MJ’s Verdict
I’ve come to really enjoy these long Sunday walks with B and guests. Today, after a nice jaunt from my house to Mel and Milo’s, onwards to the cottaging spot at the end of the waterfront walk, and back again, we popped into Porto & Fi down on the shore.

The sheer numbers of dogs and new adjectives for the wind (not to mention my inability to speak correctly due to my frozen lips) left me quite hungry and glad to see the beaming glory of Porto & Fi right across from a closed down bakery (which, isn’t actually closed down, but the owners made the unfortunate choice of sponge-painting some outside bits of it the same colour as plywood boarding—seriously, why would you do that?).

We had a table reserved right by the door, but the place was well laid out so I didn’t feel conspicuously stuck in the middle of the room. It’s a place I would happily pop in for lunch or coffee, but probably wouldn’t linger with my book/laptop.  The menu was short-ish and sweet. Since they serve breakfast all day on Sundays, I was again torn. I do love a good bowl of granola…then the Mediterranean Risotto caught my eye, but I finally decided on the smoked haddock with poached egg, crushed new potatoes and mange tout. But I opted to forgo the mustard cream sauce, which Milo did order on his (he recommended this dish and ordered it himself).

Smoked haddock, no sauce

After B had his soup, which looked like a healthy vat with several good sized chunks of bread that we all looked upon with envious, hunger-ridden stares. The mains finally arrived. My stack of haddock looked a bit dry without the sauce, but when I cracked the poached egg over the top it oozed out golden goodness just like I had envisioned, and my desire for some sauce evaporated.

Milo's smoked haddock, with sauce

The smoked haddock had a great flavour and was perfectly cook. The crushed potatoes added a bit of bulk and the creamy yolk of the egg helped hold it all together. It didn’t look like a big dish, but I finished it and sat back surprisingly full and satiated. After an espresso we parted ways with Mel and Milo and B and I went back on the road, to reach nearly 20 miles for that brisk, windy Sunday.

I enjoyed my meal at Porto & Fi. Newhaven is a bit far for me to wander normally, but I’d be happy to go back should I be in the area, or I’ll take the opportunity to pop into their other location on the Mound before long!

Mel's burger

Blythe’s Verdict

With a harsh, exfoliating wind having blasted our cheeks to a rosy damask, we sought lunchtime solace in Newhaven’s Porto & Fi, a welcoming little cafe, which has recently pupped a new branch on The Mound. Last time I was here, was shortly before my friends Mel and Milo’s wedding, so it was lovely to be joined by the both, today.

We had worked up quite a hunger, so I was glad we had the option to order from their whole menu (their breakfast menu is served all day, on Sundays). The place is very popular and was busy throughout our visit, with a number of folks who’d turned up on spec being turned away. So, if you’re planning a visit, it pays to book, like we did.

Sunshine soup

For a generous selection, augmented by a range of daily specials, I opted for the game pie to follow my soup.

My soup quickly arrived, and I have to say that the photo does it little justice. Firstly, it was an extremely generous portion, which the photo doesn’t convey. Secondly, it was like a shining bowl of sunshine, both in terms of its radiant hue and its flavour combination. It was undoubtedly one of the finest bowls of the soup I’ve had on quests, so far. It was so well judged.

Game pie

The main courses took a good while to appear, which was rather unfair on my fellow diners, as I was the only one partaking of a starter, so when they did finally arrive they were dispatched in short order.

Mel’s burger looked excellent, as did the smoked haddock which both Milo and MJ had.

My game pie featured excellent veg, with the buttery swede an absolute dream, but the meat of the pie was a little too lean, so was on the dry side. The gravy was a touch to thin, also. This was a shame, because the balance of flavours was again highly skilled, with power-packed juniper berries providing regular explosion of taste.

So overall, Porto & Fi was really good. I’ll gladly be back, to sample some of the other treats from their menu. I’d heartily recommend you pay it a visit, but remember to book.

MJ scores Porto & Fi:
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 14/20

Blythe scores Porto & Fi:
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20

Today’s questers were: Miriam, Mel, Milo, Blythe

We ate: sweetcorn, coconut and chilli soup, burger, smoked haddock with poached eggs (2), game pie

We drank: teas, water, coffees

We wore: Sunday action wear (with velcro!), hats with ears covered and hats with ears uncovered

Total bill: c.£58

Porto & Fi on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR