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Restaurant Review

Tiger prawnTiger prawns Broccoli with melting cheese and hand cut chipsBroccoli and chips Tenderloin steakdescription Cheesecake dessertBaileys cheesecake

Move curser over thumbnails for larger version

Porterhouse meal

Porterhouse – Arriving with anticipation we discovered a modern restaurant that is stylish and spacious, yet intimate. The atmosphere was relaxed which suited the elegant dècor, (no cowhorns etc), and subtle lighting. We were greeted warmly and beckoned past an immaculate open kitchen to a secluded corner table situated by the windows. Settling into comfortable leather chairs we looked forward to the meal ahead.

Wine – We were soon presented with a glass of red wine: An Argentinean Eco Organic Malbec. Not generally red wine drinkers (unless it's a Montrachet!), we were really pleased with this. It was light, wasn't in the slightest bit acidic, as are many reds, and it went down really well, which at a pokey 14% could be dangerous! The drinks list is good; mostly New World wines as well as some fine sparkling choices – the Argentinean Bodegas Santa Ana was very nice.

Starters – A wide range is offered, each prepared using fresh ingredients. My starter was the grilled calamari marinated with rosemary served with cherry tomato salsa and garlic baguette. The second starter, (for 'the suit'), comprised of grilled marinated jumbo tiger prawns served with peppery lettuce, shallot and red wine vinaigrette. Both starters arrived in good time, looked gorgeous (see photos), and tasted delicious. They were generously portioned but not too filling – leaving plenty of room for the main course.

Salmon dish from Porterhouse Winchester

Main Course – An extensive range is on offer including; steak, chicken, fish and vegetarian – creating a wide and varied selection catering to all tastes.

Steak – Steak on a menu (when you can find it) often appears tacked on at the end; an afterthought – this is not the case at Porterhouse. Steaks are from 100% grass fed Argentinean beef – highly regarded worldwide. The menu offers rib–eye, rump, tenderloin, sirloin and t–bone ranging from 8 – 18 ounces, and even a 32oz Porterhouse (for sharing – or not!). A guide on how to order your steak, which I have never seen on a menu, is reassuring – at least you know what you'll get if you order it a certain way.

Main meals are served with a generous platter of fresh hand cut chips – there is also a good selection of fresh vegetable side orders. We waited with bated tastebuds for the 'Charred Tenderloin' and 'Grilled Salmon Fillet' dishes, broccoli with hot melting cheese, chips and steak sauces of the day.

The next table played host to a bevvy of ladies – we couldn't help but notice gorgeous meals arriving at their table – thankfully we were not kept waiting long for ours.

Steak knives were noticeably absent from tables and not delivered with the meal; perhaps it's the chef's quixotic way of telling customers his steaks are so tender specialized cutting equipment would not be required – absolutely true!

Tenderloin steak

The Tenderloin – arrived beautifully charred, (Nigella would be impressed!), accompanied by a delicious aroma and 2 sauces served in elegant jugs. A tentative first cut found the dinner knife slide through the steak as easily as if it were slicing butter to gently reveal luxuriant pink meat and, as is our preference, not a dribble of blood.

The Salmon Fillet – was elegant, light, fresh, topped with a puff pastry lid, served on a bed of spinach, and accompanied by a delicate sauce – delicious!

Vegetables – A substantial platter of fresh hand cut chips and broccoli with cheese arrived with our meal which were soon tucked into and enjoyed.

Sauces – The steak sauces were a little gentle in flavour and substance for our tastebuds but very nice – and easily passed the chip dipping test!

Desserts – A lovely selection of home-made desserts are available – we left the choice to our waiter, Gareth; something we could share. Moments later came a creation called 'Bailey's Cheesecake' and yes it tastes as rich, light and delicious as it looks (photo top of page).

Verdict – Each dish was generously portioned and beautifully presented. After taste-testing each and every one, (much to the annoyance of 'The Suit'), I can highly recommend all of them for their freshness, complementary flavours, succulent textures – and for being cooked to perfection.

The whole experience was wonderful. We will not patronise Porterhouse by giving it marks out of ten, but if you like the idea of a modern, stylish restaurant serving superior dishes across the board – then this is a restaurant for you!

Our thanks for a lovely evening of delicious dining are warmly sent to Porterhouse staff – together with our compliments to the chef.

Porterhouse is very proud of what they do – and so they should be!

Click here for Porterhouse Steak House menu

24 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire. SO23 8SB
Tel: (01962) 810532

Review by Paula and Richard 'The Suit' – June 2010