They say good things come in small packages. And as a restaurant they don’t come much smaller than Portland. With limited seating, it’s always better to reserve a table ahead of time to ensure you get to sample the imaginative, accomplished food they serve here; it’s worth it.
Portland’s menu revolves around good, seasonal British produce, and the chef’s ingenuity – or intuition – very rarely goes awry. Punctuated with the occasional Asian-inspired flavour, Merlin Labron-Johnson has created a limited, but nonetheless intriguing menu that will appeal to foodies. Here, a meal might start with small snacks, like crispy chicken skins, liver parfait, candied walnuts and pickled grapes, or gougères with aged Mimolette, before moving on to otoro of Bigeye tuna, white beetroot, smoked crème fraîche and caviar, and glazed ox cheek, brioche and parsley root.
The wine list, meanwhile, shifts and changes every month, so whenever you visit there’s sure to be a bottle of something palette-tempting. But if your tastes lean more towards cocktails, you’ll be happy with Portland’s selection of signature concoctions. The Earl Grey Negroni and the Basil Gin Sour in particular are crowdpleasers.
It’s rare to see an empty table in Portland’s dining room; it hums with life week-round. This is an elegant space, which, while simple, ensures that the emphasis remains firmly on the plate.