Review of Portland
I had heard positive things about the newly opened Portland restaurant, so it seemed the perfect venue to try for a recent girls’ night out. Great Portland Street has improved steadily over the years but is still under represented by good restaurants so I was interested to see whether Portland would help to redress that.
Portland occupies the site of a former shop and has good frontage with floor to ceiling windows. It seats forty five and was almost full when we visited. At the back is a theatre style kitchen that was a hive of activity.
As there were six of us, the charming Daniel Morgenthau, one of the owners, helped assemble a tasting menu of sorts so that we could sample a variety of dishes. I particularly liked the wide range of starters. These included tender Shitake mushrooms pickled in soy and ginger; a warming white onion and parmesan soup that took away the chill of a cold January night and charred brassicas with a smoked egg emulsion and Perigord truffle. The contrast of the leaves with the silky emulsion was sublime and a perfect excuse to have an extra piece of bread to soak up the juices!
Will Lander, Daniel’s co-owner gave helpful advice on the wine and selected an elegant white Burgundy and a pleasing and pocket friendly Zinfandel.
As we enjoyed catching up on news, our main courses arrived. I enjoyed the gnocchi paired with pumpkin and kale pesto; the cod with baked Roscoff onion and perfectly cooked pieces of sirloin. The pièce de résistance was the game pithivier that was a joy to behold with its dome of golden pastry. I was almost afraid to cut into it but was rewarded by a filling of wild duck and mushrooms with black truffle and game sauce. It was rich and flavourful without being dense and merits a return visit.
In the spirit of friendship and sharing we tried a few desserts and did justice to the chocolate bar and a very good lemon tart.
I recommend Portland for a night out with friends for food that stretches the palate. The restaurant has a good buzz with friendly and well informed service. A welcome addition to Marylebone.
Portland, 113 Great Portland Street W1W 6QQ
0207 436 3261
Nuzy Sayani is Catwalkschoolgates’ restaurant reviewer. Nuzy lives in Marylebone with her husband and seven year old son. She is a technology lawyer and loves the theatre, cinema, is an avid reader and likes nothing more than trying out new restaurants. Nuzy will be sharing her dining experiences with us and would love to hear from you with your recommendations.