Portello Rosso

It was one of my best friend’s birthday and we had to celebrate with a scrumptious meal. Portello Rosso was the first choice because of its pretty incredible reviews, and also its warmth and inviting space. Portello Rosso is a non pretentious Spanish restaurant that serves legit and authentic Spanish food, believe me, tried and tested. There are two floors to this restaurant, a more communal area downstairs, and a more cozy and intimate area upstairs.
Complimentary Bread
Complimentary Bread was cut in half each, and we dipped them in the mussel broth that we ordered.
Croqueta, 6AUD + Barbequed Sweetcorn & Zucchini Fritters, 4AUD Each
We began with the starters, the croquette consisted of mushrooms and blue cheese. None of us was a big fan of the blue cheese but Jan, so we ordered only a single portion for him. I took a single small bite and found it too overpowering but he seemed to enjoy that hefty piquancy. Rach and I got the Zucchini Fritters that were grilled and topped with mint and garlic yoghurt. The mixed corn and zucchini burst out textural contentment, and the yoghurt balances the sweetness and alkalinity of those two elements.
Pulpo A La Gallega, 20AUD

Pulpo is the Spanish word for octopus, and A La Gallega is the method of which the Pulpo was served, which was first boiled, and then sprinkled with paprika and salt. Pulpo A La Gallega is a traditional Spanish food. Portello Rosso did the dish with a Galician flair by adding fried chilli, some Spanish onions and leek, with a mouthwatering crispy potato slices. All of that topped in green herbs and house made aioli. The octopus slices weren’t at all plenty, and with us sharing we struggled through having enough slices for ourselves, but the dish itself was magnificent with many flavours combined.

Empanada De Wagyu, 9.50AUD
The Wagyu puff was a delight jazzed up with several spices, smothered in wagyu meat, pine nuts and sage. It was juicy, moist and not overcooked despite its tendency to be cooked really quickly.

And here a close up of the inside
Mejillones A La Plancha, 19.50AUD

We absolutely love mussels but my experience ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. Every mussel managed to soak the juices of that chilli, garlicky tomato sauce. Each decadent pieces have proven to taste as fresh as the sea, mussels right out of the waters I would say. The bizarre encounter transpired from my white top getting splashed by the broth. Red spots on my only-worn-twice bodice wasn’t a lovely sight.

Panceta De Cerdo, 7.50AUD Each

The crispy pork belly was beautifully cooked and tasteful, although I am repugnant at the sight of inconsistent cutting, some larger and some more narrow. The first few bites were great, and we all absolutely idolize the way the pork was cooked, in perfect layers of the meaty meaty, spongy fat, and gorgeous pork crackling skin. There was a negative point though, some areas were excruciatingly salty. The underneath almond and garlic puree did manage to mitigate that brutal salt raid.

And here we have the birthday girl sparkling in complete effervescence, gleaming like silver. My friends are beautiful like that 🙂
Costillas De Cordero, 16.50AUD

And for that dish of the day, the award goes to the most tender and delicate meat, the slow braised barbecued sticky lamb ribs! Every bite was delicious, these racks were exemplary that left us feeling moreish. We did not want to waste the bottom broth and I used my bread to dip it with. This was an absolute highlight for the two of us, since the other two didn’t quite like lamb meat. If you love lamb, try this dish as it was truly amazing and you can throw that gamey word out the door.

Paella De Mar, 66AUD

One of my favourite Spanish foods has always been a glorious paella. Portello Rosso serves a variety, from the seafood that we ordered as pictured above, to the vegetarian, or to other meat selections including quail and chorizo. We couldn’t skip the seafood given the array of different kinds. We had the various classics including shrimps, prawns, mussels and octopus. There was even a bug tail which was pretty unusual to be thrown into a paella. The quality of paella can even be seen through the amount of saffron added giving the paella that rich golden brown colour. We loved how the sweet corn, peas and onions gave the rice a nice sweetness. To order the Paella, a minimum of two people would be needed to make the order, costing each person 33AUD for the seafood option. The portion was rather generous and we shared two portions for the four of us.

Portello Rosso lives up to its standards of a good quality Spanish restaurant in Melbourne. Subjectively speaking, they are one of the top in my opinion. I love the casual hanging bicycle on top of the door. The combination of sophisticated wine bottles on the walls against a rustic interpretation of chalkboards, zen wooden tables, surprisingly it all fits. I also have to commend on the great service as every dish was served promptly and in an orderly manner.

Here’s a shout out to Rachel, Happy Birthday once again! You have stuck with me in my Melbourne years and I am more than thankful to have known you. You know I love you babe 🙂

Portello Rosso
15 Warburton Lane, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Tel: +(61) 03 9602 2273

Mon to Tue: 6pm-10pm
Wed to Fri: 12pm-3pm
Sat: 6pm-10.30pm
Sun: 6pm-10pm
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