Dinner at Pono Farm Soul Kitchen, Portland, OR

Came here after a long day of hiking. I believe this farm is actually in Bend, OR, but they do have a weekly stall at the farmer’s market selling really awesome food (usually cubanos/burgers/ramen) using meat from their farm. Like their stall has the most delicious food out of all the food at the Portland University Farmer’s Market, so I wanted to try out their restaurant week menu.

I got the soft shell crab appetizer with citrus dressing on a bed of greens. The soft shell crab this side of the pacific are really small, much smaller than what we get in Singapore which usually has to be cut up into 4 pieces. Not sure whether different crabs are used. It was delicious.

Tealight with logo “branded” on a menu – such a great idea. Cheap, looks good, does a good branding job. Oh dear, I really didn’t intend that pun.

The other appetizer option was this braised pork belly with truffled 65 degree egg – zomg it was super amazing, better than my soft shell crab even and I’m a seafood person. The sauce was amazing, the pork was fork tender and the egg was extremely truffle-y even though it doesn’t look like they put much truffle paste. A little went a long way.

I got the black cod in a sake glaze and kumquat puree – similar to the sake broiled black cod at Kashiba. The kumquat puree was a little tart and offset the sweetness of the sake glaze. They serve this with a bowl of rice which made me feel like I was having breakfast in Japan. This was the best main course out of the lot (I think) and is also available most of the time.

Pork tenderloin with mustard – G’s choice. He really liked it although I didn’t try it since I’m not a huge fan of pork. That said, it makes the most sense to order pork/beef here since that’s presumably what their farm produces.

Z’s chicken with onions and mushrooms which I went halfsies on. Quite a nice marsala sauce although I think the chicken could have been better charred. The mushrooms and greens were a good accompaniment.

Dessert was this pretty sake gelee with passion fruit – very tart, not much hint of sake, and the passionfruit puree was extremely sweet. Makes me think those water jellies (transparent jellies in the shape of a water droplet) are going to find its way here soon. It was also nice to see dragon fruit utilized in a dessert so far away from home and from where dragon fruit actually grows. It’s got such a dramatic appearance I’m surprised more restaurants don’t use it.


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