Portlander Restaurant is the hotel restaurant for Rydges Wellington, which is frequented by local office workers for lunch and after work drinks. Dinner tends to lend itself to hotel guests. You generally do not need to make a reservation for dinner as with many hotel restaurants in Wellington they do not tend to get busy, unless it is a special day such as Valentines Day etc.
As we sat down, we were immediately asked what we would like to drink before being presented with the drinks list. We told the waitress to bring us the drinks menu and ask again later. The drinks menu contained an impressive list of whiskey, which you can also see at the bar.
Service was pretty rubbish to say the least. I had asked a few questions about the menu – what was the fish of the day, whether their oysters they had on offer were bluff oysters. On both occasions the waitress had to ask another colleague which started to annoy me that the waitress knew nothing about the menu.
Rib eye 300 – Hereford cattle, grassfed from the Hawkes Bay region 300g
served with Mandy’s horseradish sauce
I had asked for my rib eye to be medium rare, I was quite disappointed that it came out medium rare. I wanted to take it back but Plus 1 was complianing how our mains took. He was right about that as we waited over 30 minutes for our mains to come I was basically falling asleep at the table. the outside was slightly charred which was quite nice.
The horseradish sauce was slight sweet and hot. I was quite impressed with the sauce. I had to ask for another serving I enjoyed it so much
T-bone Steak – Grassfed premium free range t-bone from Eastern Hawkes Bay served with with Port and red wine jus was ordered medium rare. The T-bone steak was cooked perfectly. The meat was more tender than my rib eye.
The red wine jus was warm and dark which came in a sauce pot, at some restaurants you get a little bit of sauce drizzled on the side of the meat which does not go a long way. Here you get enough jus to fill ones heart.
Rocket with Parmesan cheese and balsamic salad – yum! Simple yet delicious and fresh. I would have been happy to have this as my main. The Parmesan was grated quite finely with a thick but sweet balsamic vinegar it was all tossed together. Most places you would have the grated parmesan on top with balsamic vinegar drizzled on top.
Soft bread and butter pudding – Made with fresh croissants and filled with white chocolate, banana and whiskey with a sauce anglaise was disgusting.. it was rubbery, cold and dense. Plus 1 did not enjoy it because he was not a banana and chocolate fan, but I thought the banoffee flavour was nice. It was everything else that was not very nice.
The sauce anglasie left this layer of fat on the roof of my mouth which I did not enjoy
Food was mediocre, the service was slow and very poor as I had to wait a long time trying to flag a staff down even though at least two staff were congregating by the counter, where one saw me but did not bother to come over. I do not think I will be coming back here in any rush.
Location: Rydges Hotel – Corner of Whitmore and Featherston Streets, Wellington