I never get to Rozelle and to be honest had no idea where I was going but after my visit am happy to say it is a suburb I would love to inhabit. Especially after discovering THE PROVINCIAL would be a local if I did live that side. The area we visited was Union Place, a gentrified hub consisting of a gourmet grocer, Italian coffee bar and bakery and this wonderful Paddock to Plate restaurant with what looks like some designer units all stacked on top. It’s upmarket, it’s new (ish), and it would definitely suit the cashed up brunch crew who can sit outside with their pure breed pooches.
THE PROVINCIAL VENUE:
The venue itself is massive and elegantly appointed. Stunning French antiques mix with earthen and wooden tones on a polished cement floor give it the feel of a somewhat muted French or Moroccan country residence. While it sits in the middle of Rozelle I could imagine this in the wine growing regions of Bordeaux or Chile. Even the way the wine is displayed dusted in the walls to the antique ladles and abundant cushions and blankets adds to the feel and makes the food taste a little nicer. And I really do need to sit under a blanket reading my paper and sipping a latte on a leather rocking chair next winter – the perfect weekend morning – only thing missing in The Provincial is a huge roaring open fire.
WHAT IS A PARILLA?
The Provincial uses a parilla for most of their cooking and I had no idea what this was but I am now educated haha.
A parrilla is a simple iron grill barbecue and they originally hail from Argentina and Spain. This is where the uniqueness of THE PROVINCIAL comes from, they are using a South American cooking method with Australian wood, to cook French food, it’s win win win!
The woodfire charcoal parilla was custom built in Spain. It’s a natural cooking process using iron bark and fruit tree wood sourced from Queensland which offers a distinct smoke flavour and consistent heat enhancing the natural characteristics of the ingredients.
THE PROVINCIAL MENU:
The Provincial comes about from the brother partnership of Jean-Paul and Joe Hawach plus partner Johan Khoury. They chose the name on what would best suit the venue and it does, the feel on the inside is of high end provincial dining but the food is on another level. It is more fine city dining and comes from the talent of Executive Chef Patrick Dang (ex MG Garage, Concrete Blonde, T8 – Shanghai). Here the food is all Dang’s French training combined with a parilla grill and locally sourced produce and as paddock to plate as can be.
They offer a brunch menu from 11am – 3pm that includes highlights of Truffled Scrambled Eggs, or Golden Avocado – a panko crumbed avocado served with a soft boiled egg, bacon and spinach. YUM, I need that in my life! They do a Matcha pancake, a Burrata and Tomato Dish and them move to more lunch style dishes that include a Moreton Bay Bug Squid Ink Spaghetti, Black Wagyu Beef Burger and a Pan Roasted Barrmundi served with King Brown Mushrooms, Kale and Cauliflower Puree. And a big embrace to $10- brunch Mimosas or $14- Bloody Marys!!!
The Provincial also leans towards share dining. For their dinner menu there is three of them – a “standard” (not by any means) Dinner Menu and then a Flat Rate Communal Menu and an A La Carte menu – a good option for couples or more as it’s two choices per course with random drop. So you basically get two entrees, two mains, and two desserts – ideal if you want to try more dishes.
It should also be noted they have a LOT of GF options and they have a separate Kid’s Menu.
And I can’t forget one of their best menus……the drinks menu!! We kicked off with a Peach Bellini and a Botanic Garden; a Gin Cocktail with St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, mint and lemon – super refreshing. We then washed down a wine from their inspirational international wine list. Said wine was a 2016 Paco Garcia Seis Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain. The wine list will impress as much as the spirits list, feel free to end the evening with a Hennessy XO Cognac or similar.
WHAT WE ORDERED:
GRILLED HALOUMI $11 [4pcs] – candied walnuts | chilli dressing | dukkah
GARLIC KING PRAWNS $23 [4 pcs] – chilli | garlic | cherry tomatoes | bread
STUFFED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS $17 [3 pcs] – chevre | ricotta | pine nuts | corn salsa
ROASTED DUCK BREAST $33 – beetroot & apple puree | orange & fennel salad | duck croquette
BEEF CHEEK BOURGUIGNON (GF) $32 – mustard mash potato | cherry tomatoes | puffed quinoa | crispy eshallots
CHARRED BROCCOLINI w/ burnt butter & hazelnuts
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER w/ hazelnut & mint
DECONSTRUCTED LEMON MERINGUE – lemon sponge cake | lemon curd | almond crumble | strawberries
POACHED PEAR MILLE-FEUILLE – ginger brulee | cream chantilly | raspberry sorbet
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Our meal was selected for us by the Chef and it was one of the best things we could have decided upon. The mix was fantastic and the food was mostly excpetional.
While the big circular discs of halloumi visually delighted, the combination with candied walnuts, chilli and dukkah was a HUGE tick from the both of us, could have eaten a dozen plates of this. Sizzling garlic king prawns, I mean who doesn’t love these babies?!?! Loved them.
The zucchini flowers had a fantastic lightness to them. They weren’t heavily fried and stuffing them with goat’s cheese and ricotta was a decadent treat, the pine nuts and corn salsa salad accompanying them made for a great dish. I would be happy to eat this dish on its own, especially on a hot day with a chilled white wine. YUM
The duck breast dish easily won dish of the day for me. Besides the fact duck is one of my favourite things, the addition of a duck croquette giving a second form of duck made my night and the orange and fennel salad was a nice tart accompaniment that cut through the duck. And then the beetroot and apple puree tied it all together, A beautiful dish that was as vibrant in colour as it was in flavour. This dish paired perfectly with the broccolini which wasn’t really charred but it tasted marvellous with the burnt butter and scattered hazelnuts, would never have thought to put hazelnuts with broccolini – will be cooking this one at home (thanks Chef).
The beef cheeks were as tender as they can be and fell apart on touch. The mash was nice, but the cherry tomatoes didn’t work for me. I would have preferred a vegetable instead. I mostly left these aside and enjoyed the cauliflower side chosen to join this dish. For someone who doesn’t really like cauliflower I have eaten and enjoyed a lot of it this season.
The deconstructed lemon meringue was tasty but I didn’t see any need for this dish to be deconstructed and preferred it when I reconstructed it on my fork. And finally the Poached Pear Mille-Feuille; everything on this plate was delicious and made perfectly, but we didn’t think they all worked together in unison, it was more a wonderful trio of desserts on the one plate. I do need more mille-feuille in my life however, that clearly stood out for me. Fun Fact: Mille-feuille is French for vanilla or custard tart.
THE PROVINCIAL is a wonderful Paddock to Plate Rozelle restaurant serving French fusion food cooked like North American food using Australian wood and produce. The decor, food and drinks highly impressed, I will eat here again and when I am building my own home the interior design of this restaurant will be my home’s inspiration.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
THE PROVINCIAL DEETS:
PH: 02 9818 4411
Union Place 124 Terry Street Rozelle, NSW, 2039
PRICING: The Lamb Shoulder and also the Rib Eye on the Bone are the most expensive dishes coming in it at $59- each.
Tuesday to Sunday:
Lunch 11am – 3pm
Dinner 6pm till late
TAKEAWAY: I do not think so but Zomato says yes
LOCAL DELIVERY: I do not think so
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
For more reviews of Sydney Restaurants – check them out HERE