I walked past this place only a couple of times but both of those times I felt an urgent need to stop in my ways and get myself a cup of mocha inside. Together with the neighbouring Whiski Rooms, this part of the mound looked very stylish and classy, whilst the prices on the menus at the front door were very appealing. So, having visited Jamie’s Italian, the same day I made the extra trip up the wee hill for an extra treat that cold, rainy afternoon. Unfortunately, this was also how I spoilt the magic of the day.
Porto&Fi was indeed an inviting place, for its modern décor with comfy booth-style chairs, the patio outside, with a view out on the New Town, which must be a lovely place to sit in the sunshine when it happens, and for the staff, who, despite probably being pretty bored, since we were the only customers they had seen in a while that day, were nevertheless smiley, courteous and understanding to our indecisiveness and completely non-intrusive in their cheerfulness.
I had thought that it was a day of treating myself, so with my mocha I asked for a Banoffee Pie – to my defence, it was the first time I tried it, ever. Bananas, caramel, whipped cream, short crust base… my non-carb diet was to die a thousand deaths with that decision; and although I felt a bit guilty, I tried not to think about the calories and only remember the good, that is – the taste, because it actually was great (providing that I took my time with it). My partner had a Bakewell Tart, and although I’m not a cake-spec (experience does not always translate to expertise!), I am pretty sure this one was right from the top shelf of Bakewell’s.
Unfortunately, the mocha did not stand up to the task. After getting through the dry foam on top, it tasted more like a bitter cocoa than a chocolate coffee, and I didn’t manage to drink it up. The shortbread on the side was a nice touch though, but not good enough to make up for the lack of flavour.
It’s a shame really, because it seems like a lovely place; but with this one out of the two calling itself a “café”, it should really look to improve their beverages; maybe then the crowds that were at the same time filling up Whiski will form a part of Porto’s clientele.
Verdict justification: Lovely atmosphere, but very few – if any – points for the coffee!