Fast approaching its thirteenth birthday, Marylebone’s The Providores and Tapa Room is run by co-owners Peter Gordon and Michael McGrath. As Kopapa‘s sister restaurant, the menu is similarly focused on innovation, boasting creative fusion cuisine at its very finest.
Downstairs is The Tapa Room: a buzzy all-day wine bar and café, notorious for its breakfasts and small plates and always full of locals. We ate upstairs in the equally bustling but far more relaxed contemporary dining room. The décor is simple. White walls, white tablecloths and lots of natural light exude a serene confidence in the quality of the food and the service.
Rather than following the well trodden starter and main course format, The Providores menu encourages you to select a few small plates from the tasting menu. Offering Europe’s largest selection of premium New Zealand wines, diners are also inspired to match wines to each course to maximise their culinary experience. But fear not if you are far from a new world wine expert; knowledgeable staff are always on hand to guide you through the menu.
We were desperate to try a little of everything and kicked off with deliciously simple tapas including chorizo and a selection of giant olives, bursting with flavour. Next, we shared a few small plates, all of which are currently available downstairs in The Tapa Room. From a basic watermelon and feta salad, drizzled with lemon and pumpkin seeds, to a seared yellowfin tuna with papaya, carrot and cucumber salad and coriander, lime and chilli dressing, we were continuously wowed by the subtle pairings of texture and taste. These first plates were matched with our favourite wine of the evening: the 2012 Framingham (£8.15 per glass). This Pinot Gris with notes of apple strudel was light, fresh and a little too easy to drink.
The best dish of the night was the Beef Pesto. Famous at The Providores, the marinated beef fillet with a garlic and pesto dressing, kalamata olives and courgette and beetroot salad was delicately sized and intricately flavoured. The smoked lamb with pomegranate yoghurt and the pan-fried scallops dressed with manuka honey and an apple and radish salad were strong contenders, each demonstrating Peter Gordon’s flavoursome foray into no-holds-barred fusion territory.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the melt-in-the-middle chocolate fondant and the lime cheesecake with vanilla meringues and roasted nectarines. If you simply can’t choose between them, the simply titled ‘plate of biscuits and chocolate’ offers up a nice selection of sugary titbits to satisfy your post-dinner cravings.
Thirteen years on, The Providores and Tapa Room offers beautifully executed food in perfect portions. To reserve a table at The Providores for brunch (weekends only), lunch or dinner visit the website here. The Tapa Room do not accept reservations but are open every day from 9.00am.
The Providores and Tapa Room
109 Marylebone High Street
T: 020 7935 6175