Restaurant Review: Porterhouse

California Tower is the tallest, glossiest building in Lan Kwai Fong. Naturally, it’s home to a number of fun-loving, trendy restaurants, from Jinjuu on the ground floor to CÈ LA VI on the top floor and rooftop. Porterhouse has been serving up steakhouse treats from the 7th floor of California Tower for some time now, but it has recently come under new ownership. They’ve brought in a new executive chef, Angelo Vecchio, who has revamped the menus, and we were excited to see what would make Porterhouse stand out from our other favourite steak places in town.

Vibe

I’d call Porterhouse’s vibe accessible glam. The ceilings are high, the lighting is dim (during the evenings) and the design touches include marble, cut glass and sculpted metal. Contrasting with the glamorous environment are friendly service staff, a top-40 soundtrack (think Howie Day’s “Collide” and Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance”) and sepia-toned vintage-inspired prints.

Starters

We started with the king crab leg ($198). This dish was beautifully deconstructed and all the ingredients were fresh and perfectly cooked/ripe. Unfortunately, the coulis (at least on our night) was way too salty and drowned out the delicate flavours of the dish.

The burrata ($198) was much better, with the cheese being exceptionally creamy and paired classically with sliced heirloom tomatoes and bread chips. Simple yet delicious.

Autumn is a great season for roasted root vegetables, and we had high hopes for the salt-baked beetroot ($158). We enjoyed the variety in this dish, with the different-coloured beetroot cooked differently (some salty, some sweeter). While pairing beetroot with goat’s cheese is common, it’s a combination that works. This dish was paired with Lancashire Cheddar instead, a combination that we didn’t love. We found it too dry against the juicy beetroot, and the stinkiness of the cheese felt muted against the saltiness of the beetroot.

Mains and sides

While we had mixed feelings about the starters, we hit it off with the mains. Given the name of the restaurant, porterhouse steaks (fillet on one side, New York strip on the other) are the stars of the show. We had a beautiful 300-day grain-fed Australia Rangers Valley Black Market M5 ($1,388 for 34 oz/1,000g). The meat was lean and had a lovely, clean flavour. One steak was plenty for our party of three females. As for the sauces, we loved the buttery Béarnaise and large selection of mustards (try the paprika option) and salts.

To accompany our steak, we had Cajun-dusted fries ($78), triple-cooked fries ($78) and smoked Cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese ($98). We loved all these options (hooray for carbs!), especially the mac ‘n’ cheese, which had a runny rather than stringy sauce but was 100 per cent tasty.

Dessert

Our meal ended with frozen hazelnut mousse cake ($98) and Madagascar chocolate fondant ($98). Both were good, but the fondant cake was our favourite. It had an airy outer layer that contrasted with the rich, gooey core.

Verdict

Overall, we left Porterhouse feeling very satisfied. Some of the starters weren’t to our taste, but the steak and sides were delicious. With the vibe and generous portion sizes, it felt like we could have been having a “treat yourself” meal in any American city. That’s meant to be a compliment, for Americans do comfort food very, very well.

7/F, California Tower, 30–32 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, Central, 2522 6366

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