Where to begin. The food was terrible at best. The service was met with a side of disgust and incompetence. the ambiance was terrible, and all in all a not worthy of the title "Best in Hanley"
Upon our arrival, after calling several times in advance to book, we were met by a very rude waiter who snorted in derision at our attempts as the restaurant was empty (clearly for this very reason). After arriving late, our starters were look warm at best, and given in my experience they should have been served piping hot. This was their first mistake. Their second was within the mains as not only were our "rare" steaks char-grilled to a crisp, the sides were stone cold and pasta not much better. The only part of the meal which we as a group found acceptable was the desert, which was probably as it seemed defrosted from the Tesco frozen aisle.
The staff clearly have no idea how to deal with customers, especially those foreign customers who don't have a great understanding of English. They were rude when serving, giving scathing glances in our direction every time assistance was needed, to the point where complaints were almost given. This type of rudeness should not be tolerated by paying guests, and i feel that the staff should indeed be taught how to serve in a respectful manner. This type of service i would expect in such establishments as KFC or McDonalds, but in what is supposedly voted the best in Hanley, i would expect more!
The establishment itself was basic, with what i can only describe as a concentration camp feel, or a post world war 2 Italy. The floors and tables were dirty. The less i mention about the bathrooms the better. The overall ambiance of the restaurant was poor at best, with those who actually wanted to have conversations having to sit around 2" away from each other. There was also an overpowering odor coming from the kitchens which genuinely made me worried about the food i was going to receive.
All in all my experience of Portifino's Hanley was a poor one, and next time i want a similar meal i think i'll just wait behind the bins of pizza hut on a friday night, as this would probably match up with Portafinos in both quality and quantity.
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