Anyway we secured an early table and were told we'd have to vacate by 20:15 which suited our timeframes. We were seated upstairs and we found the waiters to be quite introverted but still pleasant and friendly and most importantly offered a personal touch in their engagement. They also came u[ with some good food and wine recommendations.
Tortilla – Spanish style frittata with onion jam
Charcuterie Plate – Selection of imported & house made salamis, jamon & charcuteria items with cornichons, Spanish caperberries and bread
Boquerones – Marinated white anchovies over honeyed goats cheese with smoked paprika
We found even the small dishes which we were told to order two of if we both wanted to try were actually quite generous and large enough to share if a taster is all you want. The tortilla up there is for one and you can see quite easily divided into two.
The tortilla was light and fluffy with good flavour and different textures from the veggies. I used some of the onion jam to accompany the rabbit terrine on the charcuterie board. We enjoyed the jamon the most on the board although the terrine was yummy. The Serrano ham was so different to the two Iberico hams. And the two different ages of the Iberico is quite startling with the pricier and older version being understandably better. Slightly drier in texture and with a flavour that lasts longer in the mouth it was delicious.
I loved the anchovies as I like a meatier anchovy and enjoyed the creamy sweetness of the cheese against it. I would choose this over Movida's anchoa although Steve's fave is still the saltier Movida version.
Bandarilla - Spice rubbed lamb over smoky eggplant with a green tomato & chipotle Salsa
Crispy pork belly over almond & garlic puree
The mussels were plump and tasty and the smoky sauce perfect for bread dipping. The pork belly was flavoursome with crispy crackling and without the gelatinous fatty layer that sometimes comes with pork belly when it's not rendered down enough. This was like the Chinese version but meatier. The puree was a bit salty for me but it was all about the meat.
The only slight let down was probably the lamb skewers. The meat was a bit tough and sinewy and the flavour nothing all that memorable. I'm not sure the Morroccan spices rub (not necessarily Morroccan but tasted that way to me) went with the tangy smoky creamy eggplant mix.
Our final dish was a chorizo, tomato and honey dish which was exactly what it was and by this time we were too full to appreciate it fully.
Flavours in the terrine were salted caramel, a centre of raspberry and almond. Great flavours and we especially loved the tart fruitiness of the raspberry.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Portello Rosso. We loved the old nod to its former use as a warehouse. We loved the friendly and homely charm whilst still being elegant. We loved the honesty of the place and the lack of pretention. And we also found it good value for money.