Chef Jeronimo P Abreu is faithful to his Portuguese roots, yet French training sings through in Portal’s refined flavours and styling. You’ll find clean-cut, less oily versions of Portuguese classics and regional specialities, such as roasted bacalhau or alheira sausage pie. Ingredients are outstanding, but not all the modern interpretations hang together; venison roast beef was perfectly cooked with naturally gamey flavours offset by rhubarb and a soft red port sauce, but seafood tartlet was a slightly disconnected arrangement of crêpes, mint peas, crab and scallops.

Tapas are also available at the bar: morcilla croquettes were dense and unapologetically full of rich blood sausage, while beetroot risotto balls were light, colourful and delicious. Staff are knowledgeable about the menu, and the elegance of the large conservatory-style dining room and outdoor patio lends itself to an indulgent meal. The wine list is proudly Portuguese (with a cursory huddle of French and Spanish wines hidden at the back).

Owner Antonio Correia is a wine expert and member of the Royal Port Society, so there’s a good selection of Portugal’s famous vinho verde, or ‘green’ wines, and over 15 types of port to choose from – you won’t go thirsty.


Venue name: Portal
Address: 88 St John Street
Opening hours: Bar Open/tapas served noon-10.15pm Mon-Fri; 6-10.15pm Sat.Restaurant Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6-10.15pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Barbican or Farringdon
Price: Main courses £16-£25. Tapas £2-£17

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

Delicious seafood. Scallops were plump and octupus so tender... It was a low key, enjoyable meal in the main restaurant. We would definitely go back to the tapas bar bit to try.


Just returned to Portal having been away for sometime ,what an absolute treat this must be Londons hidden gem ,the food was fantastic ,the wine top draw and the staff very attentive and friendly ,a special mention to the cocktail barman Stephain what superb cocktails ,the bloody mary was the best I have ever tasted ,I wil be returning very soon .


Do yourself a favour and try somewhere else, its not like the area doesn't have plenty more to offer. Even with a £60 discount, I couldn't recommend this to anyone. Staff were slow and uninterested, food was distinctly average with a curious raspberry fetish, the only redeeming quality was the wine -shame only half of it arrived, not great for a wine pairing. Sauces were either overpowering or non-existent. Go with St John or Vinoteca instead.