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“A convenient place for a change of cuisine” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Port House

The Port House
417 | Strand, London WC2R 0PD, England
02078367764
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Ranked #113 of 18,011 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“A convenient place for a change of cuisine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

After two weeks in vacation in the UK, we had had our fill of pub food for lunch. This little tapas restaurant and wine bar was just what we were looking for. The food was quite good, the menu had many options and the of course the wine list was quite extensive. A great light meal right on the Strand.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    102
    38
    7
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Don't miss this! Great place to eat!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013 via mobile


My friend and i stumbled across The port house after leaving the south bank, dissatisfied with the overbearing abundance of chain restaurants. We were beginning to despair until we noticed candles flickering across the street. Closer inspection revealed a cozy looking place with candles burning on the tables and the best stocked gin bar I've ever seen. We were sold.
The service was wonderful, we had plenty of seats to choose from as we arrived a little after the lunchtime rush. I think come quitting time this place would be packed!
Our first waitress helped us to choose wine, we were offered a few to try before we chose, always a nice touch.
We then began to reel off the dishes we wanted from the extensive tapas menu. I thought it was fantastic that the waitress offered advice, rather that ordering everything at once, it's best to order in groups of four so the food stays hot and you don't have to over order if you start to get full. It would have been so easy for her to let us order everything at once, but our experience was more enjoyable for doing it the suggested way.
The food arrived, via a different waitress who was also lovely, we didn't have to ask for side plates and we were asked if we would like clean plates between "courses".
Another fabulous thing about this place is that tap water comes as standard, it's provided in a nice bottle, I love that.
Below are our menu choices.

Ensalada di sandia y feta - watermelon and feta salad
This was lovely, so refreshing and enough to share, be sure you like raw onion as even though the dice is tiny, it is one of the main components.

Pa amb tomaquet - tomato bruschetta
Standard bruschetta, again lovely and refreshing with a garlic hit.

Pepito solomillo - mini sirloin steak with red wine jus on toast
This was just wonderful. It is a small steak, enough to share for a small taste. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare and the accompanying sauce, whilst not too fancy was incredibly savoury, delicious.

Tostas di champinones - creamy mushrooms on Galician bread
Perfectly cooked and well seasoned.

Abondingas - meatballs in tomato sauce
I found the meatballs too soft but the sauce was good. My friend liked them, so just not to my taste.

Chorizo al vino - chorizo in Rioja
Can't go wrong here, absolutely yummy... Smoky and salty with the wine sauce. Gorgeous. Lots of bread met its end in that bowl!

Berenjena con hummous - tempura aubrergine with hummous
This dish has potential, it was our least favourite. The trouble with tempura is you have to eat it hot but with all of our other dishes, it got a bit left by the wayside so went cold quickly, our fault! The aubrergine could have done with being sliced thinner so it lost some of its bite.. The hummous was very good.

Patatas bravas - potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli.
Very nice, punchy tomato sauce. The aioli could do with a bit more garlic though!

We found all of the food was in large enough portions to share, even though we might not have wanted to!!
The bread was great and more was brought quickly at our request.
The service is a little more relaxed at the end of your meal, we moved to the bar to enjoy a (large) gin cocktail. If you need to be away quickly, do tell the waiting staff as otherwise they leave you to naturally finish... There is no table turning rush here, We could have sat there all day and felt we would have been most welcome to do so.
This is a real diamond in the rough. Don't miss out!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Adelaide, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Lovely Jovely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

First time here last night, service was fantastic, followed by a silky gorgeous red and then the food...the chorizo al vino melted in the mouth and certainly no complaints with the calamari, olives, hummus and Pa amb Pernill. Happy customer. Will definitely be back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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London SW12
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A little bit of Spain on the Strand”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

First let me say I don't understand the concept of a Tapas "restaurant", to me tapas are snacks in a bar that you might eat while drinking. But I am English!

A group of us (7) visited on Bank Holiday Sunday evening. We decided on 2 tapas plates each to share. With drinks, water and food, the tables are far too small to accommodate everything, which I found really annoying. The waitress was Spanish and explained they were understaffed - surprising given a Bank Holiday weekend - and hence the slow, but friendly, service.

The interior is very nice and atmospheric. Toilets clean. The welcome and service both where warm. The food ranges from £4.50 to 9.95 (lamb chops) or 10.50 Plato de Queso (cheeseboard) or the selection of Spanish meats (£10.95) per serving. Overall, not cheap. Our bill with wine worked out at £32 per head. I was not stuffed or drunk. My extremely well travelled friends thought it was EXCELLENT, but they are not writing this review!

As a dinning experience, I have rated The Port House as average but perhaps as a bar experience ie a few drinks and some snacks it would have better. Bottom line - if your in the area and want Tapas go and try it. However, I prefer other tapas bars in London such as www.laterraza.co.uk at Clapham North...(Tapas £1.20 to £7.50) or Pico Bar & Grill at Albert Embankment, Vauxhall.www.madeiralondon.co.uk not so atmospheric but great food.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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london
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great place, food lets it down”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This place seemed like a real find, great layout, interesting wines/ports/sherries & generally a refreshing change from most bars in the area but the food was really poor. Some was average- whitebait & toasted bread with various tasty toppings- but some was actually unpleasant- the Aubergine & goats cheese & the meat platter are to be avoided. It's a real shame as the service was excellent & it was a great place for a drink.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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