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Restaurant Porterhouse

Porterhouse

Restaurant, $$$$, Steak House, Central
This Central steak house by chef David Laris has big ambitions, with a strong food and wine offering in a striking location
  • ReservationYes
  • Private RoomYes
  • Accept Credit CardYes
  • Dress CodeSmart casual
  • Bring Your Own BottleNo
  • BuffetNo
  • Car ValetNo

Review

California Tower in Lan Kwai Fong is one shiny behemoth, and with its cityscape views there is always an element of drama whenever you step into one of the building’s restaurants. The same is true of Porterhouse by Laris, despite it being on the relatively low 7th floor. The restaurant benefits from high ceilings, which are decorated with a geometric gold/marble/mirrored art installation that reflects and refracts light, and there’s plenty of space so that even when the restaurant is packed – as it was on our visit – the noise level is relatively reasonable. The design is sophisticated, with cool grey marble partnering with icy blues and gold accents throughout, and parquet flooring and carpeting to continue the graphic geometric theme found in the ceiling. 

Obviously, Porterhouse is a steak specialist, and beef connoisseurs will be more than satisfied with the selection on show – cooked on a wood-fired grill or oven, the steaks are sourced from the US, Australia, and Japan. There’s Heritage Linz USDA prime beef, Cape Grim Tasmanian grass-fed beef and, of course, Japanese A4 wagyu. But first, it’s worth noting that the menu is also strong on seafood offerings, with a seafood bar holding pride of place on one end of the room. We selected the trio of oysters, which are described as being ‘whimsically flavoured’ – the bivalves are unmistakeably fresh, but a little lukewarm for our liking, and topped with seaweed jelly, a watermelon and shiso mignonette, and ponzu foam. The best is the mignonette, with the fresh brunoise of sweet fruit and herbaceous shiso being two great flavour profiles for the briny oyster. The seaweed jelly and ponzu foam are simply dull, rather than whimsical, in both flavour and presentation. No such problem with the grilled Santa Barbara spot prawn, bouncy and with a chargrilled smokiness, served with a refined sweetcorn succotash and heirloom tomato confit and bacon foam. As for the steak, a grilled rib-eye pavé with summer vegetable relish was fatty in all the right places, with the edges nicely crisped, and served medium-rare as requested. However, our Tasmanian sirloin was rare – even blue in parts – despite having asked for the same doneness. For dessert, a comforting mixed berry trifle featured raspberries, vanilla shortcake and a honey-infused cream – simple and effective.

All of Laris’ previous restaurants have had an excellent wine list, and Porterhouse is no different. The list doesn’t stick to old steak house mainstays, instead opting for a wide variety from both old and new worlds, and plenty to choose from across reds, roses, and whites. Californian and Italian wines are highlighted, and the list is designed in an approachable way so that bottles are categorised by flavour profile and character rather than region. A sizeable wines by the glass section features drinkable sips priced from HK$80 to HK$200.

Service is 50/50 here, and the letdowns are mainly due to organisational slip-ups. Our booking was lost, but staff quickly rectified this mistake and found us a table. Service is friendly, but it can also be difficult to catch waiters’ attentions. And while the food was mostly enjoyable when it arrived, the wait between courses was agonisingly glacial. A side dish was forgotten, but graciously taken off the bill. 

A meal for two with wine and service would average HK$1,500. For a steakhouse it’s an expected cost, particularly for a Central location. We see the potential in the restaurant, but it currently needs finetuning across the board.

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