Portofino in Bangsar happens to be one of the Italian restaurants I frequent – clearly because of the location and mostly because I like the ambiance and food. Pricing is reasonable considering the location and service on most of my visits have been consistent.
The upper floor is spacious, allowing you to dine comfortable without having to listen to the conversation of the people at the next table. It is also cosy enough to ensure you’re not faced with the formalities of a fancy restaurant.
Portofino serves hearty Italian fare with seafood as a main feature. Or at least that’s what I think. The salads are commendable but I enjoy the pizzas better. My two standard orders? The four cheese pizza (RM34) and Portofino pizza (RM42). The former comes with a melted cheeses (if I’m not mistaken, Reggiano Parmesan and Gorgonzola makes two of them) and a drizzle of olive oil.
Portofino pizza has a good amount of cheese and seafood, with a light yet flavourful tomato base. If you’re into simpler flavours, the four cheese pizza is recommended. But those who want a heartier start should give this a try.
My pasta order was also quite consistent – in my last three visits, I’ve had the Portofino Spaghetti (RM38), a sumptuous plate of assorted seafood in creamy tomato sauce and handmade tagliatelle. My only gripe is the pasta texture for it’s a tad overdone for me. I usually ask them to do it al dente but that night, I forgot. :(
rif’s squid ink pasta (RM38) is also a popular item at Portofino and one we tend to order repeatedly. That night, this too, was overdone. But the sauce and seafood flavour was done well. So if you’re planning to visit, remember to mention your pasta texture preference.
Our friends had the gnocchi with gorgonzola (RM36) and spaghetti with pesto (RM34), both of which were alright but I liked my pasta better. I tend to prefer rich and creamy pastas so pesto isn’t an option I would go for unless it comes highly recommended.
The tiramisu (RM16) is made in-house with Marsala wine and almond liqueur – not bad, but I prefer it more alcohol laden. That’s the best part about eating tiramisu, if you ask me. I didn’t care much for the almond semifreddo (RM18) or apple strudel (RM16), though both were decent. I did find the plating and decoration very identical. :P
Wines are reasonable too; a bottle of house white is RM90, which is why I like coming here with my friends. A night out at Portofino wouldn’t put too big a dent in the wallet.
Food: 6.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Good ambiance, hearty food and reasonable pricing.
No. 1, Persiaran Ara Kiri,
Tel: 03-2094 8490