Recently Mr M and I choose Porterhouse SY1 as the destination for our monthly date night, knowing from previous visits that we could expect good old fashioned American comfort food, done well, in comfortable surroundings. The Porterhouse is definitely a venue that multi-tasks, housing a trendy, busy cocktail bar to the front, with a cool, laid back restaurant and orangery to the rear.
The menu lists all the classics, from mac n cheese, wings, burgers and downright dirty dogs, if you are on a diet then give this place a miss (or have a cheat night!), calorie counting and filled to bursting burritos do not mix! For starters we chose the salt and pepper squid and the Brixham crab cakes, and settled in for a slightly longer than comfortable wait, but it was a busy Saturday night, and Mr M and I had plenty of Poppet related gossip to catch up on, so we really didn’t mind.
Once our dishes arrived unfortunately we were a little underwhelmed. The crab cakes were a good texture, crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside, but the lack of seasoning resulted in a rather bland dish, which not even the mushy pea mayonnaise could revive. Sadly it was a similar story with the squid. Salt and pepper anything should pack a chilli punch, but although the squid and accompanying veg was very well cooked there was no spice to the food at all, and a good crack of black pepper wouldn’t have gone amiss. So, fingers crossed for our main courses then…
After another relatively long wait, our mains arrived, BBQ glazed baby chicken for me, served with seasoned fries and house slaw (grilled tomatoes and mushrooms didn’t feel like natural bed fellows with barbequed chicken, so I swapped them out) and pork and chorizo skewers served with chargrilled peppers, spicy tomato Jambalaya and tequila yoghurt for himself.
My chicken was a revelation, blacked from the charcoal grill, juicy and tender, with a smoky, sweet, absolutely delicious taste that penetrated all the way down to the bone. The fries reminded me of chips from my childhood, skin on, hand cut, deep fried, with crispy bits and meltingly soft bits – if only I could cook chips like these I would eat them at least three times a day (maybe five, would that count as my 5 a day?).
Unfortunately Mr M was disappointed with his main. The pork on the skewers was very fatty and a bit chewy as a result – it looked like belly pork which is a fatty cut anyway, but a few minutes spent crisping the fat on the grill would have improved things hugely! The spicy Jambalaya tasted overwhelmingly of paprika, masking the tomato element and making the chargrilled peppers a little redundant. The main was abandoned halfway through due to “sensory overload”.
Dessert arrived in the form of cocktails – a mojito served in a mini metal bucket (why? What is wrong with serving drinks in glasses?) and a prosecco, as the thought of Apple and Cheddar Pie just didn’t appeal, and the hour was getting late after our lengthy gaps between courses.
I am a big fan of the Porterhouse, having been there several times before, but this occasion was definitely a meal of highs and lows. The service we received was polite and helpful, but the servers were clearly busy on a hectic Saturday service, and unfortunately this seems to have carried through to the kitchen.
Love, Mammy x