Porto's food feast

HONG KONG'S most highly-rated Portuguese restaurant, Porto, is staging the territory's first Cambodian food festival this month.

The haven of Mediterranean fare at the Metropole Hotel in Waterloo Road, Kowloon, will be serving native Cambodian dishes such as smoked fish salad, pineapple and coconut milk soup, fish amok and beef brochette.

'Six chefs from Phnom Penh will prepare Cambodian dishes for the first time in Hong Kong,' spokesman Winnie Wong said.

The Cambodian food festival, which began on June 7, will continue until June 28.

Since opening just over a year ago, Porto has established a strong following.

Given the experience of its two top chefs, this is not surprising. Executive chef Yim Siu-wai and executive sous chef Lee Hoi-pang were previously with Macau's prestigious Pousada de Sao Tiago.

Porto takes its name from Portugal's northern city, reputed to be country's gastronomic capital, but the cuisine is more a reflection of the nation's maritime voyages of discovery.

An exotic larder of spices, ingredients and recipes from across the globe has been incorporated into Portuguese cooking, ranging from African chicken to sweet potatoes and kidney beans from Brazil, chilli and curries from India.

However, the national snack of grilled sardines is from the seas off Portugal's coast.

They are served with bread and a squeeze of lemon and sold from food stalls on every seafront and promenade at evenings.

Porto's selection of dishes was largely gleaned from the recipe book of a Portuguese resident in Macau.