PORTENO
Sydney, NSW

If rockabilly chefs Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate don't lure you into Porteno, the imaginative share dishes and bespoke meats sizzling over the central fire pit will. Step into the moodily lit Surry Hills dining space prepared for the underground glamour of the ‘50s and the inventiveness of the ‘now'. Start upstairs at Gardels Bar while waiting for a table (Porteno only accepts reservations for groups of 5 or more), before sampling what is touted as the best South American menu in Sydney.
Accepts
Opening Times
Address:

358 Cleveland St
Suburb:
Surry Hills
Contact:
Tel: +61 2 8399 1440
Cuisine:
South American
Price Range:
$$$$ ~ $$$$
License:
Fully Licensed (no BYO)
DETAILS
PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate, the boys who brought tapas hot spot Bodega to the Sydney dining scene, have elevated their signature cool to new heights at the recently opened Porteño. The restaurant, whose name refers to the port-dwelling residents of Buenos Aires, is a celebration of all things Argentine from its collection of grills and open ovens to the Mendoza-heavy wine list and Latin-themed cocktails.
The revamp of the former Dimitri's Greek restaurant space maximises the building's unique architectural nuances – the whitewashed room centres on a tiled, courtyard-like dining space, filled with large marble-top dining tables. Variously shaped archways surround the high-ceiling heart of the restaurant, through which mini-staircases carry guests around the multi-level space. Upstairs, the dusty pink, pin-cushioned bar is topped with a black lacquered counter in the cocktail area. The venue is a mixture of different spaces that keep guests guessing and offers thoughtful detail around each seemingly never-ending corner.

Porteño specialises in all manner of obscure and delicious meats. For entrée, try the morcilla (blood sausage), savoury yet subtle and served with earthy, garlicky red capsicums. Individual empanadas, a common street snack in South America, are bound in soft pastry, piping hot and stuffed with a tasty beef mince mixture. Woodfired meats, spread over the open pit on the ground level for all to see, are removed after hours of cooking for diners' delight. The slow-roasted Suffolk lamb is butter-soft and well worth the hefty price tag for its relatively small portion.
Be sure to put your name down for one of Porteño's coveted tables – bookings are only accepted for groups of five or more – and take a seat at Sydney's newest, hottest restaurant and bar.
Alecia Wood
Award Winning / Hatted
Bar / Wine Bar
Suitable for Groups of 10
Awards
SMH Good Food Guide Awards - 2015
Two Chef Hats
SMH Good Food Guide Awards - 2014
One Chef Hat
Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards - 2014
358 Cleveland St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
CHEF RECOMMENDATIONS
Shierly Anonymous on 28/08/2014
Favourite international restaurant - porteno - the suckling pig and wagyu beef ribs are excellent
David Lovett on 28/08/2014
Porteno is my pick for a special occasion dinner or taking a visitor out, get in early for some slow cooked pork or lamb from the asador, sweet breads, Brussel sprouts, octopus oh my!! Incredible wine list, service and food, you can't go wrong.
Hamish Ingham on 27/08/2014
I live one block away from Porteno so I would have to say Gardels Bar upstairs. It is open late and the food and drinks always deliver. I always have a nice aged Whiskey and the smoked and fried chicken wings
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