Friday, April 01, 2011

Provenance Food and Wine - An Oeuf Roe Degustation

288 smith st
Collingwood, VIC 3066
Ph: 8415 0700
Provenance Food and Wine

When I got the email invite from David Hynes, owner of Provenance Food and Wine in Collingwood, for an "Oef Roe Degustation", I wasn't sure what to make of it. I knew the word "roe" and "degustation", but what new fandangled thing was "oef". Google gave up results of "Operation Enduring Freedom" and "Oxford Economics Forecasting" as the first two results. Whilst both topics did sound mildly interesting, I wasn't sure how they would be paired with food. Luckily, a reply email to David cleared things up and that the "oef" was actually a misspelt "oeuf". Ahhh, eggs and roe, sounds good to me.

I asked my friend Kin to come along as each course was to be matched with wine, and Kin loves his wines. I had confused the address and we walked up and down Smith street a few times before Google helped us out. The restaurant turned out to be a long rectangular space with an open kitchen and a variety of seating options. We were greeted by David and he explained the concept of the degustation. Bascially, each season, Provenance Food and Wine pick an ingredient or two of that season, and then build a special degustation dinner around it. For this particular event, each dish had something related to egg or roe, an interesting concept.

The first three courses we had consisted of
Tuna tartare
cucumber, creme fraiche, citrus tobiko, lemon oil
2008 Alectum Albarinio. Riax, Spain

Hiramasa kingfish carpaccio
white nectarine puree, tarragon, avruga caviar and nectarine air
Storm Ridge N.V Sparkling Chardonnay Pinor Noir, Yarra Valley

Cured ocean trout
horseradish snow, dill, trout roe
2010 Prentice Romato Pinor Gris. Whitlands, Vic

I liked the Tuna Tartare and found the tuna very fresh, and worked with the creme fraiche. I don't think the tobiko added to the dish but it gave it some good colour. I also could have done with a bit more soy in the tuna. The Hiramasa Kingfish was again extremely fresh and tasty. Sashimi, with it's light flavours, pair up well with fruit, and nectarine was a new pairing I hadn't seen, but liked. In this dish, the avruga caviar did add to the dish, with bursts of saltiness. The Cured Ocean Trout was beautifully paired with the horseradish, and I loved the pop of the trout roe. My only complaint was that I wish I could have eaten more of it, but I'm glad the serving was as is because by the end of the night, I was so full from all the dishes. While all the wine matching was good, my favourite pairing of the night was the cured ocean trout with the Victorian pinot gris from Prentice Romato.

The next three courses consisted of
Potato fondant
baked prawn, bottarga butter
2008 Domaine Laporte Sauvignon Blanc. Loire Valley, France

St. Helens Oyster
poached quail egg, wasabi tobiko, apple caviar
Step Rd N.V Sparkling Chardonnay Pinor noir. Langhorne Creek, SA

encased in rice paper, pea soup, salmon roe, salmon crackle
2008 Mommesin Beaujolais Villages. Beaujolais, France

The Potato Fondant was an excellent dish, with a potato filled with minced prawns and poached in butter. The bottarga, dried fish roe, added a great flavour. The flower was also edible and had quite a distinctive flavour. I love oysters of any type and the St Helen's Oyster was served with a delicately poached quali egg and wasabi tobiko. This time the tobiko did add to the dish, with the spicy kick of wasabi. The Salmon was my least liked dish of the night. While the salmon skin was perfect, salmon roe always good and fish cooked well, what ruined the dish for me was the really bad gluggy rice paper and the pea soup. These two elements were not to my liking and I ate the salmon without them.

My clear favourite dish of the night was the
Sea urchin roe
dashi custard, shitake air
Sapporo beer, Japan

Sea urchin is always great, just served raw at Nobu is fantastic, but this dish was heavenly. The sea urchins are embedded in a Japanese style custard (chawanmushi) with shitake foam. The flavours all helped to highlight the sea urchin and I slurped this down with utter delight.

Desserts are always my favourite part of any meal, and I wasn't disappointed, firstly with the
Jaffa chocolate egg
with crostini soldiers
Pedro Ximenez. Jerez, Spain

I must be in the minority of people who dislike the combination of chocolate and orange. I don't hate the combination, but rarely finds it works. Here though, the orange flavour in the cream wasn't too strong, and worked well with the chocolate. The crostini were a nice crunch and perfect to dip into the cream.

The last dish of the night was the
Mango ‘Fried egg’
coconut pannacotta
Cold infused peach green tea

It was a Heston style dish that tricked the senses. Instead of being a fried egg, as the theme of the night suggested, it was a mango swimming in a sea of coconut. It was so smooth and moreish. A light green tea helped cleanse the palate from the night's indulgence.

The meal was thoroughly enjoyable and I love the play on the themes in many different ways. The dishes were nicely thought out and built throughout the night, from lighter flavours to stronger flavours and finally dessert. The wines were well matched and sourced from various regions around the world. The ambiance in the restaurant is good, with the industrial cut back space having a good vibe. As I keep going on about, I think low lighting in most restaurants don't work. That goes for Provenance Food and Wine as well. The service was perfect, with very fashionably dressed (I'm looking at you as well David) wait staff serving the food in a friendly and efficient manner, explaining the dishes and being there when needed but not intruding. I would highly recommend you go and try out Provenance Food and Wine, especially the seasonal degustation meals.

We dined courtesy of Provenance Food and Wine

For more reviews of "An Oeuf Roe Degustation", check out
Sarah Cooks
Addictive and Consuming

Provenance Food & Wine on Urbanspoon


  1. Some interesting dishes over there!

  2. this is why u have a pot belly =P. too much "free" dining HAHAHA

  3. Michelle, the dishes were so interesting. I'm thinking of going back for the next seasonal degustation.

    Allan, very true indeed. Too many "free" meals haha. It's so free I don't need to put in any effort at all :-)

  4. You're not in a minority - I hate chocolate and orange too, and I know several others who are jaffa haters as well!

    I like their degustations. Having been to several, it's interesting to see the transition towards slightly more experimental dishes.

  5. Agnes, let us jaffa haters rule the world. I'm looking forward to go back to one of their other degustations and seeing how it changes with the seasons.