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“Good food, poor service”

Portlander Bar & Grill
Ranked #40 of 960 Restaurants in Wellington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$19 - US$38
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: In a relaxing and friendly environment we invite our guests to revel in all the freshness and goodness our little slice of the world provides. PORTLANDER Nestled in a spot where land meets sea, the Portlander is a unique take on the grill house concept - one which is local, seasonal, cultivated... and just a little bit wild. We're about superb cuts of meat, prepared to perfection and finished in style. Bloody rare and rather well done - it's the ideal place to eat meat and greet. PORTLANDER is the proud winner of 'BEST RESTAURANT' at the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence 2015
Reviewed 19 May 2017

You know how when things go wrong at a restaurant, you start noticing everything they're doing wrong? Here's everything that went wrong.

I booked a table for 2. I arrived first, gave the maitre d' my name, he looked it up and sat me, then cleared away the second place setting. I told there were 2 of us, and he relaid it, but I had to flag down another waiter to get a second menu. I ordered a dry martini with an olive whilst I waited. It arrived, with a twist of lemon.

Whilst I was still eating, the waiter cleared my partner's plate. When I'd finished mine, it was whipped away whilst I was still chewing.

Another waiter then brought some more food...although it wasn't for us. They looked around to see which table it was for...I hope it found its rightful recipients eventually.

Finally, tea was brought, with milk served in a shot glass, which makes it almost impossible to pour into a tea cup. It's not big and it's not clever. Please just use a jug.

The food was good, but this kind of shoddy service lets the place down.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Rory W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 22 May 2017

Hi Rory,

Thank you for taking the time to review Portlander Bar & Grill. I am sorry to read of your disappointing experience with us last week.
At present we have a number of our team who our new to the restaurant, so again thank you for helping us to pin-point the areas that require extra training.
However I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your food and I will ensure that this is passed onto our chef and his team.

I hope that we will see you again in the future, and if so please do book through myself, orlaith_maher@evt.co.nz, I will be happy to assist.
Kind regards,
Orlaith

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Reviews (519)
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41 - 45 of 519 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2017

I thought this was going to be a nice place to eat. First the tables were crowded and not well organized. Our table was situated in front of kitchen door, were waiter were continually going in and out around our table. The restaurant was over crowded and noisy. I ordered the Dover Sole. The fish came with the bone in, and was so small that there was hardly any meat left when the bone was removed.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Herman B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2017

It can be very expensive nowadays having a continental breakfast at any cafe around a major city let alone in a Hotel restaurant, with prices starting from $15-18 to anything nearing $30 for a 'full English'. Armed with a complimentary voucher, I thought i'd use it on this occasion to try their breakfast prior to business meetings on a Tuesday. FANTASTIC in capitals, end of. Basic range of breakfast cereals, leads into french baked Danish's, of which I wolfed the chocolate variety, Then onto yogurt pots with fresh fruit, chocolate milk drinks in fancy pottles, fresh fruit drinks in same pottles, all all before attacking the hot food. Middle & Streaky Bacon, potato croquettes, Lamb sausage, mushrooms, hot spicy mince, fresh made fried eggs, ham & cheese croissants, what more could a bloke ask for. Machine made instant coffee and finished by a small cheese board, with only small complaint to chef of no cheese knife on display, so he pointed me to a normal knife, oh well, we're not in France I suppose. So all in all, with great conversation with maitre' d, an excellent way to start a day, and I will go back as a paying customer, they deserve it for quality, Special note must be made to the workmen with construction diggers just outside my window ripping up the pavement of the old drinking/smoking are, getting ready for the restaurant expansion, as the existing glass and wall didn't even produce any form of noise pollution to my dining, so well done the architects who built the place. Highly recommended.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 164howard63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 19 May 2017

Good Afternoon 164Howard63,

Thank you very much for your review, I am delighted to read how much you enjoyed your morning with us.
We are very proud of our breakfast here at Portlander, it is something we have been working very hard on to ensure we provide top quality service to all our in-house and outside guests.
I will make sure the floor team and chefs receive your feedback.

Looking forward to welcoming you back to Portlander in the near future.

Orlaith

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Reviewed 17 May 2017 via mobile

Had read a couple of blogs that had listed Portlander in the top 10 burger joints in Wellington. Prior to arrival we had been looking forward to a town renowned for its burgers. What the blogs failed to mentioned was that it was an in hotel restaurant for Rydges and seemed to be more of a fine dining establishment rather than a 'burger joint.' Not to be deterred we sat down in our jeans and tees amongst the suits and the like. The first perusal of the menu revealed only one burger. A cheeseburger. Disappointed but not turned off we both ordered the cheeseburger as a main and was attracted by the pork and scallop entree. Ordered a pear cider, but apple arrived instead. Wasn't too much of a hassle as we had planned on having both the apple and the pear during our meal. The entree's arrived and looked divine. With the first mouthful of scallop I was transported to heaven. I settled in for a fantastic meal but sadly I had already reached the peak. The pork belly was tough requiring brute strength to cut for both of us. The cheeseburgers arrived and whilst I'm sure the flavours might have been ok, all I could taste was the sauces that had been applied extremely liberally to the burgers. Although the flavour of the spiced pickle did cone through. I left disappointed with my Wellington burger experience. As did my partner.

Thank Samhain73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 19 May 2017

Hi Samhain,

Thank you for your review, I am sorry to hear that one of our reviews was so misleading. Our restaurant is primarily a steak restaurant and though we do sell 3 types of burgers, our main focus is steak.
I have passed on your comments to our executive chef and his team as well as to the Portlander floor team to address.
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed our scallop dish it is one of our best sellers and widely enjoyed.
I hope that we will see you again in the future and that this experience did not deter you away.

Orlaith

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Reviewed 16 May 2017 via mobile

We did not stay at the hotel, but stopped for breakfast. I have to say that it was actually the best coffee we had in this town of great coffee. I selected the corn fritters and could hardly believe how generous the portion was...very good and a great selection of hot sauce at the buffet. A good bet!

1  Thank Samantha60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 17 May 2017

Hi Samantha,

Thank you very much for your review, I am delighted to ready that you loved our coffee and breakfast, we are very proud of it.
Hope to see you back in for breakfast, lunch or dinner sometime soon.

Orlaith

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