Ah I finally had lunch at Portside!!! It took me long enough, didn’t it? Well better late than never. To mark the occasion I am adding Portside to the Eating my way Around Brisbane challenge. I am still not sure whether it is a good idea, or not as there are still plenty of places for me to eat at – no need to add more! But I want to try all the places out anyway so I thought might as well…
So off to Gianni we went, on a glorious, sunny day. We got there just after 12.30 and by then there were only a few tables filled with people lunching away. We had to wait for a few minutes to get seated but once that was done the staff were very nice and efficient all throughout.
The restaurant is quite large, with both external and internal seating. The external part does not really look onto the river so you need to be seated inside to face that way. We were next to the entrance giving our back to a big open window – so practically outside anyway. Surprisingly, it filled up quite quickly and most of the tables were taken by the time our mains arrived.
They have a strange order taking system! Well, I thought it was odd at first, although I do see the benefits. You basically have a sheet of paper on your table with a mini pencil (the type you get at Ikea) – the sheet contains all the items on the menu (minus drinks) so once you have decided what you want to eat, you just need to write the quantity down and the waiter/tress will come and take the form away!
Once this interesting process was explained, we set out to choose our drinks and then moved onto the food. The menu is comprised of a range of tasting plates, tapas and mains. I thought the tapas were slightly on the expensive side (for being tapas) as they pretty much equalled the mains but then again the mains were not very large!
As always I had a sneak peak at the desert menu, spotted the tiramisu and soon decided that I needed to pace myself in order to leave enough space for at least half a desert. So I skipped the tasting plates and the tapas and went straight for the mains. I ordered a plate of pasta – it sounded nice and fancy on the menu but in reality it was normal cannelloni with ricotta and spinach along with some ham. There were 3 canelloni covered in white sauce and cheese.
It was way too hot, which meant that it got heated in the microwave. The pasta itself was a bit soggy and I was still hungry afterwards (which I guess was the plan). However it did taste good and I ate all of it. My partner had one of the pizzas which was quite good – not the best in Brisbane but good enough.
Onto desert… we choose to share a tiramisu (begrudgingly, as I wanted my own dessert although I knew I would not really eat a whole one alone). It came out in a big, unbalanced cup which toppled over once or twice until I steadied it. Good tiramisu, again not the best, too much cream which made it too heavy but it tasted good. We also had coffee to finish it all off and to stretch out the lovely sunny day as much as possible.
The whole bill was around $70, for two mains, two glasses of wine, one desert and two coffees – so a ‘to be expected price’.
Might go back … I would actually like to try their aperitivo which is generally run before dinner in the evenings. I love campari and aperol and gin – or well I love Negroni so if that is what is to be expected I would like to go along.
Address: Portside Wharf, Hamilton
Phone: 07 3868 2011
Mon-Fri: 12.00-15.00 & 18.00-22.00
Sat-Sun: 12.00-15.00 & 17.30-22.00