Monday, November 22, 2010


I met up with Joshua (Twitter: @JoshuaLenon, Blog: Illegitimate Sun) for lunch last week at Portico. Joshua has this great thing going, called #beyond140, where he would get together with his Twitter pals over coffee or lunch/dinner to get to know them better. I think it is an awesome idea given that Twitter is so restrictive (with its 140 character limit) and a lot of Tweetups nowadays end up to be huge gatherings (i.e. with more than 20 people, at least). Although these Tweetups are great for networking, it is hard to get to know anyone really well. So this is where #beyond140 comes in. Anyway, check out Joshua's post about our lunch here.

Portico is a small restaurant at Yonge and Richmond, literally a block away from my work place. I've never heard of, or seen, this restaurant before, so I was excited when Joshua suggested to try this place out. I was even more excited when I checked out their website and saw that its executive chef is Chinese!  Ano Choi (the picture is from Portico's website). A short bio also described how Chef Choi's cooking is inspired by his experiences in Hong Kong and at other hotels in Toronto (Portico is located in Cambridge Suites Hotel). 

When I walked Portico, I felt a bit out of place; everyone looked soooo corporate and all in suits. I don't think anybody there was dressed casual. I felt like a little kid in the restaurant haha. Thank goodness I wasn't in jeans or anything =P

Portico's menu items are very reasonable - Mussels for $12, Kobe beef burger for $16...not bad at all.

Munched on these while Joshua and I talked about everything from food, travelling, cars, to work, relationships, and social media.

Joshua had the Kobe Beef Burger with fontina cheese and sweet potato fries. He skipped out on the caramelized onions, remoulade, tomato chutney, and mushroom that originally goes with the burger. Obviously he's not a veggie kind of guy. From Joshua's post:

"the Kobe beef burger was tasty, moist, and well-portioned. My sweet potato fries suffered the weakness of all sweet potato fries; once cold they lose their flavor".

No wonder he didn't touch the fries much! But no worries I helped him out...a lot.

I had the Smoked Chicken Salad with mango, avocado and roma tomatoes with coriander, chili, and lemon dressing, and organic greens. The salad was good, although I do not recall tasting much mango. The greens were crisp and fresh, and the chicken was moist.

I am glad that I have discovered a well-priced restaurant close to my work. In my opinion, Portico is good for lunch, but the ambiance and seating arrangement makes it not too attractive for dinner. Next time for lunch I will try either the Kobe Beef Burger (with all the fixins lol) or the Albacore Tuna Salad Sandwich. 

One neat thing about Portico is that the water, which is from a large glass pitcher, had slices of honeydew, cantaloupe and strawberries in it. So whenever you take a sip of your water, you can also taste a hint of fresh fruit (the cantaloupe taste was the strongest).

Keep up with the #beyond140 gatherings, Joshua! It was an absolute pleasure having lunch with you =D

Resto Portico on Urbanspoon