Bangalore restaurant reviews Brunton Road

Portland Grill House and Cafe

Monday, August 06, 2012Me! In words

Sudhakar kept passing the massive gates of Portland Grill House several times since it falls on the route he takes to office. After passing by one too many times, he decided that it should be the lunch option one weekend afternoon. And so we found ourselves at the massive wooden gate, which had smaller door that needs to be pushed open to get in. We were a little unsure as to whether the place was open - no security guard, semi closed door and so we asked as much when we entered and were assured that the place was open. 

A few minutes after we settled down and were handed the menu, the complimentary bread basket with butter came to the table. While the pastry twists were nice and warm, the other hunks of bread seemed a little hot and cold, suggesting that they may not have been "oven fresh". Not that anyone claimed it was. Nevertheless, cold bread is a put-off. 

The complimentary bread basket

 The decor is largely white, spread over a sizable space. There are a few skylights around and we were under one. There is also a little garden space in one corner. The restaurant is below a service apartment, though both are separate entities. Also, since the steaks section of the menu was dedicated to Haroon, it was obvious that the management were closely related to the creators of The Only Place.

The space from our seat

We each decided to have a grape fizz and a passion fruit fizz. Both nice. And since this was brunch, we were going all the way - starters were, Batter Fried Calamari, Anoushka's latest love and Strips of beef on lettuce with a lemon dip.

Grape and Passion Fruit fizz

Batter Fried Calamari

The Batter Fried Calamari was really nice. The batter was crisp without being slathered on too thick. Just enough to give you that crunch and allow the taste of the calamari to come through. The aioli with it was nice too. The Strips of Beef - we first had a bite each to see how good the meat was. It was tender and nice. And then we went ahead and made ourselves lettuce leaf parcels with generous dollops of the lemon dip. 

Strips of beef on lettuce with a lemon dip

Anoushka wanted pizza the second she heard us reading it out loud. We opted for the margherita but requested that they add chicken to it. They did and very generously too. The pizza was not a wood fired one, but was a thin crust and rather crisp. Anoushka finished just a slice and we took the rest home.

Margherita Pizza

And now for our main courses - when at a grill house you can't possibly go in the for pasta and burgers that they did have on the menu. You choose your steak, the sauce to go with it and the accompaniment you like. So Sudhakar had the Double filet mignon with Chimichurri sauce and creamed spinach and I had the Porterhouse steak with red wine bordelaise sauce and silky mash. Lovely sounding names and I was even brought the Porterhouse for viewing before it was cooked for me. We both asked for them to be done medium rare. 

Double filet mignon with Chimichurri sauce and creamed spinach

Blame it on Masterchef, but as soon as the double filet mignon came, we pressed on it to check its softness. Looked good enough. I found the proportions a little wonky - would have preferred more of the sauce and less of the creamed spinach (which is bland as it should be and can get boring in a short while). When Sudhakar cut through the first filet he found it a little too rare though it did not stop him from eating it. May be he should have cut through both in the beginning, because the second filet was rare and after a point he just got not get through it. Pity, because the filets were good.

A closer look

My Porterhouse had some chunks neatly cut out for me, which is good considering I always ask Sudhakar to  do the cutting for me normally. The wine sauce was nice and the mash was silky as mentioned. There was a sizable amount of meat still on the bone and I was really disappointed that most of it was close to uncooked which meant I had to leave a good deal.

We did mention it to the staff and got a polite smile and were told that we could fill in the feedback form and they would discuss it with the chef. I do hope the chef has takes heed.

Porterhouse steak with red wine bordelaise sauce and silky mash

What we liked about the dessert menu was that they had platters for two, four and six people. We decided to give the platter for two a shot. We got apple pie, mango cream profiteroles and chocolate cupcakes with a peanut nougat topping. Everything looked really pretty, but the apple pie was straight out of the fridge onto the plate and I always prefer mine warm, maybe we could have been asked? The cupcakes were as good as the ones we make at homes and the Mango cream profiteroles were pleasant. Overall, not a very satisfying platter. 

Platter for two - apple pie, mango cream profiteroles
and chocolate cupcakes with a peanut nougat topping

The skylight above our table

On our table

The starters were brilliant, but the steaks disappointed. May be it is teething trouble, but really with the competition around can one afford to be like that with your specialties. The Only Place was a very disappointing experience when we visited. I do hope this place doesn't do that to itself. It has so much potential. The meal came close to Rs 2500 and I would rather have better taste than pretty pretty plating for this pricing. The loo could do with some sprucing up.

Address: #1, 1st Cross Road, Brunton Road, Bangalore
Phone: 25593403
Cuisine: Continental, Soups, Salads
Wallet factor: Rs 1200 for 2
Parking: We got some right outside

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