Bianca: Balmain and Rozelle have still managed to elude my clutches despite being an easy 15 minutes away from me in Concord. I’d driven past the fairly new development of Union Place and made a mental note to check out the few shops in the future.
Fate tends to play a hand in my life these days and a recent invitation saw us at The Provincial for an early Saturday lunch. The interior and fit-out are sleek. Wood furniture evoking a ‘farm-house’ vibe instantly transports you to a vineyard in the Hunter – whilst remaining not 6km from the City CBD.
Bringing things back to basics with a rustic inspired menu – showcasing a fairly protein rich slant. Naturally, making good use of the wood-fired Parilla barbeque.
The Scallops – w/ sunchoke puree, watermelon radish, chicken crackling & hazelnut vinaigrette $17 were juicy little morsels. Plump and seasoned well. The watermelon radish just adding a hint of sweetness.
Yamba King Prawns $17 sounded better on paper than in actual execution. There was just a whole lot of fishiness perfuming every element on this dish.
The Italian in us yearns for a great pasta dish and I’m strangely drawn to vegetarian pasta dishes more than any other. So I sneaked in the Semolina Pasta – w/ peas, zucchini flowers, cherry tomato & pecorino Romano $26. The casarecce pasta really embodied that rustic/home-made feel. There was a dense-ness to the dough but the flavours were there. I liked the full use of the zucchini flowers, using the stems to add some crunch. I do like my cheese and there was a generous sprinkle on top. We were actually given sundried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes but I actually preferred the more ‘intense’ tomato flavour.
From the wood fire charcoal grill, the Jack’s Creek Wagyu Short rib $39 had my name all over it! Incredibly tender short rib, with a hint of smokiness and a rich caramelised flavour from the outer edges. Paired with the watermelon salsa it was a clever dish, with the richness of the meat alleviated by the refreshing watermelon.
Rounding out the savouries was the Potato Cake $9. Spiralised potato strands formed together into large cubes then deep-fried. They were crispy on the outside and light on the inside. They were however, in need of more seasoning.
And because we’re consummate professionals/fatties we just had to have dessert. Despite my pushing for the Roasted Pineapple, Alex leaned more towards the Marinated Strawberry $13. A delight for the senses, with varying textures and temperatures. The basil ice-cream was a real stand-out, pronounced but not overbearing.
And lastly, the 70% Dark Chocolate – w/ green tea cake, tea soaked cherries & cherry sorbet $13. . I struggled with the texture of the chocolate disc, matcha and the sorbet all together. The sorbet essentially chilling the chocolate. I liked the sourness of the cherries with the other components. But the Marinated Strawberry dessert definitely had the edge. I do have to commend the chef on the perfect presentation of every dish though. They were all beautiful.
I’d probably recommend people stick to the wood fire dishes, especially if the short rib was anything to go by.
Photos by Alex
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of The Provincial, all thoughts remain our own.