Mar 10 2013

Providores and Tapa Room, The

Providores Tapa Room is known for its good brunch on weekends which means people are queuing outside even in the winter cold for a long time to go there. Providores opened in 2001 and is located on Marylebone High Street and the restaurant has a downstairs area which is very cosy, casual and relaxed called the Tapa Room where you can’t book and which generates the queues to get a table, or an upstairs dining area called just “Providores” which you can book but the atmosphere there is not as great as it is more formal. As I said, this place is very popular for brunch on a weekend (at other times walk ins are much easier) and if you want to go there during a weekend brunch I either advise you to do it at 11 or at 2 when the big rush of the people has died down and you will need to wait less. Also don’t think this place has anything to do with Spain, the Tapa room takes its name not from the Spanish tapas but from the huge, traditional Rarotongan Tapa cloth that hangs on the wall. Tapa cloth can be found throughout the Pacific and is used either as a decorative piece, as a ceremonial floor covering at feasts, or sometimes as fabric for clothing, and I assume they chose this cloth because the main chef Michael McGrath comes from New Zealand so the influence for his food also comes from this area. 

I went to Providores Tapa Room for lunch with my Latvian friend Olga (note the menu is different for lunch and for dinner so this is a brunch review, I have not been there for dinner) and we arrived at around 1.30 and managed to get a table within 5 minutes, which I think is very lucky. The menu is very interesting and a lot of the dishes mix together sweet ingredients with sour ones and just things you usually would not put together so you have to be open to these type of combinations of food to enjoy many of the dishes. For brunch you can also get yoghurt, eggs but most of the dishes will be in some interesting combination that you probably would not have had before. My friend Olga ordered waffles with cherries which also had savory spinach and sour cream and I went for the “Grilled chorizo with sweet potato and miso hash, a soft boiled egg, garlic labne and star anise cashew nut praline”. I really liked the chorizo, and the sweet potato and miso hash was nice but a tiny bit too sweet for me and the soft boiled egg was a bit cold and I would have preferred it had it been a tiny bit warmer. The dish was also topped with some Greek yoghurt and that together with the praline was quite sweet as well and I am one of the people that lacks appreciation for the sweet and savory combination so I did like the dish but would have liked it more if it had not had the sweet element.

The menu is so creative I want to go back and try to pick a dish that I will enjoy as I do believe it is out there on their menu, but the last 2 times I have been to Providores Tapa Room the sound of the dish and the look has been a bit better than the taste, but as I said that is probably because I don’t really like mixing sweet and sour. You have to be quite experimental and love interesting food combinations to enjoy this place, but judging by the queue outside a lot of people do, and I am giving this restaurant such a high rating as the ingredients are good, it is interesting food and challanges your taste buds.

Date: 10/03/13
Location: Marylebone
Price for 2, without alcohol, including service charge: £32.40

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I went to The Providores and Tapa Room again with my friends Lasma, Katrina and Agnese. I don’t change my view or thoughts on the restaurant, just wanted to upload the pictures of the food we had. Agnese and Katrina had “Hot-smoked salmon, two poached eggs and spinach on walnut toast with yuzu hollandaise”, Lasma had the “Herby quinoa salad with shiitake mushrooms, goats’ curd, char-grilled courgettes and pomegranate ginger dressing” and I went for poached eggs with yuzu hollandaise and two types of asparagus, and I had a sourdough toast on the side as well to go with this. My dish was nice, simple and tasty, and I felt very healthy after eating it. The rest of the dishes were interesting, creative and beautifully presented in true Providores style, and after this latest visit I actually think I like Providores a bit better, so I need to keep monitoring and I may increase my rating. You can also see pictures of delicious smoothies that we had. 

 

Date: 01/06/2013

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Maija rated: 

3.50

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The Providores and Tapa Room
109 Marylebone High Street W1U 4RX
London
United Kingdom
GB
Providores and Tapa Room, The Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5