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smallwares Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.smallwarespdx.com/
  • Phone: (971) 229-0995
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Asian, Global, International
  • Executive Chef: Johanna Ware
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: NE 46th
  • Public Transit: Bus #75 & #24
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We are located in a residential neighborhood with ample, free street parking.
A word from smallwares
Smallwares is a forty-seat restaurant with an open kitchen. We serve small plates of inauthentic Asian cuisine meant to be shared, and eclectic wine, sake and cocktails.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "This is one of our favs! Wonderful dishes, especially the Kale & Cauliflower starters. The cocktails are interesting & well made & the service is spot on."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Loved the ambiance, you're well attended too and the food was delicious. More of an experience than just a night out for dinner. I liked the approach to stage the food service so you don't get all items at once. High quality and good speed of service."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The food at Smallwares is out of this world. Be warned though, Smallwares is a completely appropriate name because the portions are tiny. Like really tiny. That said, it's a very cute place, good service, awesome food. Favorite item ordered was the 6 minute egg! Our tab for two came to $84."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Wonderful cocktails, imaginative and beautifully prepared food (the kale! the hanger steak! the DanDan noodles!), and attentive and charming service. Don't be fooled by the simple decor - this is a restaurant that understands complexity and delivers in big and subtle ways."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "We have been wanting to dine at smallwares for some time, but the occasion never seemed exactly right. Monday night the fates aligned and we drove across town and found a cute place on Alberta. First, their space is really two separate rooms that join and share a common kitchen. We took a table close to the street. Virtually every item on the menu contained a unique variety of components with many described using terms unfamiliar to us. We started with pickled veggies and pickled halibut (really cebiche), followed with DanDan noodles and chicken lollypops. Dessert was a lime panna cotta topped with apricot jam. Each item was unique and encourages us to return. On the negative side quantity of each item was modest at best."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Awesome food: fried kale is still my favorite. Also has the happy hour bao, egg musubi, and the ramen. Drinks are well made, good portions and staff is very friendly (even with kids)."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Half the descriptive ingredients on the menu were foreign to us, both literally as well as geographic location. No supporting the local growers here. I found the food too rich, too heavy and certainly not subtle. Kale chips were soggy from being deep fried and drowning in sauce. Clams had a heavy curry type sauce, from consistency. Dondon noodles were okay, but not great, nothing like Taiwan, or China."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "This is one of the best restaurants in Portland! The food is phenomenal. Every dish has so much flavor. The cocktails are great as well and I love the ambience."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "A great assortment of food and the presentation was quite nice. Enjoyed the fusion of tastes and the shared plate offerings. Lots of good light in the restaurant. And who would think to list libations by the senses, not just the usual "wine," "beer," and "sake." Made ordering fun and easy. Would go again!"
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Food kept us guessing. You get the ingredients but really don't know what shape the food will take. Service hospitable, cauliflower terrific, wine list lacking but the beer was good."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Three of us shared six menu items. Each was quite different (from hanger steak to an egg custard) and each greeted us with surprising tastes and textures. We had a hard time and could not agree on which was the "best" because each selection was quite good. Many had a bit of heat, but none so strong that only sensation was a burning mouth. It was easy to eat gluten free and the kitchen even changed out wheat noodles in one dish for rice noodles. The service was excellent and food arrived one dish at a time at just the right pace. This is definitely a place we will return to awaiting our next surprises!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Had a delicious meal! Have already recommended Smallwares to friends. We will definitely go back!!!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "I think we could easily have selected any of the dishes off the smallwares menu and been happy, but what I keep thinking about is the spring green pancake and the cauliflower and tahini. Yum! Very inventive and very pleasing."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Smallwares is a restaurant with an understaded elegence. Beginning with the service, it is friendly but not in your face; very calm. The wine we had was fantastic and the server was a great guide through out the entire experience. The menu is very much seafood focused, all with a Asian-ish tilt as the restaurant promotes. I prefer this over an actual asian restaurant in this context, allowing for great freedom of expression and exploration. If you are looking for a casual experinece with interesting tasting food in a good looking environment this is the place to go."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "My Girlfriend and I were in the mood for Asian Fusion type food so we chose small wares. Overall the food really wasn't that flavorful I was very unimpressed. We chose 4 different plates that the waitress recommended and none of then really stood out. If I were to look for Asian fusion type food in the future I would choose: departure, saucebox, aviary, or pok pok as they all have much more delicious food for a similar price."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We tried smallwares for a quiet, kid free, dinner and made an early reservation. The restaurant was quiet when we showed up. Service staff was impressive and attentive, but the food arrived slowly. We tried four different plates from the menu, two specials (ma po bao and dashi egg) and two from the regular menu (chicken lollipops and curry clams). The dashi egg was truly fantastic. All of the other dishes were lackluster in comparison and not really worth the $10/plate average. I'd have gladly paid the final tally unhindered if all of the plates had been worth their price in taste, but I didn't feel as if I'd really gotten my value. The drink selection from the bar was nice, but again the prices were a bit high there as well."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "In a class by itself - Asian fusion tapas(if that makes any sense) - and just marvelous."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "a wonderful meal of small plates, all quite innovative from the sashimi style scallop with a twist to the brioche with two sauses at the end...the service was very friendly and knowledgeable we will be back to sample more of the menu"
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "LOVE this description of the restaurant. I travel to Asia 4x a year and smallwares does a great job of fusion - mixing Middle Eastern, Chinese, French, Japanese, Vietnamese etc. Fusion may have a bad rap these days but these guys do it right. Fresh combinations and flavors. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Had a great experience at smallwares celebrating my boyfriends birthday. Not only did they have the perfect table in the corner reserved for us, but Conrad our server worked with me to pre-order our meal so the experience was absolutely seamless. In addition food and drinks were wonderful. Would definitely recommend for a special occasion."
    Dined on 4/21/2014
  • "Good food, good drinks, but small portions. Expect to order 3 plates for every person in your group. Highly recommend the hamachi and the shrimp dishes. Yum!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We love the imaginative, energetic, original, "inauthentic Asian" food at Smallwares. And the servers are delightful, helpful, enthusiastic and full of useful information on both food and wine. But we don't go that often, because we have to be willing to put up with the ear-splitting noise level (even when the place is half empty, the music, both style and volume, is stress-inducing) and the uncomfortable environment. Both doors let in huge gusts of cold air; we often eat with our coats on. But wow, the food is wonderful."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Cocktails are amazing, don't forego the fried kale or egg with Chinese mustard."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Creative food, excellent service, delicious wine. Love going to eat where we can eat things we would don't cook at home and have them test delicious."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Enjoyed several dishes with my friend and each was excitingly delicious! I will definitely return any chance I get!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "As always, Smallwares was fantastic! We tried a couple of new things this time, along with the always awesome fried kale. Our server was attentive and knowledgable. It was a great meal!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The range of dishes is wonderful, sauces and seasonings very creative and good. One caution is to go easy on the fish sauce on the fried kale (great dish and too much of the sauce is salty and starts to mask the other flavors)"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Liked this place a lot - ordered fried kale, poached duck egg, tuna special and spicy noodles. Too much food for two - we could have done without the noodles in the end (we'd ordered rice too). Excellent value for the quality of the food, especially the kale dish and the tuna special (great sauce with a salty lime tang - not a lime, a Japanese citrus fruit). A bit too noisy for my liking, meant conversation was a bit of an effort at times. Cool ambience and decor. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We enjoyed this Asian inspired restuarant and the food was very creative. The one negative was the choice of music, sort of a rap, hip hop sound track, not at all complimentary to the type of food served. Even the server agreed!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Everything we ordered off the menu was great! I'm still dreaming about the radicchio and kale dishes. Great wine pairing, good sherry digestif list, great service. On my list to frequent from now on!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Went for Portland Dining Month and the food was very good with excellent flavors, especially the Panna Cotta with kaffir lime leaves....probably the best dessert I have ever had. Not a lot of ambiance, decor felt a bit sterile but food was excellent and I would come back for the normal dinner menu."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We went there for Portland Dining Month and tried the 3-course vegan options with wine pairings. The food was excellent, and the service was great. A lovely experience!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I have never had a bad experience at Smallwares. The food is always impeccable and inventive but accessible to all types of palates. The service was great. The server was attentive but not hovering. She checked in with us at every course & was happy to give recommendations when we requested them. I love the look and feel of the restaurant. Classy and casual. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "With so many choices in Portland for foodies, this will be my last stop here. Some of the plates were fantastic! I loved the dashi and duck egg. The drinks were good. However, the larger plates were bland and boring. The noodles, were mediocre. The pork sandwich was what I would expect from a food cart. The waitress was nice, albeit a little akward. The seating was way too close to others."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "With so many items to choose from, it's hard to focus on a just a few. We had grilled lobster, radicchio salad and an amazing kale salad that all blended together beautifully. Already looking forward to next time."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "Wishing I had more room to try everything on the menu. Though I have been to Smallwares a couple of times, the menu is has changed for seasonality and availability. The tempura fried kale is my staple! We shared that along with the ox tail…which was falling off the bone delicious and full of complex flavors. I will be back again and again as there is always something on the menu that intrigues me. I'd never cook any of this at home or even attempt it… therefore I'm leaving this beautiful creativity to the expert chef at Smallwares."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "After reading a few raves about Smallwares, I was excited to try it out. We took 2 friends from out of town to show an example of the fabulous Portland food scene. None of us were impressed. Of 4 dishes, only the radicchio salad was outstanding. The others were yawners. We ordered vegetarian dishes, so I'm not commenting on the seafood and meat items. Few if any local wines appeared on the printed list, almost all overpriced. A list of regional wines was written on a white board without prices. On the plus side: very comfortable and visually appealing room."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "This was my first time at Smallwares, where I brought an out of town date. Sashimi was excellent, good start. Wine list good, enjoyed a glass which complimented the food. Heard should not miss the fried kale.... hey, what doesn't taste good when deep fried? The crab noodle soup sounded with shrimp balls sounded good for a fish lover.... but everything was SO salty! The broth for the soup was basically inedible for me since it was so briny. My date and I had to run off to the theater, so there wasn't time for anything else. Later that evening, my hands were swollen from the sodium retention and when my date dropped me off, I had to invite him in for a big drink of water!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "small portions at an inflated price, taking advantage of the fact that it was valentine's day, the food was very tasty, but highly inadequate amounts"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This was a great experience for us. The waitress answered all of our questions wile making us feel at home and at ease."
    Dined on 2/14/2014