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Was introduced to this place by my colleagues and was there for a celebration for "da boss" on this weekday noon. Porta Porta apparently has 2 outlets, one in Changi and the other in Stanley Street, we went to the Changi branch since it was nearer to our office. Its location is somewhat obscure and according to a friend, the buildings have already been enbloc so i'm not too sure about the fate of this restaurant as of now. The following is a rather late post of my previous visit there and my thoughts on the food.
Despite the rather lacklustre appearance of the shop front, this restaurant exudes a laid back and quiet charm which is easy to like. Cozy sofas adorn the 2nd level and simple tables in a soft lit dining level. All this gives it a rustic and homely feeling which is both comfortable and relaxing.
Bruschetta - This was served hot and straight out of the oven. Its a little different then the usual bruschetta in that the tomato is not chopped and served as a whole slice on top of the focacia bread. This results in a squishy texture and might not be for everybody since you really need to like tomatoes to enjoy this. For me, i prefer the diced tomatoes version.
Complementary bread with Olive Oil and Vinaigrette - Simple, serviceable and nothing extraordinary. The only thing worth mentioning is the dip which is still an appetising treat with its sourish and saltish taste.
Tomato and Crab Meat Pasta - Despite the small portion size, this was nicely done. I liked the strong crab taste and tomato combination and the pasta was done al dente. The problem with this is that the tomatoes were watery and thus resulted in a visually less appetising presentation.
Calamari - The calamari is probably the best thing i had at the restaurant that day. It was lightly battered and retained most of its springy texture without the overwhelming taste of batter. The batter itself is rather salty but went well with the calamari which is lightly sweet.
Tiramisu - This was.....average at best. There was too much cream and not enough cake. Also, instead of a chocolatey taste, it had a strange strawberry-like taste instead and there was no rum.
Value for money: 6/10
Overall Score: 6/10 (not an average)
I can't quite confirm if the restaurant is certified halal but my Malay colleagues were able to enjoy the food without worry. I can thus say safely that our Malay compatroits should be able to enjoy the food here without incident. Service is good and the ambiance is decent but the food and value for money-wise could do better for me. Overall, still an enjoyable meal but i'd not bet on it being a hit with everybody.
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