Porters English Restaurant
17 Henrietta St, London, London, WC2E 8QH
- Tel: 020 7836 6466
Porters English Restaurant is a traditional restaurant situated in Covent Garden and offers good, uncomplicated English food in comfortable surroundings.
Services and products
- Air Conditioning
- Vegetarian Dishes
Provided by The Local Data Company
16/11/2012 by chunkie_100
Visited Porters with my partner for dinner. The menu was terrible, basically fish or pies, staff unhelpful, dark and dingy, tables cramped together. Over £12.00 for fish and chips which was greasy and nasty, you would be better off using your local chippy and half the price. Very expensive and tired venue and menu.Report this
First time I have ever walked out of a restaurant.
01/06/2010 by Thryth
I don't like blatant "awful awful awful" reviews as they're not really helpful, after all "one man's meat..." Porters appears to be well established and reputable (but then so is McDonalds) So, I would like to offer some sort of praise to porters beforehand. The menu "looked" appealing, It got us in there and sounded tasty! The puff pastry lid to my pie was indeed puffed and it was crisp but unfortunately that is where any form of praise must end. Perhaps it was an "off day" or perhaps it was a lunar eclipse or maybe the chef had a sudden fit of madness but whatever it was, I really can't understand why a business claiming a 30 year+ history could possibly produce such purely awful food or would actually let it be put on a plate! My wife and I both visited Porters last week (End of May 2010) while spending a few nights in London. We had been away on holiday and were looking forward to some good old hearty English grub when we stumbled across Porters. My other half had been dreaming for days about Toad in the hole while I had been hankering for Pie and Mash and so we couldn't believe our luck when strolling around Covent garden we spotted a chalk board sporting just that! Before we promptly get onto the food I must point out that Porters is apparently "An English Restaurant", So you would hope that they would also offer some good old Ale to wash down your dinner... They did offer an IPA but you can imagine my surprise when I ordered a pint and it arrived so ice cold that it was practically frozen... I know an IPA should be served slightly cooler than a typical cask but this had obviously been put through a chiller and it left it watery and flavourless! While beer quality isn't really relevant to the food, It does help make a point about the place being a horrid pseudo-English tourist trap rather than anything even resembling real English. On to the food... I of course went for the pie with a mustard mash, It was a gamekeepers pie (£11.95) described as "Mixed Game in a rich port and redcurrant sauce, topped with puff pastry" As I recall it was supposed to be of Venison, Rabbit and I think she might have well mentioned pigeon. My wife of course enthusiastically grinned and ordered her Toad in the hole special (£11 odd) served with classic mash. It seemed that we were the only English couple in the place and we were seated next to a French tourist couple that had arrived shortly before us and we really should have been forewarned when their food arrived and on tasting it gave the internationally recognisable wrinkling of the nose, a shrug of the shoulders and proceed to prod it around the dish with a fork. Our food arrived shortly after and sadly we could both only offer the same reaction. Firstly, My wife’s toad in the hole wasn't actually toad in the hole. It was simply a rather poor quality sausage and mash placed inside an obviously ready made frozen Yorkshire pudding. Now perhaps this slight technical difference (or heinous crime of classic British dishes to some people) could have been forgiven had it not been for the fact that the Yorkshire pudding resembled some sort of unfortunate pottery class accident involving an old LP and the sausages looked and tasted as if they'd spent their last minutes of life as anything edible begging for it to all stop whilst mutating inside someone’s turbo wattage nuclear microwave. The mash tasted as if it was instant and due to a distinct lack of gravy in London became a congealed lump in minutes. My Pie on the other hand initially looked promising, The mash was again instant but as I said before the pastry was O.K... It was when I got through the pastry that the problems began. First came the struggle to actually find any filling, I wish that I was exaggerating but I honestly had to LOOK for the filling... When I finally located the scant pieces clinging to the bottom of the dish I found myself with a mouthful of pure gristle... Putting this piece aside I found a piece of what I assumed was supposed to be the venison but tasted suspiciously like lamb... I started to think that this wasn't the pie I had ordered and this suspicion was heightened by a distinct Moroccan tang to my "port and redcurrant" sauce alongside an unusual bitterness before I then found a bit of mushroom and a piece of beef! I came to the conclusion that what I had been served was not a gamekeepers pie but instead a rather poor and down right dishonest attempt to "create" one out of two different pie fillings in the hopes I wouldn't notice! This pie was an impostor and inspecting the menu I found that they do indeed serve a Lamb and Apricot Pie and a Steak and Guinness one and my pie seemed to be an irregular and unpleasant mix of these two All in all we got the impression that this was “English” made by someone neither from England or any part of the U.K and who had actually never tasted English food but had seen an English pub once. The manager being other European didn’t seem to understand the problem suggesting that perhaps that WE didn’t like ENGLISH food! As you might imagine we had a polite word before promptly leaving…Report this
07/01/2009 by StarvinMarvin
Okay, to be fair the first time I went to Porters (a few years ago) it was pretty average - nothing awful, but nothing amazing. Even then it was a little disappointing as I'd heard great things about it's pies etc. from a relative who used to go there more frequently in it's hey day. Well, since my last (and I mean LAST) visit towards the beginning of last year it's pretty clear Porter's hey days are OVER. We'd booked a table, my Mum and two sisters, for a pre-opera meal. No one wanted anything particularly fancy and we agreed Porters was fine for a quick bite on our way onto the performance. The starter was fine for everyone, but then came the main..... A bite into her roast beef and my sister asked me if I'd take a bite of hers as she felt it tasted a bit strange. That bite was the most rotten meat I'd ever tasted, really really revolting. Of course, she complained to the waitress, who was very polite and embarassed. She then fetched the manager. We got the feeling the manager wasn't overly concerned, but he did agree to remove the price of the meal from the bill. However, on leaving the building, we noticed they were STILL serving the beef! My sister complained again and was told that they didn't believe the beef to be rotten, that it was fine (and basically shut up and go away). She informed them she would be contacting Environmental Health, which she did. Maybe it was a particularly bad night, but I would definitely avoid this place at all costs and would advise anyone else to.Report this
good fare, good atmosphere
12/09/2008 by Alsation
Long established Covent Garden eaterie. The choice of English food and 'delicacies' is quite good, although I've not found anything here that was truly outstanding. If pie and mash, sausages, pork pies and stuffing appeals to you, you can't go wrong here. If I was going to Porters again I would probably seek out one of their special offers and avoid the pre-theatre rush. Service is typically English, reasonably friendly and quite prompt. The restaurant gets crowded quite quickly and can be a bit of a squeeze. The selection of wines and beers in the restaurant is quite good, and if you like the beers you might want to try the Porters Bar, a couple of doors down the street. The restaurant is owned by Lord (Richard) Bradford, who founded the restaurant 30 years ago, just after Covent Garden was beginning to be 'discovered'.Report this
21/01/2008 by michspit
We had our Christmas works party here december 2007 Service was very good Food was rubbish Over half of us had intergestion maybe chief cant cope with large partys as Resturant was quite full, Pies were over cooked, dry and very heavy. Have been twice before and thourght it was quite good.Report this
08/02/2007 by TrustedBot
On June the 19th 1979 ´Porters English Restaurant´ in Covent Garden opened aiming to fill a gap in the market. The few specialist English Restaurants in London tend to serve food at rather high prices; Porters English Restaurant will give a lot of people good, simple, traditional English dishes in comfortable surroundings, at very reasonable prices. Fortunately we have said farewell to the meagre days of Nouvelle Cuisine (or seen a decline in the designer plate!), and English cooking is now widely appreciated for its qualities of good, wholesome food with no frills. Porters always try hard to ensure that you are served the very best, freshest, home cooked English food in London; and that value for money remains paramount. Chef´s Speciality Dish: Steak, Guinness and Mushroom Pie, Porters perennial bestseller, there must be a reason why! Steak in a sauce of mushrooms, tomatoes, Guinness and herbs, topped with puff pastry - an English classic.Report this
29/11/2006 by ltrowbridge
I went to this restaurant last weekend - if you are looking for a quality english style meal then this place is brilliant! We went as part of a meal and theatre deal - which was exceptionally good value! You are limited to a set menu from which you have to choose your food, but they included such things as pork and leek sausages, and steak could be ordered for a small supplement cost. Plus - the puddings were fab! Syrup sponge pudding or summer fruits. Presentation of food was good, and the staff were very friendly and helpful. If you don't want to eat, the bar/pub atmosphere was also good as there are two floors, so you can move away from all the diners completely. There was a good selection of very reasonably priced cocktails - I especially recommend the pina colada! All in all, very enjoyable!Report this
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