Heads up everyone, for a new brunch spot is in town! Located in Park Hotel Clarke Quay, PORTA, a restaurant that offers modern European cuisine, has launched its brand-new brunch menu along with other a la carte dishes.
Newly appointed executive chef Alex Phan has brought a modern twist to classic European dishes, marrying European and Asian flavours in perfect harmony.
Furnished in a contemporary style, PORTA’s elegant decor is a treat for the eyes, as much as the food is a treat for the stomach.
Fresh from their brunch menu is the Apple Bacon Pancake ($16). This features a small stack of pancakes with apple slices, bacon, and maple syrup. The apple slices brought a refreshing sweetness to the dish, countering the saltiness of the bacon.
The pancakes had an excellent texture – soft and fluffy without being too dense. However, the dish could certainly have done with more apple slices, as I found myself clamouring (inwardly of course) for more.
What’s a brunch menu without Avocado Toast ($18)? Chef Alex’s rendition of this millennial favourite features slices of creamy avocado atop a walnut toast, along with confit tomatoes, a balsamic reduction and chia seeds.
The balsamic reduction paired extremely well with the avocado, providing a tart, savoury flavour in contrast to the sweet, creamy avocado. Dense but still soft, the walnut toast was the perfect base.
Besides the brunch offerings, PORTA also has a good variety of new a la carte items. One standout appetiser was the Sweet Potato & Kale ($14), which came dressed with honey, turmeric and tahini.
Before you sneer at the mention of kale, you must be informed that, as a fellow kale-hater, I found this absolutely delicious. Fresh, crisp and coated with the sweet, spice-infused dressing, the kale was almost completely rid of that unpleasant raw taste that is so common to leafy vegetables. The roasted sweet potato added a little creaminess to the dish, making it more substantial.
If you’re not a fan of salad, perhaps you could try the Tuna Tartare ($18) instead. What you’ll get is an abundance of tuna cubes marinated with shallots, herbs and a soy dressing, along with a daikon salad.
Fresh and juicy, the tuna had a nice amount of fat and carried a very pleasant flavour. The soy dressing was light but still flavourful, while the herbs and shallots imbued a savoury tang to the tuna which I enjoyed very much.
For something heavier, try the Wild Mushroom Orecchiette ($22). This is a vegan option, and also a stunning dish. With orecchiette pasta cooked al dente in a cream and herb sauce, along with sauteed wild mushrooms, this was incredibly delicious.
The mushroom cream sauce reminded me of cream of mushroom soup, but with a flavour far more intense and authentic than any sort of mushroom soup could hope to replicate. The sauce, though sufficiently creamy, was not thick and cloying at all, making it easy to polish off quite a fair bit of this pasta.
Using orecchiette was the perfect choice, as its concave shape allowed for the cream sauce to pool in each groove. Each mouthful was a creamy, earthy, delicious explosion of flavour. Definitely a must-try!
For the fish lover, the Norwegian Salmon ($24) would be perfect. This comes with a lightly seasoned salmon fillet cooked sous-vide, served with spiced pumpkin puree, baby spinach and pumpkin seed.
The salmon was cooked to flaky perfection, with a nice pinkish hue in the middle. Lightly seasoned, the fillet paired perfectly with the more intense spiced pumpkin puree, which tasted like a sweet curry paste. A harmonious blend of Asian and European flavours, this is fusion food at its finest.
Dessert options at PORTA include a Strawberry & Basil Panna Cotta ($12). The panna cotta was smooth with a nice fragrance from the basil.
There was also some black peppercorn infused into the panna cotta, which provided a very subtle bit of heat that I could feel right at the back of my throat. This was certainly an interesting twist to an otherwise dessert classic!
If you’re looking for somewhere with a nice ambience and good food, PORTA should definitely be on your list. With top-notch fusion dishes and hearty brunch items that are available at decent prices, PORTA is very family-friendly and would be a good option for a birthday meal or dinner date!
Expected damage: $20 – $30 per pax