Any restaurant in the relatively new and ever so swanky California Tower is guaranteed to be pretty special, even if only for the views from up high. Porterhouse by Laris, on the seventh floor of the building, is no exception.
Although somewhat understated, the restaurant exudes elegance from the moment you walk in. Designed by KokaiStudios, the interior boasts angular mirrored ceiling panels, contrasted against soft wood, patterned flooring and chic leather-backed chairs. Having previously only come across Chef David Laris during his former days at his eponymous casual Australian restaurant, Laris, the elegance and sophistication at Porterhouse by Laris was quite the contrast.
The team was recently joined by Executive Chef Angie Ford, who has an extensive chef’s background, given that her entire family in Canada are also chefs. Although Angie was classically trained, the experience she has gained from around the world has instilled a modern interpretation to cooking that can be found in Porterhouse’s new spring menu.
We began our lunch with Porterhouse by Laris’ signature beef and barley brodo with oxtail, root vegetables and black truffle. The dish is presented as just the dry ingredients and the broth is poured over tableside. The second the delicate broth hits the bowl, the beautiful, rich aromas of the beef and the truffle are released. Since it was a wet, chilly day, this was exactly what I needed to warm me up and fill me with goodness.
To follow came a beautifully presented snapper and lobster ceviche with a side of sweet potato crisps. This ceviche, served with avocado and mango salsa, with a significant punch from an habanero chilli, was absolutely stunning.
The first of our main courses was a melt-in-the-mouth braised beef short rib, served with a red wine reduction, parsnip purée and crispy onions. Although the beef was incredibly tender, I felt it needed a little extra seasoning.
Speaking of seasoning, it’s worth pointing out that Porterhouse by Laris offers an amazing selection of different salts from around the world, as well as a selection of delicious house-made mustards, including some unexpected yet very pleasing ones such as Madras curry wholegrain mustard, or Australian beetroot mustard. These exciting concoctions went really well with the beef.
One of Chef Angie’s new additions to the menu, and one that should remain on it forever, is the confit duck leg, served with Earl Grey and sour cherry compote. The meat fell wonderfully off the bone and had such an incredible flavour that was nicely balanced by the tartness of the cherries.
Turning down dessert (particularly the dark chocolate caramel tart) was a challenge, but one that I had to accept, since I have temporarily banned sugar from my life. I have every intention of going back just for that tart one day in the not too distant future!
Our lunch was not strictly from the set lunch menu, but you can get a decent two-course menu from $228, or a three-course menu from $248 at lunchtime. At dinnertime, where Porterhouse’s steak is the star of the show (as you’d expect from the name), you’d probably pay close to $1000 a head for a satisfying meal with wine. There are, however, a number of more tempting promotions, including a 30% discounted early bird dinner, as well as over 30 wines by the glass.
I left Porterhouse by Laris nicely satisfied yet with a distinct feeling that I had only just touched the surface of the menu; I’m keen to try one of the gigantic pieces of meat I saw displayed in the fridge to see if the restaurant lives up to its name!
Porterhouse by Laris
7/F, California Tower
30-36 D’Aguilar Street
Lan Kwai Fong
Tel: +852 2522 6366