Portabello Home Kitchen and Bar
formerly Portabello Day Cafe.
Portabello’s décor is certainly clichéd (they even went for those ubiquitous Union Jack pillows) but it is easy on the eye: the space is encased in glass, there’s a wooden ceiling and the furniture is tastefully simple. With a nice décor and standard breakfast offerings (only on Sat-Sun, 10am-2pm), like the American breakfast (B200) or eggs benedict (B150, all breakfast dishes), we could cut it some slack as a café. Unfortunately, Portabello also attempts to be a serious restaurant with dishes like prawn bisque (B160) and duck confit with peach coulis (B420). And on that front, it fails like all the other trendy cafes in Bangkok: dishes are served in succession, with 5-10 minutes between each one, and the food ranges from plain average to shockingly bad. In fact, you can’t help but cast angry glares at the hipsters sharing the dining room. Why do people continue to accept such sub-standard food as long as it is Western and served in a cutesy, “retro,” “New York-style loft” setting? The flavorless ribs (B420) are doused in a sickeningly sweet sauce, with a few slices of chili peppers, as if that would miraculously balance things out. The pasta in the spaghetti with Italian sausage and chili basil oil (B235) tastes cooked in advance and then refried in oil, so that it’s chewy and swimming in the stuff. The steak (B790), ordered rare (“really rare, please!”) is brought to the table with a triumphant, “Medium rare, ka.” (We asked to change it and were told, “Oh, actually, it’s rare”—it wasn’t.) And while the above at least remain edible, there are also unmitigated disasters, such as the “calamari with fresh garlic and chili” (B150). What sounds like a light Mediterranean or even Thai dish turns out to be chewy chunks of squid in some of the thickest breading we’ve ever experienced. And yes, their name is a misspelling of the portobello (or portabella) mushroom, as is evidenced in the portabello (sic) mushroom burger, with its cheap, floury bread and the single slice of mushroom acting as the patty (B290). We can live with bad spelling, not so much with food like this.
|Address:||Portabello Home Kitchen and Bar, 211/3 Sukhumvit Soi 49, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight; Sat-Sun 10am-2pm|
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