Last year I visited Porteño when it was just opening and hosting the TimeOut Sydney Bar Awards. In fact, all I visited was the upstairs bar, Gardel’s, but even then I thought it was pretty cool.

Since then the rockabilly Argentinian resto has made a big splash. It’s packed every night, and its no-bookings-under-5-people mean there are queues before it opens every day. Its love affair with TimeOut has continued, garnering great reviews, articles, and winning the best new restaurant in the city.

We went last night for the first time with M&B visiting from Brisbane. We agreed it was pretty cool from top to bottom.

We started with a drink upstairs at Gardel’s. My smokey bourbon-based cocktail was excellent, and the pulled pork slider was…whatever’s better than excellent. In fact, this place is made for carnivores (not surprising, as it’s Argentinian food).

Downstairs was buzzy, trendy, and a little too good-looking. The firepit hooked us, and we shared big dishes of roast lamb and pork (it’s surprisingly economical to do this, as each order – at $44 – is plenty for two people). And a Malbec, of course. We were pretty impressed by the level of service, too.

Porteño is super-trendy, but also super fun. If you’re not afraid of slicked hair, tattoos, red wine, and meat sweats go for it.


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