Provender

Restaurants , French London
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(13 user reviews)
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© Helen Cathcart

This modish bistro in leafy suburban Wanstead has locals flocking to savour its take on the Gallic greats served brasserie hours.

When a brisk ‘have you booked?’ on a midweek night causes minor panic, a restaurant is getting it right. This modish bistro in a leafy suburb is packing ’em in with its take on the Gallic greats served brasserie hours. From breakfast to lunch deals and set menus, the carte encompasses everything from croque monsieur to charcuterie and rillettes, oysters and cassoulet, salads and grills presented in handsome 1930s style.

For a selection of great starters, mix keenly priced casse-croûtes such as grass-green tapenade, radishes and aïoli with pricier entrées like stuffed mussels. If they took a while to arrive, it’s because celeriac was being freshly grated into an elegant tangle for the remoulade, and slices of skinny baguette were being toasted to accompany spiced aubergine paired with a perky red pepper relish in imam biyaldi. From the linen tea towel napkins to the potato and rosemary buns with the burger, the ordinary is improved on, and conviction shines through in best of British and French ingredients: Blythburgh pork and ham, Welsh mussels, Boulogne herrings, Normandy butter.

Mains came with a warning about hot plates. Steak-frites may be a speciality, but vegetarians shouldn’t feel hard done by. Griddled asparagus, mushroom duxelles in puff pastry with hollandaise and a perfectly boiled egg with dazzlingly golden yolk was a gloriously rewarding dish. Meringue with passionfruit and coconut ice-cream made a triumphant ending. The all-French wine list kicks off with aperitifs and ends with Monbazillac. Don’t leave it to chance. Book.

 

Venue name: Provender
Contact:
Address: 17 High Street
London
E11 2AA
Opening hours: Breakfast served 9.30-11.45am Sat-Sun. Meals served noon-9.30pm Mon-Thur; noon-10pm Fri, Sat; noon-5pm Sun
Price: Main courses £9-£20. Set meal (Mon-Thur; noon-5.45pm Fri, Sat) £10.75 2 courses, £14.75 3 courses.Meal for two with drinks and service: around £70
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