Try to imagine a restaurant that’s a cross between the bar in Cheers and a British version of TGI Friday’s. It’ll go something like this:- wooden seating booths , frosted glass partitions, Union Jacks adorning the walls, nursery rhymes playing out of the speakers in the toilets and widely advertised ‘Free Pi-Fi (Wi-Fi) available’ signs (a nod to the extensive pie selection on the menu). Everything inside Porters suggests that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Slap bang in the centre of Theatreland, Porters has been feeding thespians and tourists since 1979 and judging by the thoroughly British fare on show here they must be pretty full. Granny has been let loose in the kitchen, offering home cooked dishes like fish and chips, steaks and oh so many pies.
A hefty helping of black pudding Scotch egg starter, or the more reasonable sized Norfolk dressed crab are enough to set you up for a coma-induced food sleep, but it’s when the mains of Steak mushroom and Guinness pie and Wild boar and sage sausages come out that your fate is sealed.
Some things are done well, like the gravy in the aforementioned Guinness pie, while Granny must have lost her specs when making the mustard mash (too much mustard) and spicy lentil sides (slightly overcooked).
When it comes to the dessert there can be no complaints. The homemade ice-cream, particularly the strawberry and coconut is a must if you like chilled dairy after your main, while the summer fruit pudding is by far the highlight of the meal.
Dishes are simple and do what they do what they say on the tin. This is an eatery that will fill you up with a modest dent in your wallet for this part of London and that’s an achievement alone. Although we went al la carte, an offer of £14 for two courses (sides included) is not to be sniffed at. Porters quirk is worth a visit alone, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading back to try the Banana split dessert and use the free Pi-Fi, although I’ll probably be staying away from that mash!
Cuisine type: Very British
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £28
Wine: From £16.50 a bottle
Cocktails: From £6.50
17 Henrietta Street
020 7836 6466