Karen R. said: "O’Carrols’ Portobello mushrooms: An ecstasy of flavours, with blue cheese and dukkah topping these four succulent big mushrooms. I’ll have to come back again for these. We were on a pub&food crawl last night, and these…" read more »
- Price Range:
- Moderate, $15 - $25
- Good For Groups:
- Good For Children:
- Cocktails, Spirits, Wine, Beer
- No BYO
- Wheelchair Accessible:
- Takes Reservations:
- Dietary Restrictions:
- Soy-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian
- Meals Served:
- Dinner, Lunch
- Payment Types:
- EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners
- Seating For:
- Outdoor Seating:
Reviews for Portofino Italian Restaurant
by Alex S.
10th June 2013
Last night we had friends visiting from Queenstown so we decided to take them out for dinner. Portofino was our preferable choice as we dined there many times before.
We had a great night, food was excellent and white Italian wine surpassed all our expectations… our friends where very pleased so they pop up question when you are going to open Portofino Restaurant in Queenstown so they can enjoy your food there?
by Lawrence C.
10th June 2013
I have been to Portofino Viaduct for many years now, and yes they may be a little slower at times, but that’s when it’s full house. It’s a huge restaurant with at least 300 plus seats. That’s a lot of food to cook, so we understand when it’s slower especially when we in a big group. In my experiences over 8 years, they have always maintained the food standard or better and the environment is always improving maintaining a nice family dining atmosphere.
by Lauren F.
2nd June 2013
Worst dining experience of my life. I have never been so dissatisfied with a meal before that I felt the need to complain.
This time I did. We waited way too long for our meals to arrive and when they finally did my eye fillet was bland, under seasoned and not cooked medium rare as I had ordered.
I complained to an arrogant man in a suit, said that my steak was overcooked and not pink as it should be.
He called me to the kitchen and gave me a lecture in front of all the chefs and others about how my steak was not “grey” as I had said and that the chefs “know how to cook a steak”. The colour of the steak was not as bad as I had first thought but was definitely not cooked medium rare. He also accused me of eating more of my steak than I had.
It takes a lot for me to ever say a negative comment, and I certainly didn’t expect to be treated like a naughty, lying child when I did.
This is the worst customer service I have ever come across.
1st June 2013
Service slow and staff inconvenienced by our presence.
Food very average.
Food not what the menu states, eye fillet? More like minute steak!
Food cold, even after 3 attempts still not even warm!
I decided not to roll over and pay $110 for the worst 3 steak meals my family and myself have ever experienced, only to be confronted by the arrogant owner who threatened to call the police if I did not pay for his shite steak! We are kiwi and supportive Aucklanders of local business but this one took the cake!
If you feel the need to be ripped off, served terrible food, abused by the owner, then dine at the disgusting Portofinos Viaduct!
PS to the arrogant owner, learn some customer service, don’t ever assume again it’s ok to intimidate me because I’m female and I hope you did not carry out on your threat to charge to waiter because it was not his fault you run the worst Italian restaurant in town.
So do not waste your money here please !!!!!
by Andrew M.
31st May 2013
Food was excellent and lovely setting for a Friday lunch!
by Jemma J.
11th May 2013
The food was absolutely delicious, it was just cooked perfectly.
It’s a shame about the service.
I ordered a drink which I have had many a time, at different bars and it was completely wrong. Several of us agreed on this.
We sent it back, as there was no way I could drink it. The Asian waitress told us that there was nothing wrong with it (not that she or any other staff had tried it) and we would be charged for it anyway (not that I really care about this but it was the fact that she was so rude about it).
The waitress then proceeded to have a big fight with the barman. Most awkward. I didn’t want a big fight I just wanted to be rid of that bad drink.
My friend ordered me another drink, a non alcoholic mix that could not be stuffed up. Yet they managed to stuff that up too. I just drank that and then stuck to water.
The waitress was extremely rude after the drink fiasco, she spent the rest of the evening being such a cow slamming our drinks and plates on the table and ignoring me when I tried to talk to her (god I was only trying to thank her).
Like I said, the food was delicious, but I was absolutely disgusted with the rudeness of the Asian waitress and the guy at the bar.
Oh yeah and the toilet cubicles are less than half the size of a portaloo. Don’t even think of using the loo if you are overweight :p
7th May 2013
To start off I will mention that I am a pasta critic and it is very hard to please me when it comes to pasta. However I had the beef tortellini with creamy sauce and it was divine. Could be a little hotter(temp wise).
My husband had the cannelloni and quite enjoyed it.
This place however is let down by the staff and there customer service skills. Not only are they rude but incompetent. They stood around for 30mins just looking at us until they finally took out order. Why we waited that long was beyond me. They also forgot my coffee order and it didn’t come out until after we had finished lunch and then blamed it on the bar man for being busy. There were only 4 other tables taken.
We had dirty glasses and the water had shit in it! I’m not impressed and for a big space you have you should really rethink your staff or at least train them in having manners
by Karyn v.
5th April 2013
We went there for my son’s birthday at his request for an Italian meal. We had an excellent waitress, very keen and friendly and the food was great. We were seated very quickly in the outside area which is very pleasant.
We would definitely go there again.
25th March 2013
My husband and I thought we would try something different for tea, being in Auckland for our wedding anniversary we didn’t know where to go. Should have gone to the restaurants that were busy, means they actually have good service and food.
We entered the restaurant and asked for a table for two. The woman did not speak to us just pointed at the table were she wanted to sit. She did not give us a drinks menu or offer any drinks. We WAITED 20mins before I had, had enough and wanted to go. It wasn’t until they had seen me getting my handbag that they decided to come over and offer us a drinks menu. They were not busy at all so there was no reason to keep us waiting for that long. Normally you would have had your drinks by then and your entree ordered by now. When they finally took our order for the entree the garlic bread it came out and had a hair in it! Which was not mine since by hair isn’t that colour! My main was the chicken and was barely warm and my husband wasn’t at all happy with his meal the seafood pasta. My water was not cold, but only tap water with a dirty glass! I am disgusted in the service we were given and would never ever go back to them again and will tell anyone thinking of going to them not to! Worst place ever! Thank you for wrecking our dinner out!
by Cam W.
22nd March 2013
What a shame that a restaurant with so much potential lacks the absolute basics for any eatery, service.
Our waiter was rude, impatient and unapologetic (even after spilling a glass of champagne over everyone seated at the table). Not even an offer of a replacement glass was given, or was it taken off the final bill.
If only the kitchen knew how much their hard work was being let by the front of house. The food was good but it by no means makes up for the service. Sort it out Portofino’s, I am not the first to comment about this.
by Simon W.
11th February 2013
Nice location. Attentive staff. The owner hovers around and kinda clicks and barks at his staff, which I found off putting.
The food was OK. We ordered the antipasto, which was quite nice. I ordered the Scallop pasta. I thought it was over cooked, and the scallops were hard to recognise given the cheesy/creaminess of this dish.
My partner ordered the Cannelloni, which she thought was nice, but again a bit too heavy.
She also ordered the cheesecake for dessert, and was given a very generous portion, but again was very heavy,creamy and lacked balance.
Overall, it was a reasonable experience, but the food does have a slightly “re-heated” quality to it. Flavours could be balanced better, and overall I think the dishes were very cheesy/creamy and salty.
Would go back for a glass of wine, antipasto and view.
by Daniel K.
7th February 2013
Ordered starters / Worst staff ever. So we left and didn’t have our mains. Won’t come back again. Ever – 8 staff standing around just avoiding us and standing there like muppets.
Being a long standing brand in New Zealand you would think the serivce would perfect but it was cold. I not just having a to but our whole table of people felt the same way. Lame
by Colette B.
27th January 2013
Saturday 26th Jan – we eat out most weekends. Worst mistake to have dinner here. From the beginning to end. Head lady has the worst attitude i have ever seen in the food business when welcoming guests. WE asked for a table for 4 she walked away from us assuming we were to follow her which we did, then she stopped turned around to us and starred at us like we were mad following her we adv we asked for a table for 4 in-which she pointed at a table and said sit there. Lovely waitress came along took our order we had to ask for water, she assumed tap water “you lost up sale for sparkling”, when water was poured we proceeded to drink when we noticed each of the 4 glasses had little black bits in the bottom, we asked another waiter to take and refill, to which his attitude was appalling. Dinner, my warm chicken salad was nothing more them chicken strips in chicken salt of which I had 4 and 2 mushrooms and a few warm pieces of capsicum and two pieces of onion, with vinaigrette already poured onto it, pizza and pasta was hardly touched by the two people as they did not like the meal and the fettuccine may have been tasty but so full of oil only half was eaten. No one came to ask if we need more drinks, water, when I asked for the bill waitress asked if we would like dessert when I said no she said she will get the bill walked away and never came back. Asked waiter where we pay which I had to repeat twice before his reply was at the back, on leaving “no thank your for coming” “how was your meal”…..nothing. Your toilets are as small as an aeroplane, messy as well.. Will not be repeated but will surely advice a no go place to many.
Toilets keep clean. Staff should be pleasant and helpful and should up sale drinks etc, FOOD improve making a pizza and putting olive oil does not mean you are Italian.
13th January 2013
Went here for dinner on a lovely evening, unfortunately we were told we had to sit indoors despite there being available seats outside. The seats indoors are very close to the kitchen and it was uncomfortably hot.
I ordered the eye fillet which I found average and overpriced. However the waitress we had was lovely.
by Krista M.
12th January 2013
Visited Portofino at viaduct last night, got nice table looking over harbour, atmosphere was great ..good selection of Italian wines ..minestone soup was perfect and fresh fish was yummy. Thanks to friendly and professional staff.
by Daniel B.
4th December 2012
We planned to go out for a nice dinner down at the viaduct, it was a really nice night, until we sat down at Portofino’s that is. The only smile all night was from the maitre d who greeted us and showed us to our table. From then on it was sh*t!!! Had to get a waiter’s attention by putting up our hands like bloody school kids after nearly 15 mins to order our drinks and meals. No water was offered to us at all. Took nearly half an hour to get our meals, with still no water being offered for us. Staff didn’t bother checking if our meal was alright, and finally got one of the staff’s attention and asked for water, and brings over to barely cold glasses of water..no ice at all!! Are you kidding me, at least make sure the water is ice cold you wits. Really disappointing, they need to get their priorities changed. No one go to this restaurant, the price you pay is for half decent service as well, which there wasn’t any of. McDonalds have better service.
by Isobel H.
12th August 2012
We planned to go out for my daughters birthday and she chose Italian, so I suggested Portofino at the Viaduct.
I rang Friday to book a table for 5 people for Saturday and was told there was no need to book. I would rather book and know that a suitable table will be available at the time I want to arrive.
We arrived about 7pm on Saturday and I asked for a table for 5. The Maitre’d without replying, showed us to a table in the corner set for 4, I repeated that it was for 5 so he pulled a chair over from a nearby table, stuck it on the end and walked away. No one set an extra place.
When my husband arrived from parking the car he asked for a proper table for 5 people, so with bad grace they offered us a table inside which we agreed to. However when we went inside, they did the same, stuck and extra chair on the end. Eventually again with bad grace, they joined another small table on making it more suitable for 5 adults.
We already had our menus from outside so proceeded to make our selections. My daughter helped herself to the water on the table. when the waitress came to take our drinks order she pointed out that you had to pay for the water on the table unless you asked for tap water.
Three of the mains were fine, not in any way exceptional, but the lasagna was hard to eat out of the very hot pan it was served in and the mussels did not taste good (and weren’t eaten).
We had brought a cake with us and asked for just Gelato to go with it. The Gelato came but the cake didn’t. By the time I got someone to bring the cake out, the gelato was eaten, as it was melting.
The service was terrible and well below the standard I would expect from any self-respecting restaurant, from the time we arrived until the time we left. The waitress seemed to have a very tenuous grasp of English and we had trouble making ourselves understood. The restaurant was noisy and drafty. All in all it was a very disappointing experience and we would not choose to ever visit a Portofino restaurant again and will not recommend to any friends or family to do so.
I now see from google search that this restaurant has a number of poor reviews. Perhaps they need to lift their game?
by Linda M.
5th May 2012
Lovely setting, but indifferent staff, they don’t seem happy, nothing like Italians in Italy. Ok food. 2007 pinot grigio!!! Won’t go back or recommend to friends.
29th March 2012
I would just like to say that although very busy on a Sat night, Evonne was a great waitress and looked after us very well. She was friendly, efficient and patient! Thanks Evonne.
8th March 2012
Portofino used to be my favourite restaurant….my family have moved overseas, but we come back twice a year to visit family. We always go to Portofinos for a treat. On the last two occassions, we have been very dissapointed. What ever happened to the traditional Italian pizza? Now the base is so thick, and the topping full of cheese. Come on Portofino, become more Italian!!
by Diane C.
25th February 2012
We decided to eat here because our usual restaurant was fully booked. The waitress was very quiet and didn’t speak English very well. We ordered garlic bread which was like cardboard. For our main we ordered steak. My husband got the scotch filet and I ordered the eye filet. Both steaks were tender but were drowning in sauces. The vegetables were like something my mother cooked 40 years ago. The waitress forgot my husband’s wine and there was a long wait until she took our dessert order. When it arrived I thought my profiteroles looked suspiciously like the Pam’s frozen ones from New World and my husband’s cheesecake was rubbery and, for the most part, tasteless. Needless to say, we won’t be going there again. The staff could do with some training. Michel Roux where are you when we need you?
8th February 2012
Went here as a group for a friends birthday. Food was horrible and overpriced. Service was even worse. There was another group there for a hens night and the only waiter there was too busy sitting at the ladies table flirting with them. Food took a long time to get to us and was luke warm by the time it arrived. At one point we couldn’t find the waiter who a friend found kissing one of the ladies from the other table near the toilets. Absolutely disgusting service, especially for the price you pay. Have also been to the Portofino in Mission Bay and the manager was extremely rude. I will never eat at Portofino’s again. You can get a better meal at McDonald’s or Burger King!
Don’t waste your money going here!
by Jonathan H.
29th December 2011
I am more then four years customer in Portofino Restaurant Viaduct.I live in Ponsonby and many times with my wife we go to dinner in Portofino Restaurant Viaduct.
I was yesterday with dinner with my wife on Tuesday 27 December 2011. We order food, It wasn’t good at all, my wife lasagna is was very cold and dry, and my steak it was to salty. I am disappoint from the menu and food.
I told to the waiter to reheat my wife lasagna, friendly waiter he apologies to us,and he reheat lasagna.
The end of the dinner waiter give us a bill, and bill was with HOLIDAY SURCHARGE on 20% more then regular price.
Tuesday 27 December 2011 is WITHOUT SURCHARGE. I am totally disappointed from management on Portofino Restaurant. I keep my bill, so and I can inform about HOLIDAY SURCHARGE on 27 December 2011.
I won’t back again.
20th October 2011
I ordered chicken fettuccine and it was WAAAY overpriced for what it was worth. So average. La Porchetta is much better and it’s half the price. I tried my friend’s steak and it was very average as well. Nothing special about their menu. The potatoes and carrots and beans looked like they were heated in the microwave. It resembled somewhat of a TV dinner. Won’t come here again!
10th October 2011
Dined here on Saturday, 8th October.
Booked a table for 10 for dinner/drinks at 8.45pm with a specific request to be seated near one of their tv’s to watch the RWC game.. We turned up on time, and were seated without access to a tv.. Promptly moved our table which was good, however were seated in front of an outward opening closet which the staff use to keep their belongings in! Dinner was interrupted 3 times during the evening so access could be gained into the cupboard – the restaurant was NOT full so I have no idea why they would sit ANYONE there?..
Entree and Mains arrived without much fuss, pizza’s, calamari and alfredo was tasty and came in good time. 3x desserts were ordered and the waitress came back 15mins later with only 2 desserts and explained that they had “run out” of the other type ordered. When questioned why she hadnt advised this when we ordered, she simply gave a blank look and no sorry..
Food was good, albeit pricey, however we will not be returning due to the very poor service. NOTE: we did take our concerns up with the manager on the night, and he gave a shrug and said “it happens” – NOT IMPRESSSED at all.. Disappointing to think we have so many tourists in our country at the moment and that is the standard they are being offered!!
by David B.
29th September 2011
Great location let down by poor food. My Chicken Parmigiana was a $35 TV dinner that had not been in the microwave long enough. Crisp vegetables are good but my three potatoes and one carrot were uncooked. The squid entree looked like it have been sitting under lights for an hour.
My partners White Veal Fungeto was ok and the service was fine.
Expensive and best to walk past to where you can get better for the same money.
3rd September 2011
Sorry but Portofino you would have got one star except for the fact you let us in for dessert only just before closing.
But the food was not that great. As it was desert only not much was ordered, Coffee, Hot chocolate, Cheesecake and Brandy Snaps.
It was spray cream on the coffee, hot chocolate and brandy snaps that had all but devolved by the time the food arrived at our table. The brandy snaps were nothing special with three supermarket brandy snaps on a plate filled with devolved spray cream. The Cheesecake was at least two days old and quite dry, Hot chocolate was good but the coffee while hot was burnt
by Michael A.
22nd July 2011
Disgraceful. We tried to redeem a Spreets voucher – $29 for “any two mains of your choice and a garlic bread” valued at $60. After we placed our order the woman in charge told us the voucher was only valid for pizza or pasta mains (which of course are much cheaper). It said nothing about this on our voucher but she would not be reasoned with (even the other waiter was embarrassed ) – totally dishonest.
She was rude and we left; obviously a ploy to get people in the door. We won’t be back and we have laid a complaint with the Commerce Commission. This sort of dishonesty is a disgrace to this country.
21st July 2011
Booked for 10 ladies for 8:00 o’clock. We arrived at 7:30. No one to seat us so we sat at the large table outside as no wait to be seated sign. Manager came out and yelled like at mad man for us to move as they were expecting a large group. He moved us to wait outside. A large group of about 20 arrived and took the table we were just at. We waited till 8:30 when I asked if we could have a table as we’d booked and he said when this large group has left. I told him we had a booking at 8o’clock and he said they didn’t have it in the bookings. I said I defiantly had booked a week earlier and asked to see their bookings to show we had booked. I suspected they just wanted to take the larger group, he wouldn’t show us? He was rude and unprofessional and told him we thought so. Will note it in our Tour guide to dodge. We left with birthday girl very upset with her potentially ruined evening but went next door and had a lovely time. Shame Portofino. You will never get any of our business or associates of ours. Very ugly experience
by Jessica M.
25th June 2011
The food is really good, we had pizza, some salad and a pasta, it was really tasty but it took really long, i wasn’t in a hurry but you start to feel weird being in a restaurant in the middle of other tables having their meal, so i felt a little bit uncomfortable, about this, but really good food.
18th January 2011
We had a delicious meal here but unfortunately it took so long to arrive that we had eat it super fast and rush off to see a show, despite the waiter assuring us that this would not happen.
4th September 2010
Went here last night for dinner. The service was utter crap! Have to say that the meals we ordered were delicious. But after we were seated we were not attended to for at least 15mins. Had to go up and ask for our own water. The lady who seemed to be the manager there had a rude attitude when we asked for a bottle of wine. Wasn’t friendly at all. The waiters didn’t check on our meals at all or asked us if we needed more water throughout dining. The waiter also asked to take our plates away before we were even finished eating?!?!?! Found this completely rude. Didn’t feel welcome at all in the restaurant. The only thing saving it from utter failure is the food which was great. We expected a lot more from a restaurant along the viaduct and from what we were paying for our dinner.
Never going back there again.
by Sophie W.
19th August 2010
I went to Portofino’s a few years back for a work dinner and had a great time, mentioned to a few people I was going to go there again this last month, everybody said NO WAY ITS SH*T!!
Couldn’t help myself, went again.
I asked for scampi not flakey torn up pieces of wall paper.
Rude waiter, rude manager, 2.5 hours to get my drywall served..Completely dissapointed.
Saw what one of the waitresses wrote while reading over these reviews just now,
“Some of our waiters are of different cultures and their idea of good customer service is different than ours” (Or something to affect)
PRETTY SURE that arrogance, disrespect, rudeness, abuse among a list of many other things is in no way thought of as good customer service ANYWHERE.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
9th August 2010
This place is not worth the money that you pay. The location is great, and the waiters are friendly; but the food is quite expensive and it’s not particularly amazing. If you’re looking for great, authentic Italian food I wouldn’t say this is the place to go to. Not value for money.Comment from Kiro G. of Portofino Italian Restaurant 1/12/2010
by sarah X.
18th June 2010
my English is not good, but don t belive some ppl saying here is worst Italian restaurant, i tried by my self and my boyfriend last weekend,waiters are not talking much, but they nice friendly if you ask them to do things, i did asked to change seat for 3 times for better view in 1 dinner, and they just happy to do that, no any unhappy face. and the seafood big dish was very very good, price was good for restaurants in place like viaduct. don t understand why above ppl giving bad feed back.
by Tina K.
19th March 2010
Will never recommend or return to the viaduct portofino.We were a party of 14 for a birthday booked two weeks ahead. the wait staff were rude and inattentive,a man whom we took for manager came to the table and started being aggressive about one of our party who walked out after waiting an hour for the meal to come.The waiter approached our table to defend himself whilst we were eating.The attitude of the staff was appalling and uncaring. We were blamed for their inefficiency and rudeness. This place needs a severe shake up with all needing customer service training.What happened to the saying “The customer is always right”.
13th March 2010
To be honest I cant believe im wasting my time on this but people need to know how rude the staff are!! im 9 months pregnant and had my foot stood on, got told with a hand in my face to wait for my water (which i never got!) shoulder-barged when i stood up and knocked everytime they walked past, i was one of 7!! we experienced steak knives slamming then falling into laps.. u name it we got it! we werent asked for drinks till we had to grab the attention of staff some 15 mins after being seated. the food was average the vegies were stone cold. then to top it off complaining to the owner we were told we could have desert and a drink on the house, we had desert no further drinks but were on the bill, when questioned we were told we were lucky we got 10% discount.further more the toilets were disguting!! I hope they shape up for the rubgy world cup as there would be nothing worse for our guests to think NZ restaurants are all like this. My guests from auz and i will never eat there again.
by Christine S.
9th February 2010
The service in this restaurant is diabolical. If you do not have the capacity to cook for the amount of diners sitting down, why accept more in? what gives you the right to expect people to wait 2 hours for food?. No apologies for the delays, or free drinks/nipples to keep you going.
Would never go there again, embarrassed that any visitors to NZ may go there and think this is the norm.
28th December 2009
This was the second time to dine in Protofino for my friend birthday. There were not many guests in the restaurant; but it still took us one and half hours to have the meals. Almost end of my meal, I found a one CM length toothpick in the baked potato while I was chewing it. It almost cut my tong. The waiter was very polite and apologized to me for this and also promised to do something for me. I thought the restaurant manager will come and say something, but no one came. End of paying the bill, the waiter explained the problem in Italian to the cashier and try to ask a discount for us, but the cashier said very loudly in English “So?!” then only took $6.00 off from our bill and looked at me like the one is taking advantage on them. I have been working in the hospitality industry for many years and I have never seen any restaurants deal problems with such attitude. I will not recommend this restaurant to any of our hotel guests and I will report it to the city council.
10th November 2009
I enjoyed the salmon pasta although the service was quite slow and it took a while to deliver my meal.However,a friend of mine had a completely different view and didn’t like it at all.
by Sheena R.
5th November 2009
Went with my partner to this place beacuse our friends said it was really good.
1. A waiter showed us to our table as soon as we got there then walked off.
2.Got asked for drinks after 15 mins and we just got water which arrived ages afterwards (water!) and the glasses were dirty and had a smell.
3.It took ages to get the attention of a waiter and we did after 20 mins then almost an hour afterward we got our food.
4. We sat by the door and the waitress stood there for ages with our food not knowing who to serve it to. The food was goos although my lamb was a bit undercooked.
5. People brought their dogs who continously barked at everyone, this was disruptive for a romantic date.
6. No smiles, no thanks yous, no follow throughs.
Never going back there again.
24th October 2009
made a booking, stood to wait for a table to be cleaned. was seated, food was bought out within an hour, the meals we had were beautiful and substantial and well priced. service was quick with the mains. it turned after that. no follow threw or dessert menus or coffees offered.had to ask was ignored by 1 staff member. all in all excellent food terrible service
22nd July 2009
Portofinos. What a blight on Aucklands thriving restaurant scene. I have never encountered such bad service and lack of respect from restaurant staff. Add to this the inedible menu and you have a disaster on your hands. All we can do is tell other people and stay away in droves. This poisonous experience needs to be put out of business. Have a nice day.
30th June 2009
Never go to this place! It is a waste of time, effort and money. The manager is ridiculously rude, staff are untrained and rude and the service is appalling. We waited 1 hour and 45 minutes for our meals on a Monday night!! The manager said the restaurant was “busy”. I hate to imagine how he manages on a fri/sat evening?!?! We got no apology which is the only thing we were after, instead we got an arrogant manager who kept excusing his restaurant’s appalling service. Will never ever be back. I have never ever experienced such shocking service
by Café Chick ..
15th June 2009
Portofino has expanded and is now a very big restaurant, taking up both sides of a walkway in the Viaduct Basin. There is great ambiance inside with quaint lighting and dark panelling. I walked in for dinner along with half of the audience for the upcoming Simon & Garfunkel concert; needless to say, myself and several tables were probably feeling quite time-pressured. It was difficult to grab the waiting staff’s attention on such a busy night but, apart from some anxious clock-watching moments, I made it through my meal in time for the show. The cheese pizza bread was tasty and I took the leftovers home. I enjoyed my spaghetti alla carbonara; the serving was generous with large pieces of ham and a delicious creamy sauce. I’d be happy to try Portofino again in less-rushed circumstances.Comment from Kiro G. of Portofino Italian Restaurant 1/12/2010
5th June 2009
Last night I be with my family in Portofino Restaurant on Viaduct,I am very happy, wonderfull Italian food,best service.Waitter is very happy and friendly.Wonderfull place with happy and smile face on waitters.Will be back soon.
7th April 2009
Would give this place no stars if it was possible!! I have never met staff so rude we waited 25 Minutes after being seated at a dirty table just to get the menus!! then once we received them we were left waiting so long for our orders to be taken we got up and left!!! Slack service and after reading the other reviews on here i am glad we didn’t stay as it sounds like the food is just as bad!!!
17th March 2009
Poor service from this funny “Italian” restaurant. My family and I do not drink wine, so waiter and waitress were not happy when we asked for ice water. We were treated like second class customers ! Quite rude and unfriendly attitude ! Will never dine there again ! Unpleasant dining experience .
30th January 2009
Do not be fooled by the waitresses response to this list of reviews. If you are not able to serve the required amounts of tables ask your Boss for help. My dining experience was nothing short of disgusting. The staff are very rude and have no manners. When we complained about the quality of the food it was met with an irritating reply and were told they were too busy and we were being unreasonable.
We were also forced to pay for food we could not eat. There is nothing Italian in this place, avoid it if you would like to enjoy your evening. Also there seems to be a common trend with people complaining about the staff, maybe it is time to re-train them correctly. Will never see me again.
by Al K.
29th January 2009
You all mentioned about dining here, well I tried to phone them for an early reservation for Valentines, sorry I had not read any of the reviews before about this place. Some lady picked up the phone, couldnt understand her english, so she gave the phone to another person.I explained my request. he rudly said, sorry 1st come first serve no reservation. I also asked if there was a menue out for that day. All he said was I dont know! end of conversation….thanks a lot guys, defntly not going here..
by andrew symons
1st December 2008
food below average wait staff unpleasant unhelpful and rude, riding on there location and not the food or experience and im afraid location does not a good restaurant make wont be back
26th November 2008
Worst “italian” restaurant in Auckland. First of all I’m italian and I can definately say that this restaurant has nothing italian at all. The owner is from Macedonia and the cooks are from all over the place but Italy. I wanted to order spaghetti al pesto but on the menu it was classified as entree. So I asked if I could have main size instead. The owner simply said “NO”. I asked if there was any particular reason and said that I simply wanted a slightly larger portion and obviously was willing to pay more for it. His response was “We don’t change dishes here.”. I said that I found it a very poor response and that a little flexibility would help. He answered: “Do you think if the owner of the restaurant had started changing the menu for everyone who asked it he would have made so much money??”. At this point I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to spoil everyone’s night so I decided not to walk out. I ordered pasta alle vongole and saying that it was overcooked is a euphemism… The worst eating experience in New Zealand! Don’t go here. There are plenty of decent italian restaurant in Auckland and a few of good ones as well. Don’t waste your money!!
22nd October 2008
My husband and I had dinner at Portofino on Xmas Eve 2007 and it was the worst Xmas Eve dinner of our lives.
The food was bland and dry. My spaghetti alle vongole was so awful that I asked for parmesan cheese and salt to lift it up. It was so dry that it was just impossible to eat.
I asked for the manager and he told me that that’s how this dish was supposed to be. I was appalled by his response. Anyone who has had a vongole pasta dish before would know that it should be in a lovely white wine sauce and nicely salted with clam juice.
I gave up on the meal and shared my husband’s steak instead. The meat was tough but at least the taste was ok.
The restaurant billed us for the pasta despite noticing that I had not eaten more than 2 bites of it.
It was Xmas Eve and we didn’t want to spoil our mood so we didn’t make a fuss there. But it was definitely the last time we are eating at that restaurant.
by Anna Pagent
3rd September 2008
I’m a waitress at Portofino Viaduct and i just want to justify your expectations of good service. Firstly, please explain further what you think good service can be when you have 3 tables of 15 people arriving at once, all expecting drinks and so on. It’s not easy. The restaurant seats so many people all with extreme expectations and not only are we pressured from our side (staff wise) but also the customer always comes first. Always. Diners should know that- Gino is our boss, he trains us and looks after us to try make us as friendly and capable as we can be during rush hour.
Secondly, in terms of immigrant workers, keep in mind that they are from a completely different culture to New Zealand- their ideas of good service are different to ours. Try please to be a little more patient. Everyone who’s worked in hospitality should understand what its like to work in the busiest restaurant in the Viaduct.
As for the food, try the Pollo Camembert and Linguini Ginolino. Its a little out of the ordinary, but worth it.
Thankyou to everyone who wrote decent reviews about Portofino.
by Diana Felton-Thorpe
19th July 2008
wow what a great dining experience of NZ. I love the way there are crabs in the mussels – it gives a sense of connection to the food chain. The fettucine is superb al dente and staff are aloof – not overly gushy or fake. I like the way the waiter slapped my face when I called him a wog – good on him for sticking up for himself – too many emigrant workers put up with less than courteous behaviour from the English upper classes.
13th June 2008
I have been going to this place for the past few years, and it is a fabulous place to eat at. Great for celebrating couples’ anniversaries and team dinners. Chicken fettucine is my favourite meal, and the atmosphere is very laid back yet styley.
30th January 2008
To anyone thinking of eating Italian please find another Italian Restaurant than Portofinos, There are 10x better ones out there.
I will NEVER eat at Portofino’s again! Not only did my food have a baby crab in it which I crunched into, but afterwards the HELP/WAITERS were not the friendliest about it all and tried to act like we should be ok with it, reasoning was that mussels have crabs in them all the time and it happens so that we should be ok with it, but I’m sorry I do not go to pay for a meal to get told that! it put me off my lunch and my friends!
I have told many others about my experience and to my horror many others have had similar experiences not only with the food but also the service and they would never eat there again either.
My suggestion would be to go somewhere else at all costs…
4th January 2008
Ordered Canaloni (spelling?) and sent it back because it was over cooked and tough.
$35 meal with rocket and 12 canaloni with not sauce for taste, which you can buy from the supermarket for $6.
Received back our so called freshly cooked, but NO, received the same back with others added and over cooked.
Did they come and ask how this or any meals are? NO. We were on holiday and didn’t want to spoil our night. We shouldnt of paid $35 for this lettuce and 8 squid rings, fried till tough.
Watch out for this TRICK of words.
Would you like any water? “YES” Still or fizzy, was asked. Still please. Received a bottle of Italian still @ $9.50 bottle, and received already opened. Tasted like normal tap water. ASK for TAP water if asked or you will get a $9.50 bottle.
When one asks for water/still/ we all expected our fresh New Zealand water. What about the carbon foot print on sending water all the way from Italy in a glass bottle. Shame.
We have been in many Portofino’s and this is the last.
“How was your meal at Portofino’s” Hope it was better than ours.
I do recommend the Fettichine, not all bad, just lack of service for the price we paid. Come on management, you are better than this.
by Cleopatra A.
8th June 2007
Portofinos Restaurant was lovely to dine at. I ordered the Chicken Fettuccine which was exceptional and filled all the expectations of it that I had from friends telling me it is their favourite Portofino dish. The service was great and they waited on us hand and foot. Though the meals took a while to arrive, the wait was fully worth it in the end. The only problem of mine that I had was that we were right next to the sliding door which was the waiters access to outside so it was used frequently and caused a draft every time they opened it. Overall Portofinos is fully recommended by me and with all the options on the menu everyone will be able to find something exactly right for their taste, no matter what it is.
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