Culture

First Look: Porteño reopens in Surry Hills, Sydney

Porteño has moved, upping the stakes with a glam new location. Join us as we tour the new restaurant on Holt Street in Sydney's Surry Hills. Come on in.
First Look: Porteño opens in Surry Hills, Sydney

Porteño has moved, upping the stakes with a glam new location. Join us as we tour the new restaurant on Holt Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Come on in.

Photography by Nikki To.

Porteño’s new bar

Porteño’s new bar

Completely transformed from the space which previously housed MoVida, Porteño’s new Holt Street address seats about 95 diners, with seating at the bar, on four large round tables of eight, and a large dining table toward the back.

Interior

Interior

Light floods into the new space, says co-owner Elvis Abrahanowicz. “It’s nice being able to see outside and not just be stuck in the kitchen like we were at the old site.”

Dining in groups

Dining in groups

The large table for 12 is available for large group bookings; the area can be cordoned off to create a private dining space and the menu also offers banquet menus at either $80 or $120 per person.

Wine

Wine

“Joe [co-owner and sommelier Joe Valore] went a bit nuts with the wine list,” says Abrahanowicz. It lists over 300 bottles from Argentina, Italy and Australia.

Co-owners Joe Valore, Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz

On the walls

On the walls

To decorate the space, the team sourced paintings and old posters from Argentina, including old football posters from back issues of El Gráfico, a classic monthly Argentine sports magazine which launched in the 1920s.

Salpicon de mariscos

Salpicon de mariscos

Porteño’s seafood cocktail combines mussels, cuttlefish and prawns and octopus dressed with lime in a wood-roasted tomato and habanero sauce. It’s served with tostones – plantains fried golden and crunchy.

Chuleta

Chuleta

Porteño’s chuleta, a grilled dry-aged rib eye, is served with thick slices of ox-heart tomato and baguette soaked in meat juices and roasted.

Postre Balcarce

Postre Balcarce

“This layered cake is named after the city of Balcarce in Buenos Aires Province,” says Abrahanowicz. “It’s so popular you can buy it everywhere. It comes in a trademarked box with the seal burned into the top. We serve it as three-layered sponge with two layers of a Chantilly, ricotta and glacé chestnut cream with chunks of meringue, dulce de leche and cocoa. It’s torched on the top and dusted in sugar.”

Overlooking the open kitchen

Overlooking the open kitchen

Porteño’s parilla and asado fire pit have made the move over to the Holt Street site, as have the restaurant’s famous deep-fried Brussels sprouts, which “will never come off the menu,” says Abrahanowicz.

Porteño, 50 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 8399 1440, open 6pm-late Tues – Sat,  porteno.com.au.

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