358 Cleveland Street Surry Hills, New South Wales 2010

View map

Opening hours Lunch Sun, Dinner Tues-Sat from 6pm
Features Accepts bookings, Bar, Events, Gluten-free options, Groups, Licensed, Private dining, Vegetarian friendly, Wheelchair access
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Elvis Abrahanowicz, Ben Milgate
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 02 8399 1440

Porteno is the ground zero of dining with a difference. Crowds line up each evening to see the be-quiffed owner/chefs play ringmaster over a glowing fire pit with whole carcasses stretched on an iron asador frame. Suckling pig sets the gold standard. soft white meat with crackle like glass, a jug of salty juices on the side. From the parilla (charcoal grill) come beef short ribs - slather them in the spicy chimichurri - and fragrant house-made morcilla with soft swatches of red pepper. But Porteno is no mere carnivore's paradise. Fried cauliflower with chickpeas and silverbeet is guilt and virtue combined; provolone with soft polenta is oozingly comforting. Dessert? Short-crust apricot and chocolate tart with muscat and creme fraiche ice-cream is a worthy end. If you're in a generous frame of mind after dinner, head upstairs to the bar and let some of those eager punters still queuing hopefully at the door have their moment in the sun.