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Provenance in Collingwood (not to be confused with Provenance restaurant in Beechworth) opened in early 2009 and operates as an all day eating house and bar, with breakfast to dinner to cocktails on offer. From mid to late 2009 Provenance hosted a series of themed dinners with amusing titles (“quince this, quail that”, “something to goat about” and “how mushroom is too mushroom” to name a few) and it had some quite positive reviews, from Fitzroyalty (here and here) and Bruce and Fran.

On the back of all the positivity (and ignoring Jetsetting Joyce’s unhappy breakfast experience) Mr M & I decided to head to Provenance for a Friday night dinner. When we arrived the restaurant was about half full with people tucking into dinner and there were also a few people out on the pavement and on the couches enjoying some drinks (I will say that the two for one cocktail option was very appealing!). Service was very friendly and knowledgeable.

To start, we were given a complimentary palate cleanser of tomato consomme:

Light, fresh and with a lovely concentrated tomato flavour. I had high hopes for the rest of the meal.

We ordered some olives while we put away a couple of much needed drinks:

Slightly warm, the olives had strong citrus flavour. Yum.

On to the main event, I ordered a special – baked trout with avocado tempura and roe on cauliflower mash:

It was a little… weird. The fish was baked in rice paper, which gave it a somewhat dulled colour and the consistency of the rice paper after being baked was a bit unpleasant. I also didn’t really like the tempura avocado – crunchy outer with a soft inner, I didn’t think it worked on its own or with the rest of the dish. Despite all the elements, the dish was also a bit flavourless (from the waiter’s description there was some wasabi happening somewhere, but I couldn’t taste it).

Mr M ordered the Berkshire pork cutlet with roast potato Waldorf salad and cider jus:

His dish was infinitely better than mine, but he was a little underwhelmed by it.

We decided to forgo dessert and headed to Lambs go bar (love that name!) for a few more drinks.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed with my experience at Provenance. While the place had a great atmosphere and lovely staff, I was let down by our main courses (though I can’t help but wonder whether the particular special I ordered was a bit of an aberration). I don’t have any plans to return for a meal, though I would return to Provenance for some drinks (they have Cider Sunday people!).

Details

Provenance Restaurant + Bar
288 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
(03) 8415 0700

Provenance Food & Wine on Urbanspoon

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7 Responses to “Provenance (Smith St, Collingwood): a little underwhelming”

  1. Hannah says:

    Sounds like a case of trying a bit too hard to be innovative with techniques and flavours, without checking thoroughly enough that such innovations taste good!

    But then again, if the nibblies and drinks are good… we all need some nice watering holes, right? 🙂

    • Emily says:

      Absolutely need some good places for a drink or three – and Provenance is very near my house. The staff were very nice and its a very comfortable atmosphere so I will definitely do drinks/nibbles in the future.

  2. Gem says:

    Shame to hear, I’ve got a friend that really likes the place and am keen to try, myself.

    I wonder if they still do Cider Sundays? I haven’t heard anything about it of late, thought it might just be a summer thing, and that therefore I missed out…

    • Emily says:

      Yep I was a bit disappointed, though as I said, maybe I just chose badly. I really wanted to have a great meal there though, but just not quite right. Others have had good experiences, so I do think it is worth trying.

      I think they still do Cider Sundays – they had a poster up about it when I went last week.

  3. As you’ve indicated, I didn’t enjoy my experience at Provenance at all and haven’t been back since. I feel slightly vindicated by your so-so review!

    They have Goat Night or something like that which seems quite popular along with Cider Sundays.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  4. Patrick says:

    Was at the Autumn (or Pear) degustation night on Sat night and all 6 of our group thought it was best meal we have had in a long time , presented in a fun , relaxed atmosphere and all at a very reasonable price . Seriously recommended!

    • Emily says:

      Sounds good. Hopefully things have turned a corner and Provenance is back on the up. Like I said in the review, I had read a lot of very positive things about Provenance (particularly their special event evenings), unfortunately in my experience the food was lacking…

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