We were invited to dine in Portico and my oh my I was really delighted with joy because it’s been a long time since I’ve dined to any Chateau restaurant. The last time I was in a Chateau place was in Sidebar Cafe last year and the last time I was in Portico was way back in High School (it was in Malate then, right?).
For our appetizer, we decided to have the Baked Cheese Fondue. It was so good and the nicest thing about it is that the waiter would give you additional bread if you asked for it (and even though you don’t ask for it! 🙂 ). The fondue is made of melted Fontina and Mozzarella Cheese and topped with chorizo and green bell pepper. Another good thing also about this appetizer is that it doesn’t leave you with the “maumay” taste unlike other cheeses.
The beverages we ordered were Honey Ginger Lemonade and Iced Green Tea. Both of them were really good. The Honey Ginger Lemonade was like “salabat” but it does not have that yucky taste. The Iced Green Tea was very refreshing and also it was the real thing (not the powdered green iced tea nowadays).
I was so looking forward to a dish that I truly missed which is the Lamb Osso Bucco. It’s lamb shanks which were braised in tomatoes, celery and carrots. On the side was mashed potato cake (just like your normal mashed potato). The serving is enough for 2 or 3 people. This dish isn’t very common among other restaurants and Portico was able to master the art of making this dish. It’s very tender and tasty as well. One thing that reminds me of Chateau actually is this dish. (Chateau 1771 by the way, serves the Beef Osso Bucco which is also very good.)
Another entree we ordered was Steamed Barramundi (Philippine Sea Bass) which was recommended by our friendly waiter to try. It’s filleted served in a deep dish with sauce made of lemon juice, patis (fish sauce) and tomatoes. We ordered this one because we felt that the Lamb Osso Bucco is already heavy for the 2 of us so to compliment the heaviness of that is this light and very healthy dish. It actually looks like your everyday “Pinangat” or “Paksiw” but the taste is not similar to those familiar dishes. I appreciate that the Barramundi was fresh and wasn’t overcooked. As we all know, cooking fish is sometimes difficult because when it’s overcooked the meat would become too soft. Also, the fish was able to absorb the sauce.
For our dessert we ordered Creme Brulee, another dessert that I truly missed. I was a bit disappointed with this one because the caramelized sugar was so thick that it became so hard to break it. As for the custard, it was too liquid. I have eaten a lot of Creme Brulees in my life so I know how it should be: custard should be a bit semi-solid or semi-liquid and caramelized sugar should be really thin. I have no problem with the taste, it actually tasted good.
After struggling to finish all those dishes, we decided to have tea to lessen our bloated stomachs 😉 . We had rose hip and green tea for the both of us. They aren’t your normal tea in tea bags, they were the real thing and served in cute tea cups and tea pot :).
The overall experience was exciting however having that exciting feeling comes with a price. Their prices are expensive, probably the budget is a thousand per person. This place is good if you will be celebrating a special day of your life, just to have a different ambiance. The service was fantastic, our waiter (I think his name was Marco) was very helpful and conscious of our needs as their customers.
Portico 1771, by the way, is a member of the Chateau 1771 group of companies (Sentro, Sidebar Cafe and Chateau 1771).
Piazza Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Metro Manila