18.3.15

THE PROVIDORES & TAPA ROOM, MARYLEBONE

You have to do something pretty special as a restaurant to be as popular today as you were when you opened 14 years ago. The Providores and Tapa Room in Marylebone do just that though. A restaurant/bar downstairs and a larger restaurant upstairs, The Providores and Tapa Room was set up in 2001 by Peter Gordon, Michael McGrath, Jeremy Leeming and Anna Hansen and is now run by just Peter and Michael. Anna Hansen moved on to The Modern Pantry, which I'm already a fan of.

I visited The Tapa Room restaurant on a Thursday a couple of weeks ago after I was invited to review it, and it was heaving. We arrived at 6.30 and there was already a queue outside the door, with others waiting inside, armed with a drink but not yet seated. A real mixture of people filled the room, from gents in suits, to sons treating mothers, to tourists who'd stumbled upon a great spot for a bite to eat. We were seated in the corner, on a table for 3 though there were only 2 of us, which was great as we ordered a lot of food, so there was room for all of that, plus cameras etc, on the table.

The Providores and Tapa Room boasts an ever changing wine list with the largest selection of premium New Zealand wines in Europe. However we didn't fancy wine, so chose a jug of sangria to share instead, in the hope of pretending it was warm and sunny outside. We were there for small sharing, tapas like plates after all. And it turns out that the scrumptious food was all that was needed to make us think of sunnier climes. Gorgeous plate after plate of food came out, each dish as delicious as the next.



We started with the tapa plate of grilled chorizo, guindilla chillies, marinated olives, grilled artichoke, baba ganoush, fig orange preserves and après soleil cheese. The waiting staff at the restaurant were so friendly and helpful, and were more than happy to accommodate the boy's chilli allergy, serving dishes separated into parts with chilli and parts without. The tapa plate was wonderful - my favourite bits being the chorizo (which I ate all of), the delicious olives and the baba ganoush. 
 
 
 
As always the boy left me in charge of the ordering. Next up were some greens - tenderstem broccoli, moromi miso and sesame dressing with crispy shallots. The food is served as small sharing plates and is a fusion blend of flavours. The still crunchy broccoli stems were delicious with the slightly sweet and sour dressing (which was again served separately as it contained a little chilli).


We followed our helping of health with something less green and clean - chorizo croquettes with a very garlicky but super tasty goats cheese pesto. I could've eaten about ten of these, they were so good. A real punch of smoky chorizo, in a crispy deep fried coating.


The tuna dish we had was certainly more on the fusion side of things again. Fresh and light, the seared tuna, papaya (which I normally hate), cucumber, carrot salad with coriander, lime, chilli dressing with toasted nori sauce, peanuts and sesame was a delight, and perfectly followed the heavier dish we'd had before.


More fish next - grilled sardines on roast tomato bruschetta was a true taste of Spain and took me straight back to eating sardines straight off the grill on a beach in Andalucía. Perfectly cooked with charred skin we demolished these in seconds, despite being four plates in to our feast.


The final savoury dish we chose was my favourite of the evening. 7 hour roasted Cornish lamb shoulder, cauliflower, crushed new potatoes, wild mushrooms and pomegranate. The lamb was juicy and tender and complimented by the creamy cauliflower and fruity pomegranate pips. The square of lamb you see below just fell apart with the touch of a fork. It was the most expensive dish we ate (£18.80 compared to the others that ranged from £5.20-13.50) but was so worth it, and is a dish you must try if you visit The Providores and Tapa Room.


Full to the brim we thought we were done but our lovely waitress had other ideas and convinced us we needed to try a pudding. We chose the sour caramel bavarois (a French Bavarian cream), banana cake, salted maple and chocolate soil. It was rich and creamy, although I found the flavour combinations a little strange for my personal taste - I think it was the saltiness of the dish that slightly put me off, and maybe the fact that I was very full by this point!


Our meal at The Providores and Tapa Room was wonderful. I loved the different styles of cuisine they serve alongside each other and there really is something for everyone on the menu. It's a great pit stop for a quick bite to eat, but also the kind of place I can imagine whiling away a whole evening, slowly working our way through most of the menu with a big group of friends. Just make sure you arrive early if you want to go, as judging by how busy it was when we went, it's a pretty popular place.
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14 comments

  1. I love it here! Great review Rosie; I now want to go back soon! xxx

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    1. Thanks Miranda - it's such a fun place isn't it, love the food :)

      Rosie xx

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  2. Ah this is one of my favourite restaurants, and is just round the corner from my office! I always go for brunch though (best brunches ever!), but still need to test them out for dinner! I even met Angie for the first time there last year when I held a blogger meetup there :)

    C x | Lux Life

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    1. Lucky you being so close! I'd love to try their brunch based on how good their dinner menu is. Will have to pop in one weekend.

      Rosie xx

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  3. Lol! Yes, Catherine's brunch was fab and it was an amazing place to meet her for the first time! The food looks great, I'd be all over those sardines and tuna!
    Lots of love,
    Angie


    SilverSpoon London

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    1. I bet! Fab meeting spot. The sardines were just wonderful.

      Rosie xx

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  4. I have been meaning to try this place for ages, I love tapas and the chorizo croquettes look amazing.

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  5. Ooh the fish looks wonderful and I am glad that you were tempted by dessert as it looks lovely. This would be great for brunch Lucy x

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait to go back for brunch, have heard such good things

      Rosie xx

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  6. Aren't the chorizo croquettes just out of this world!?

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