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.