Restaurant review: The Providores, Marylebone

The Providores, Marylebone, by Jonathan Gregson

The Providores, Marylebone, by Jonathan Gregson - Credit: Archant

Sophisticated plates meet Europe’s largest collection of New Zealand wine

Beef and Pesto, picture by Jonathan Gregson

Beef and Pesto, picture by Jonathan Gregson - Credit: Archant

I’ve never been to New Zealand, but I’ve always been a fan of its wine.

So when I was told The Providores and Tapa Rooms houses the largest collection of kiwi vino in Europe, my carbon footprint was relieved.

The extensive yet painstakingly thought out wine list, coupled with the fine food, explain the well groomed, smartly clad clientele that pack out the Povidores, which sits elegantly above its noisier sister the tapa rooms.

The refined interior is a classic sea of white table cloths adorned with an enormous surrealist canvas and creates the perfect setting for its delicately balanced and flavourful fusion dishes.

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Yet touches like a complimentary glass of bubbly, and wine served in a 400ml carafe allow you to delve into the collection without breaking the bank.

The food menu includes a list of about a dozen small dishes to be enjoyed like tapas across the evening with a set price determined by dish per person.

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The fish was the most impressive, and we sampled five dishes, each remarkably different.

The yellowfish tuna was a precise and fresh plate with bursts of coriander and lemon beautifully accompanying sweet hints of papaya and the comforting crunch of peanut.

The smoked eel and pan-fried breem were cooked perfectly and showcased the quality of the fish, while the pan fried scallops were succulent and juicy alongside a lime puree and smoked tomato and watercress salad.

Among the meat dishes, the seven hour roasted lamb shoulder was a simple reprieve, the flavour of the meat allowed to shine alongside cauliflower, wild mushrooms and pomegranate.

A surprising combination was beef and pesto, but the tender slab of marinated fillet actually shone with the sweet pesto.

Another highlight was the fragrant, lightly spiced dahl, while slices of rich duck coupled with a delicate mix of moromi miso aubergine, shallots, lime and watercress was also excellent.

The best of the wine selection was the fruity, light and smooth Viognier. But a full bodied red we tried was equally drinkable.

Rory Brigstock-Barron

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