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The Providores & Tapa Room – Europe’s largest list of New Zealand wines and the best Laksa in London

11 Apr, 2016 | by Diana Isac

On our hunt for London’s best wine and food spots, we came across this hidden gem in Marylebone which delights your palate and senses and is also the restaurant that boasts the largest list of New Zealand Wines in Europe!

The Providores and Tapa Room (it’s all in the name and if fact there are 2 restaurants and not one) serves the best Laksa in town – think smoked coconut, a prawn and lemongrass dumpling, green tea noodles, crispy shallots, coriander, all paired with 2014 Seifried, Gewürztraminer, Waimea Plains, Nelson. But it delivers so much more than that. Located on Marylebone High street, at the heart of this beautiful neighbourhood, the downstairs room serves tapas and the restaurant upstairs is often the perfect spot for long dinners with friends, a perfect business lunch but also famous winemaker dinners and events.

Most dishes here contain 8-10 ingredients. Chef Peter Gordon takes pride in sourcing local, traditional ingredients and he has a lot of love for seasonal vegetables. Peter’s latest book has just been released and I could not wait to get my hands on it as his cooking is fun, intelligent, colourful and in harmony. I love this kind of adventurous cooking.

Food at Providores and Tapas Room

The Meal

For startersI started my gastronomic journey here with some small dishes including a plate of jamon serrano, padron peppers, après soleil cheese, grilled ccottish scallops, sweet chilli sauce and crème fraîche. These came paired with 2014 Coopers Creek, ’Bell-Ringer’, Albariño, Hexton, Gisborne at the insistence of the Sommelier. I am delighted I listened as this wine was certainly one of the surprises of the night. My first Albariño from New Zealand, it was refreshing, with plenty of quince, guava, rich on the palate and perfect with the dishes it accompanied.

One of my highlights was however the seared yellowfin tuna, jicama, cucumber, spring onion salad, shiitake, green tea noodles, yuzu chilli dressing, toasted nori, sesame. This came with a 2014 Black Estate, Chardonnay, Waipara, North Canterbury which was fun and not overpowering on this beautiful dish.

For mainsmy companion had the Black cardamom braised Shrewsbury ox cheek, farro and freekeh, shallots, violina squash, cavolo nero – the latter I devoured myself as it was beyond delicious. This came with the 2011 Craggy Range, ‘Te Kahu’, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay. This is a house special and all time favourite.

I had the Beef Pesto – this is The Sugar Club classic which consists of marinated beef fillet, warm chard, courgette and beetroot salad, garlic dressing, pesto and kalamata olives. It played beautifully with the 2012 Seresin Estate, ‘Leah’ Pinot Noir, Raupo Creek, Marlborough as the beef was soft and sweet infused with those classic beetroot flavours and went a treat with this adventurous Pinot Noir.

Desert was magic…I had the original beans 70% Virunga chocolate brownie, with macadamias, prunes, NZ manuka honey yoghurt, pear and blueberry compote – a desert I could have every day. So luxurious, not rich and well balanced by the compote and the yoghurt. My partner in food crime had the coconut yuzu tapioca, basil sorbet, peppered almond praline, green mango, lime. We paired desert with the 2012 Pegasus Bay, ‘Aria’, Late Picked Riesling, Waipara, North Canterbury and then off we rolled home happier than we have been in a while!

We went back for some filming…

We loved this so much that I went back with Helena Nicklin aka The Wine Bird to do some filming and show our fellow wine lovers what the real fuss around this beautiful food paradise is. We had a few hours with Chef Peter Gordon, met the lovely team here and got an an exclusive sneak peak at what goes in the kitchen. We naturally finished it off with some great food and of course our favourite – the Laksa!

We invite you to Dinner

On Tuesday, the 17th of May, The Providores are inviting you to a unique Pegasus Wine Dinner. You will enjoy  a four course-tasting menu, designed by senior sous chef Paul Melville and executive head chef Peter Gordon – matching each course with Pegasus Bay’s delicious wines. Ed Donaldson, from Pegasus Bay, will be on hand during the evening to guide us through the Donaldsons’ wine philosophies. A great opportunity for you to taste several wines from one of our favourite New Zealand vineyards. To find out more and book your place, please see more information here.

Panna Cotta


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