The Provincial Hotel / Cafe Provincial
(03) 9810 0042
299 Brunswick St
Provincial Hotel Online
It’s not the first time I’ve heard of The Provincial. I can’t tell you where I first heard it though. Maybe Twitter. I hear about lots of things through twitter.
Twitter’s started a lot of things. A lot of the so called food fest tends to originate from twitter. #duckfest being the most famous one, subsequently we got #crabfest and #porkfest. Will there be #fishfest, #chickenfest, #vegefest? I wouldn’t mind a #vegefest….
But I’m getting off track here. The reason I went by The Provincial was because of #porkfest. I do think people in this country don’t embrace this meat enough. It is absolutely beautiful to eat and the flavours are amazing but not many seem to realise it’s beauty. Steaks and lamb chops all the time can get boring! I should know. I live in the country where that’s what they eat 99% of the time. Ahem.
I don’t really remember, but I think this was Pink Vodka? Whatever it was, it was yummy and there was way too little of it. Boo. I finished it off way too quickly and wish I had more. Not a smart idea so I didn’t get more. Not without a great deal of reluctance tho.
There was the usual bread and olive oil to start off with. I didn’t touch them because I was trying to save room for the main event. But after having read Agnes’ review I kinda wish I did now. They sound yummy!
This was a beauty. I loved every bit of this dish, though I really should have taken notes because whatever the wait staff told us on that night regarding the dish is well and truly gone. I guess the most important part was that it was a beauty. Brilliant way to start the night.
You see that crackling? You see how beautiful it is? Now why isn’t there more of it? Because I so could have eaten way more of that crackling. Agnes talked about having to guard her crackling and ward off greedy fingers. Yup. That would be Ihua and my fingers. As it is, we were totally undressing that crackling with our eyes. Wait, it’s already naked. Naked and yummy in all its crackling glory.
So it was with great delight that we welcomed the next dish. Oye, crackling!! Unfortunately, this was where the dishes took a turn. Instead of the beautiful tender and juicy porky heaven I was looking forward to, the pork shoulder was dry. I didn’t finish my piece because it was dry. It made me shed a tear because it looked so good too. The pickled pear on the other hand, I love. The crackling? Can’t fault it.
Again, I so wanted to love this. The Pistachio Salt Caramel and Vanilla ice cream, I loved. The Bitter sweet chocolate tart? Beautiful the first few bites but the richness very quickly settled in and I struggled to finish it. It was very very nice but quite a tad richer than what I could handle. Pity, I hate wasting food.
All in all, it was a beautiful evening. While I may not have loved every single bit of the dishes, I think the overall was still a very convincing ‘awesome’. The atmosphere, the skill and technique in every dish… I’ve missed it. This dinner happened on the very first monday I was back for the holidays, so I was a bit tentative going for a food bloggers dinner. Would things be different? It’s been a few months since and I felt like I was out of the loop. But 5 minutes into it and I was right at home. Everyone was friendly. Everyone was amazing and welcoming. And I remembered once more why I love hanging out with the food bloggers.