Last Updated: March 29, 2020
In recent times, we’ve had establishments adopt a more “green” menu for those looking to enhance their diet with more fibre and nutrient-rich meals. With Impossible™ Foods and Beyond Meat® making headlines late last year, PORTA has now taken on the task of creating a ‘Green Monday’ menu which puts vegetables in the centre stage and highlights their full flavours.
Flanking the left side of Park Hotel Clarke Quay‘s entrance, I was pleasantly welcomed by its semi-nautical nuances, with heavy use of large wooden pieces, lacquered wooden furniture, and memorabilia that made me feel like they once belonged to a curious traveller.
It was a strange feeling as I stepped further into the restaurant, because instantly the previous room’s aura was shed once inside The Store, a gourmet retail space where guests can purchase jams, meats, wine, and plenty more.
I was ushered to a cosy cove, which could easily seat up to six adults comfortably. What I liked most about this arrangement was the ability for a small group of people to keep their conversation within the three walls that surround them, without having to worry about nosy eavesdroppers.
That would bode well for mini celebratory occasions, so it’ll do well to keep this in mind this venue for your future get-togethers.
A refreshing start to your meal has to begin with Burratina (S$22++), fresh burrata topped with shio kombu, and served with Roma tomatoes and basil pesto. For someone who typically stays away from raw tomatoes—due to personal preference—I was about 80% sure I’d detest this straightforward starter.
Surprisingly, I found it rather palatable, with the Roma tomatoes being particularly sweet, and mild zesty, pairing wonderfully with the creamy burrata. The basil pesto worked its magic with a herbaceous undertone, that really lifted the dish and gave it a rounded, full-bodied finish.
We took a brief respite from the vegetarian menu to have a taste of their highlighted appetisers. I especially enjoyed their Parma Ham (S$16++), which is another modest dish made with mesclun salad, watermelon, parma ham, basil, balsamic vinegar, Thai lime aioli, lime juice, and zest. The saltiness from the parma ham really brought out the watermelon’s natural sweetness.
The Thai lime aioli wasn’t pronounced, but it was subtle enough to cut through the parma ham’s fatty mouthfeel. What really stood out for me was the impeccable ratio between salt, fat, and acid.
For a split second, I forgot that I was tasting dishes from their new ‘Green Monday’ menu because it was flavourful and robust—stereotypical of what a meat dish would entail. Orecchiette Pasta (S$24++) is a cream-based pasta dish with shallots, garlic, mushroom, spinach, and Beyond Sausage®.
I’ve tasted Beyond Meat® in a burger before and I really enjoyed it. Of course, it all depends on how the kitchen decides to season it, but I still loved this all the same. The shell-shaped pasta was cooked till al dente—which was I very appreciative of—and contrasted beautifully with the soft chew of the Beyond Sausage®.
Speaking of meat-free burgers, it’d be a crime not to include one in a vegetarian menu! The Beyond Burger (S$29++) here is made with Daiya cheese (a dairy-free cheese made from cassava and arrowroot), housemade ketchup and caramelised onions in between two brioche buns, with fries and salad on the side.
I always love a burger that has its ingredients encased in brioche buns, so that was an immediate win in my books. As for the patty, it was juicy and tender with a touch of sweetness from the caramelised onions. Would I say it was a stellar burger? Unfortunately, I can’t. Not because it wasn’t made of pure beef, but there was something in its choice of seasoning that didn’t make it a bite that was gratifying and unforgettable.
Try out a new spin on coffee desserts with their rendition of Kopi “O” (S$12++). Served in a traditional kopitiam glass mug were multiple layers of dark chocolate coffee sponge, milk sauce, whipped cream, and espresso ice cream, complete with butter sugar toast on the side. Be sure to dig through all the layers to thoroughly enjoy the dessert, so you’ll get to savour both the bitterness and sweetness.
The dessert trumped in texture, with the crumble of the butter sugar toast juxtaposing against the creaminess of the espresso ice cream. If you’re a fan of coffee desserts, this one will be an easy win for you.
If I had to recommend a single dish from the ‘Green Monday’ menu, it would have to be the Orecchiette Pasta. It was a hearty dish that was so comforting, satisfying, and truly made me want to lick the bowl clean. For a menu that’s exclusively vegetarian—with a few vegan options to boot—it was varied and comprehensive; even for those who don’t often choose to order vegetarian dishes when eating out.
Expected Damage: S$25 – S$40 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 3 / 5
1 Unity Street, Singapore 237983
1 Unity Street, Singapore 237983