AN email from a regular reader of this column pings into my inbox.
“Love the reviews but please, please will you cast your eye over one of our favourites and see if you think it is as good as we do,” says the missive from Margaret and daughter Kristin in Swansea.
So, happy to oblige, I’m parked up outside The Porterhouse in Loughor. It says ‘Pub and Grill’ restaurant on its signage. And I suspect this was once a great little local boozer serving the community for generations. These days, however, it is the food that draws punters through its doors in vast numbers.
It’s all very Berni Inn meets American steakhouse (but in a good way). The Porterhouse is one of those places that appeals to everyone, with the possible exception of vegetarians.
The restaurant was pretty full, with a mix of young couples, families and large groups out for a meal and fun night together.
Although there are a number of other dishes on the menu, you don’t really go to a place like this for anything other than enormous slabs of meat. It would be like going to an Indian restaurant and asking for an omelette and chips.
On offer? Well, steaks in every size and shape, chicken, burgers, gammon, duck and fish. From the vast list I go for a steak ’n’ chicken combo at £10.95 with my dining companion opting for a Surf ‘n’ Turf at £11.95.
Mine was a beast of a steak which, when joined by a succulent chicken breast, covered most of the oval plate it came on. It arrived with a dish of decent chips that were golden and not at all greasy, and some very good onion rings (£2.50.
My partner’s choice was also top notch with an 8oz rump steak and a little mountain of wholetail scampi presented on a giant platter that could probably have satisfied two diners. She declared it excellent. Slightly less happy was a third member eating out with us (a vegetarian) who went for a £7.95 vegetable crumble from an unusually basic choice. “Ordinary” was her verdict. It looked it too.
There was no room for pudding, but for those with even stronger constitutions, they included mint chocolate Aero cheesecake, toffee apple roulade and ice cream sundae.
There aren’t many independently owned steakhouses left these days as we are taken over by the dominant high street chains — and it’s a crying shame because they are still as popular as ever and with good reason.
The Porterhouse may not be the cheapest place to buy steaks in Swansea but it is surely one of the best. It’s as timeless as it is dated, but that’s part of its enduring charm.
Service was smiley and helpful without being overbearing; the food a treat.
So yes, Margaret and Kristen, this place really is every bit as good as you said. Thanks indeed for the recommendation!
Where? The Porterhouse, Loughor.
What? Starters from £3.95, mains from £5.95