Providore Marina Mirage, Main Beach

UPDATE January 2015: On our last visit, with Luke Turner in the kitchen, our breakfasts were delicious. Italian-influenced, the Mushroom stack was generous in size, the mushrooms perfectly cooked. My Eggs with truffled polenta was a work of art on a plate. Country kitchen in provenance, rustic in presentation, there’s a finesse not seen in our previous two visits.  Providore 18

Providore 16 ……

Providore 9 Providore is a brilliant idea of Luke Turner’s. For the former chef of Spendlove in Ferry Road Market, the idea of a grocer / café / deli in the upmarket Marina Mirage precinct must have seemed like a perfect opportunity. It could provide casual meals by day, evening drinks and cocktails by night, purveying and catering for boats docked at the Marina, and gourmet provisions and ‘meals to go’ for tourists and locals alike.

Expansively laid out with sumptuous window displays by Madam Tojo owner Antoinette Edmonds, it’s a setting which smacks of the abundance of a fine fare purveyor; the market of the well-heeled!

Providore 5 There are separate areas for each function. In the grocer / deli, counters spill over with the local harvest of fruit and vegetables including organic, cabinets of sweets and brimming sandwiches beckon, shelves are laden with fine grocery items, and fridges packed with fine cheeses, dips and terrines. The coffee machine fronting the counter steams up a full-flavoured Toby Estate brew.

Providore 17 Dividing the deli and the restaurant, chefs barely glance up from the glass-columned kitchen, where they produce food for both areas. It’s a culinary hub, full of promise.

The dining area has a real communal feel, with large tables looking out into the shopping centre. There are in fact two areas: the main space at the front in full view of passers-by, and a smaller, more secluded area, sequestered away up a ramp behind it. Bordered floor to ceiling by a wire-fronted wine display, it’s a perfect area for a private party or business meeting.

We dine among the rich and famous, well-known singers, actors, radio announcers and  identities, all trying to blend in with local business owners and tourists, believing that their sunglasses made them inconspicuous.

Providore 11 One of our lunch dishes feature two plump handmade seafood ravioli stacked with prawn filling, accompanied by a rich mascarpone and lemon sauce. Delicious though the sauce and filling were, it’s hard to fathom why a providore within a stone’s throw of fishing trawlers would accompany a garnish of delicious salmon pearls with school prawns! Those same prawns feature in the other main as well – Thai chicken salad, a less sophisticated dish, comprising mostly wombok and red cabbage.

Providore 4 Breakfasts are buxom, the dependence on cheese somewhat unsubtle as the defining ingredient. The overall effect was of heaviness (‘fat’, as we would describe wine), rather than allowing the freshness of other ingredients to shine through.The goat’s cheese omelette is a good example of this, being flat, slightly tough in texture and extremely oily.

Just a few changes could have lifted the food to sublime. Even the tiled bench seats lining the walls lack the ‘test factor’, being hard and uncomfortable, a ridge of tiles cutting into the small of your back.

We come away thinking how such a delicious idea can take so much time to settle, that perhaps we’d visited too soon after opening, that grand visions can sometimes raise expectations to unrealistic levels. Ah…such a brilliant idea…

Shop 37, Marina Mirage Shopping Centre, Sea World Drive, Main Beach Ph: 07 5532 9390

Providore Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Atmosphere Bakery Breakfast Catering Cheese Coffee & Tea Delicatessan Dessert Dinner European groceries International Licensed Lunch Main Beach Main course $15 to $25 Organic Produce Patisserie Produce Restaurants Smallgoods , , , , ,

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