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“Argentinian magic”
Review of Porteno

Ranked #299 of 5,844 Restaurants in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Surry Hills
Kempton, Aus
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Argentinian magic”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

I had long had this restaurant on my wish list so when we were in Sydney recently for my husband's birthday weekend, I thought we should try out Porteno. My husband thought it would be good to try an Argentinian restaurant so I said I would do my best to find one! My cunning paid off and once we were seated at the bar upstairs to wait for a dining table to become available, I felt the perfect choice had been made for a birthday dinner. We had a couple of drinks plus nibbles whilst tapping our toes to the rockabilly assortment of music. I thought I would be slightly intimidated by the very funky surroundings but not at all. The staff were very knowledgeable and friendly. Once we were seated downstairs, the service was even more streamlined. To accommodate so many people during dinner service is testament to the high standard of staff training.
The meal was a great ride with lots of meat on offer. It is hard to single out anything in particular, but I just loved the brussel sprouts. Yes sprouts. I'm not sure if they were roasted of fried, but they were very morish. I loved the whole event and would not hesitate to go again.
Porteno only takes bookings for groups of 5 and up, so anything under means that you wait upstairs until something becomes available, but a little bit of rockabilly will certainly get you in the mood.

Visited February 2013
Thank Denise,Tas,2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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414 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Don't believe the hype.”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

The more I eat at the multitude of great restaurants in Sydney, the more I realise that restaurants like porteno trade off hype rather than a true culinary experience. The baby chicken was lovely, but the pork was simply fatty off cuts in an oil bath. Also, highly overpriced. One thing in Porteno's favour is that it doesn't have a pretentious vibe about it - which is a nice change in a city full of itself - I wish I could say the same for the hipsters and 50 somethings waiting in line. Try it for yourself, but don't be afraid to say the food is mediocre even if your black rimmed glasses wearing friends say otherwise.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank Eatsyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
242 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Great Argentine food but be early!”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We caught a taxi from nearby Adina apartments for $10. Got there about 6:10pm and there were already 12 people seated with more arriving. Its a testament to the fab food. We'd never had Argentine cusine before and took the plunge. What an experience! The service was quick and efficient. The cellar has some great Argentine wines. We'll be back!

Visited January 2013
Thank Stevejomac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013 via mobile

This was nothing like a genuine Argentinian restaurant. It was over priced for the size of the servings. 46 dollars for a dish of plain pork albeit very tender is excessive even by Sydney standards.
The empanadas were tasty but again sold by the item ( mouthful ). Usually a dish of 3 would be sold as a starter in most South American restaurants I have been to.
The wines were good but still vastly over priced.
I think there is scope for competitors in this type of cuisine.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank EastKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Thought it would be better”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

I had high hopes and while I wasn't disappointed, I wasn't thrilled either. We started in the bar above, which had a good vibe and interesting mixed drinks. Since we didn't have reservations, we waited a while to be seated. Eventually we were seated in the dining room, which I found quite loud due to the hard surfaces, but it was well appointed and appropriate for the Argentinian theme of Porteno.
We ordered the roasted pork, some sausage, a squid or octopus dish, and a veg. The sausage and seafood were excellent. The pork was underwhelming, and since I expected this to be the highlight, it was a moderate disappointment. I found it under seasoned and a bit bland. I'd probably go back to give it another shot if I lived in Sydney or were there frequently.

Visited January 2013
Thank Daveinchch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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