, from the crockery and furniture through to the tiles on the floor. Might as well do it right!

So, what did we eat?

Beef empanadas

Citrus marinated seafood with cucumber, grapefruit and yellow chilli paste

BBQ eggplant, peppers, cauliflower with tahini and quail egg

chimichurri and tomato salsa

I know, I know, where’s the meat? Coming right up!

Veal sweet breads – kind of looks like roast duck, no?

Blood sausage with red peppers in garlic

Shamefully my camera photo of our Asado beef ribs turned out shocking, so here’s my Instagrammed version –

O’Connor grass fed Angus beef short ribs

And don’t forget the 8 hour slow cooked lamb up top. Man, I’m so hungry looking at my own photos #firstworldproblems

Anyway, we also had some sides!

Shaved fennel salad with apricot, black olives and amontillado dressing

Crispy fried brussel sprouts with lentils and mint

What we did NOT have at Porteño was dessert. Remember what happened last time? Well they still haven’t changed the menu so I wasn’t about to have that again. Instead, we trundled along, full and happy, to Tokonoma on Crown Street where we proceeded to order one of every dessert and a whole bunch of drinks.

By the way, dinner was in celebration of my friends’ birthdays ~ the wonderful Ita and Mariano, whose birthdays are two days apart and their wedding anniversary in between. How cute is that? Birthday or not, they still ended up serving us ;)

Porteño
358 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
(02) 8399 1440
website

Porteño on Urbanspoon

18 Thoughts on “meat fest at Porteño! (warning: not for vegetarians)

  1. What – no picture of you in your party frock? Did you try the lamb off the spit? It was so good – I think I liked it better than the pork, shock horror!

  2. I love the food there and yes it’s really for meat enthusiasts! Like me! :)

  3. argh still havent gone to porteno! /jealous x 1000

  4. Miss Piggy: Sorry sorry, you saw one on instagram earlier ;) Yes the 8hr lamb is from the spit.. so sooooooooo tender! We didn’t end up getting the pork, I think I must go back!

    Lorraine: I know, totally cannot bring vegetarians there, they would be mortified!

    chocolatesuze: oh man, you would SO love the lamb spits!!

  5. I’m far from a vegetarian and MY the dishes look fantastic! You had to book a whole month in advance? The restaurant MUST be good then. You’re making me drool and my stomach’s grumbling :( I want some meat.

  6. OMG PORTENO!!! I LOOOOVED my meal there so much when I was up in Sydney in September. My friends and I ranked it as the most memorable meal of our entire trip, even higher than our degustation dinner at Marque! It really is a celebration of meat and all its goodness… Glad to hear your meal there was great too. I hope I get to go here again when I’m in Sydney next week but I doubt my family would want to go cause of the long wait and Qs! =/

  7. Jenny: Yeah – well they only take bookings for groups of 5+. If it’s less than 5, you have to come and wait, and when were there at 6pm (opening time) there were a LOT of people. So basically, if you want to book you have to book ages in advance as they don’t book out that many big tables… or you go and try your luck! :)

    Winston: I LOVED IT! Well if you can get a group of 5 or more, you can book! But make sure you book well in advance ;)

  8. the vegetable dishes look really good too. much better than the meats actually.. but blood sausage, i want!

  9. I def need to get to Porteno. Although I have heard Bodega is better :/

  10. mc: Actually they were good.. the fried brussel sprouts.. man, delicious! That blood sausage looked weird and unappealing at first but actually tastes awesome :D

    Nic: We were just talking about Bodega with friends last night actually! It is on the list!

  11. That lamb..oh man! Fried brussel sprouts..YUM. The blood sausage looks like necro-porn and I would be too much a food sissy to try it. (Getting picky in my old age. heh heh) You sure do get to eat in some fabulous places!

  12. Nice! I’m such a meat-lover but lambs not my thing lol a little too gamey for me :) but I know Mr Bao will LOVE IT hehe

  13. Linda: Haha yeah I actually didn’t think it looked all that appealing but I tried it and it was delicious!

    Daisy: Oh man, i LOOOOVE lamb! Probably my favourite meat! We eat a lot of game though – every week we more or less have venison or kangaroo!

  14. oh my goodness the lamb on the spit looks incredible! You’re right! not for vegetarians!

  15. Gotta round myself up some meat-loving friends and make a time to eat here! *heaven*

  16. jenny: Haha no way I would never bring a vegetarian :) the lamb was THE BEST although I still need to try the 8 hr roast pig!

    Rita: You definitely do!

  17. This is totally on my wish list for when I visit Sydney – carnivore heaven!

  18. Still yet to make it to Porteno. Want to try the pork (not a lamb fan at all).

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