Sunday, 21 April 2013

Restaurant review - The Port House, Strand

I am often sad that the newly arrived fashionable tapas restaurants in London tend to be poor for vegetarians - it's not that they don't have any options but those options rarely work together as a meal.  I was therefore pretty excited when we passed The Port House a while ago and took a look at the menu and found that it has plenty of tasty looking vegetarian options.

Not only that but it has a gin and tonic menu.  Seriously.  This is my awesome orange and cinnamon G&T.

Anyway - we had a really good lunch there.  The highlight for me were the aubergine tempura with hummus - tempura were just perfectly fried, crispy, not too greasy, and the hummus was flavoursome.    Honourable mention to the goats cheese salad and the picon blue that we had.  It was also - for central London - really good value for money.  We had 5 tapas between the two of us, admittedly almost all of them vegetarian, and a drink each and the bill came to about £40.   The atmosphere was also very nice - candlelit, quiet, tables spaced reasonably from each other.

The only downside was the bizarrely judgemental waitress.  When we ordered 5 tapas, she practically snatched the menus out of our hands and told us that "that would be enough".  We decided that perhaps she was trying to be helpful and let us know portion sizes.  However, while 5 was perhaps half a tapa too many, it was pretty much the size of lunch that we wanted particularly as a couple of them were mostly vegetables.  When she came back and saw that we'd finished, she gasped disapprovingly, cleared plates, then came back with dessert menus "Do you want dessert? [without pausing] No, you've had enough."  We didn't have dessert.  (Though, in fairness, we weren't planning to anyway.)  I'm not quite sure what makes anyone decide to take a job as a waitress when they are judgemental about people's eating habits.  It seems an unwise choice to me but there we have it.  

I liked the food so much, though, that I'm still planning to return - it's probably the only tapas restaurant in London where, as a vegetarian, you could go back a second time and order completely different dishes.  

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