The impeccable Porto & Fi

Every single dish leaving the Porto & Fi kicthen looked absolutely delicious. I found myself having to suppress the urge to wrestle plates from waitresses, such was my desire to taste everything which Porto & Fi produced. A whole dining room full of appreciative nods and murmurs of pleasure greeted each dish. This was no better demonstrated than the elderly couple in the corner, where the haste of the wife to taste a dessert meant she was tucking into her cake while the husband struggled through his lasagna. The food envy had me surrounded - behind were the fabulous fish goujons and curly fries, infront was the finest looking beef burger in recent memory and to the side were selections from Porto & Fi’s all day Sunday breakfast menu.

Fish pie at Porto & Fi, Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh New York baked cheesecake at Porto & Fi, Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh

After so much mouth-watering and admiration of other’s choices I was sure my own choice of fish pie (¬£8.50) would only disappoint. How wrong I was! A huge bowl topped with a fabulous leek based mash hid a scrumptious mixture of smoky haddock and delicious salmon, all contained in a subtle cream based sauce. Even the zesty side salad brought another dimension to one of the best fish pies I’ve had the pleasure of eating. My dining partner’s hot smoked salmon was melt in the mouth stuff. The beetroot relish was light and refreshing - an unusual, yet perfect accompaniment to the fish. Any restaurant which serves curly fries is an instant favourite of mine, so our ‘pail’ of curly fries (¬£2.25) brought further joy, although given the size of the mains it was barely needed. 60p for three slices of fabulously fresh bread isn’t much, but it would surely be no detriment to Porto & Fi to include this as a matter of course.

By wiping the pink beetroot and white chocolate cake off the blackboard, our waitress ended my dilemma over whether to try this unusual concoction. Instead we shared a traditional New York baked cheesecake (¬£3.25). Perfect again. Even a banana cupcake which we took away for later was anything but simple; chocolate chips, real chunks of banana and a sublime creamy topping. Wonderful. A compact shop downstairs serves a selection of high calibre pastas, relishes, oils, sauces, etc. Upstairs a myriad of Orkney ice cream is available alongside takeaway bread and cakes. Porto & Fi is a foodie’s dream.

It would be easy for Porto & Fi to concentrate heavily on the food and neglect the liquid refreshment. The independent Edinburgh wine merchant L’Art du Vin have been tasked with supplying the wine menu, so it was no surprise to find a large proportion of the dining room enjoying a glass or two of the house white (¬£3.60 a glass). Wine by the bottle and a range of bottled beers, including Budvar (¬£2.95) are also available.

The service at Porto & Fi was fine - attentive and informal. Inside the dining room is light and airy and while not fancy in any way, it’s a comfortable space to dine in. Given the exceedingly good products of Porto & Fi it’s inevitably very busy, especially at weekends and lunchtimes. I recommend you try to book a table, although for their busiest times (e.g. Sunday lunch) not all tables can be reserved, but there are a couple of comfy sofas by the door where you can wait.

The area around Newhaven Harbour is rapidly becoming a favourite destination for Edinburgh’s foodies, with Loch Fyne and the Italian Prezzo also taking residence. Porto & Fi is surely the star of the show. Highly recommended.

Porto & Fi is located at 47 Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh, EH6 4NQ
Telephone: 0131 551 1900

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