Winter is coming: PORTA Fine Food and Import Company rolls out Christmas specials

Tucked away in a corner of the lobby of Park Hotel, PORTA Fine Food and Import Company is known for dishing out modern European specialties. This December, they have released a festive menu with dishes that offer a twist from the regular Christmas fare.

For starters, the Lobster Bisque would be a prime choice. The result of 13-hours of slow cooking Lobster Meat and shell is a luxurious, velvety bisque, The infusion of cognac takes it up a notch and the sweetness of the lobster is accentuated and grounded by the slight bitterness stemming from the cognac. A single crayfish ravioli tops the soup, providing a meaty bite to the dish. Yielding to the gently touch of the spoon, the skin of the ravioli proves to be ultra delicate, a slight tear revealing fresh crayfish fillings. Although the seasoning of the ravioli in itself was very pronounced, it was an excellent compliment to the bisque.

For diners who prefer to start their meal on a lighter note, the Salmon Gravlax is not overwhelming on any flavours and sits nicely on top of the taste buds, prepping it for the feast ahead. Think freshly smoked salmon topped with still-crunchy marinated fennel, orange segments and aryuga caviar. My virgin attempt of caviar proved to be a memorable one, and I was surprised at how its mild saltiness played out the overall dish's performance.

The Charcuterie Platter is perfect for couples who love to share the goodness of homemade Duck Rillette, Foie Gras Terrine, Chorizo, Bayonne ham and saucisson. The star of the platter was by far the Foie Gras Terrine. It had a funky taste reminiscent of blue cheese and was incredibly creamy. Definitely acquired taste and definitely up my alley.

For the mains, meat lovers will rejoice at the sight of the Suckling Pig, which is essentially Spanish pig confit with choucroute and Idaho Potato. Unlike the usual Chinese styled suckling pig which is usually solely focused on presenting the skin in all its golden brown glory, this version had perfectly crisp skin with a substantial layer of succulent flesh basking underneath that tanned skin. Sinful stuff but worth every calorie

There's also the Pepper Steak which appeals the hardcore meat-lovers, it's seared to a perfect medium well and doused in pepper sauce with a side of thick cut fries. While the fries donned an assuming outlook, appearing "too" homemade to even make an impression, do not be too quick to judge for these were the creme de la creme - so fluffy they disintegrated into a thin whisper when put into your mouth.

Daily diners can opt for the French Quail. Brussels sprouts, bacon and natural jus form the sidekicks. Since quail is not commonly featured in menus, hopes ran high for this dish. Unfortunately they weren't met when the meat turned out to be slightly powdery and dry.

It's a toss-up between the Christmas Log Cake or the Baked Alaska for dessert. The former, made with rich chocolate sponge and luscious Manjari dark chocolate is moist but not too sweet. It is bound to satisfy chocolate lovers. However, the Baked Alaska has my vote. Served with raspberry sorbet, sponge cake and meringue, the sweet and sour components danced a passionate tango. Despite lacking the theatrics of torching (hence the decreased instagramability), I foresee myself craving this very soon.

This Christmas, if you're looking for a place away from the hustle and bustle of the city of the city to dine with your close friends and family, PORTA would be a strong contender for your choice.

PORTA Fine Food and Import Company
1 Unity Street
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Singapore 237983

Words and photos by Belinda Yong who wishes that every time of the day is food o' clock. She loves trying new cuisines and creations,  and prays hard for a higher metabolism.

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