Porteno, Surry Hills

One of Foodyphile just turned a year older and thus we decided to venture to Porteno after hearing rave reviews about it. Another establishment by the marvellous Bodega team (Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz!) and 8 hour wood fired suckling pigs, how could we not go? It took us a while to find the place but Porteno turns out to be a quaint warehouse with white washed walls, black& white tiled floors and cowhide upholstery.

The atmosphere was like being in an old wine cellar with arches and courtyard in the centre of the restaurant. I could only imagine how lovely it would be during the day. The whole rustic atmosphere was boasted with an open flame rotisserie with your suckling pigs and lambs waiting to be chopped up and served.

For Entrées, Foodyphile tried the Beef Empanada and Broccoli and Ricotta Empanada. Empanadas have got to have amazing pastry, light, a slight chewiness to it but also has to be crispy and flaky. And the guys at Portenos have done an amazing job!


The Grilled tuna with Asparagus, Charred Jalapeño & Garlic Dressing received a “one of the best seared tuna” reaction! The tuna was odourless, it was how a fresh fish should taste like, its amazing! The tuna was seared to perfection, served with an amazing caramelized leeks and the most amazing grilled asparagus, it was so sweet it has crispy edges from the grill.

Before the arrival of our mains, we could not resist ourselves and ordered another two entrees, another 3 empanadas and BBQ Calamari with Chickpea Sofrito, Preserved Lemon & Watercress. Once we started digging our way through the occy, we could not stop, the sauce resembles a tomato based sauce, it was sweet, slightly tangy and a touch of saltiness too. It was perfect, another great dish from Porteno.

Grilled tuna with Asparagus, Charred Jalapeño & Garlic Dressing

BBQ Calamari with Chickpea Sofrito, Preserved Lemon & Watercress

Now, lets start talking about the 8 Hour Woodfired Free Range Suckling Pig. What do you expect from a well cooked pork? Crispy skin? Tender juicy meat that falls off the bone? Seasoned with just the slightest hint of seasalt? Porteno certainly ticks all the boxes! BEST SUCKLING PORK HANDS DOWN! Skin is madly crispy, meat is tender and juicy and literally melts in your mouth.

8 Hour Woodfired Free Range Suckling Pig

Second main, was the 8 Hour Woodfired Free Range Lamb. Although, it was not as saliva inducing as the aforementioned pork, the lamb had no undesirable “lamb” stink often associated with badly cooked lamb. This is how meat should be cooked like- fat rendered well and juices  flowing down from the freshly chopped lamb. The lamb was boasting aromas of smoke and wood, mmmm 😀

8 Hour Woodfired Free Range Lamb

The O’Connor Grass Fed Angus was unfortunately a let-down. It lacked the finesse that it appeared to be an after thought in the menu. Nevertheless, beef was cooked perfectly (tender pink in the middle!) and believe me, its not easy to find a restaurant that cooks beef as well as the guys with slick hair at Portenos!

O'Connor Grass Fed Angus

The Polenta with Provolone  Cheese is such a perfect complement to the mains. The polenta was smooth and creamy, what with the generous melted butter accompanying it. It was heart-clogging and sinfully delicious!

Polenta with Provolone Cheese

By then, the table was cleared and the waiter started putting our dessert spoons on our table. The birthday boy looked perplexed and started saying we did not order any desserts.

And Tah-Da! Surprise surprise!

Desserts with birthday candles on it! Nothing beats a surprise right? 🙂

South American Pavlova was a delicious combination of sponge cakes, caramel, toasted peanuts brittle and crumbed meringue. Need I say more? I love the saltiness from the peanuts.

South American Pavlova

The Chocolate Doughnut Heart With Fig Jam and Lemon Gelato was sour! I am not a big sour person. A whole bunch of eye squinting, lips pursing and water ensued from the first bite! However, once I started to eat all the elements together, I like how the chocolate goes well with the lemon gelato.

Chocolate Doughnut Heart With Fig Jam and Lemon Gelato

Porteno serves unpretentious honest South American food! Come and brave yourself to a night of jeans buttons popping. I promise you the suckling pork is worth the trip down. If you are coming with a party of more than 5, you can book a table too! We came on a Monday night and that place was packed- a good sign of such a great restaurant!

358 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8399 1440
Porteño on Urbanspoon

11 Responses to “Porteno, Surry Hills”
  1. Julie says:

    Woot great review, thinking about popping by this weekend! must have that pork!

    =/ i think you might need to state who wrote this post i dont who’s is who’s writing >_<

  2. foodyphile says:

    Thanks Julie! Sorry for the confusion, noted and we will rectify the author problem 😀 We were updating the post after we posted it the first time. Try this restaurant, its amazing 😀

  3. MissPiggy says:

    My brother went here recently and said it was great. The pork does look pretty great.

  4. Oooh, yes – that pork……….. 😛 Can’t wait to go back, and loving your photos 🙂

  5. sugarpuffi says:

    *squee* your post came just in time! gonna visit here this saturday ^-^ oh mi gad so many yummy things to choose from…ill just order what u ordered :p

  6. The tuna, pork, beef and occy … looks like you got it all covered. Think we’ll order as you mentioned. Great review!

    • foodyphile says:

      Thanks 🙂 We really over ordered that night, but being a foody, we managed to double up the tummy capacity 😀 The tuna was amazing though 🙂


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