Out in the wilds of Wanstead, there lies a little corner of the Cote d’Azur, a department of the Dordogne, and if you whisper it quietly, a petit part of Paris. Provender Cafe Bistro on the High Street is a brasserie of some renown, and has been letting them eat steak for a good few years, backing it up with the traditional frites. Their menu encompasses the best that French cuisine has to offer, with little sap to English tastes: the cheese, wine, meats and pretty much everything else are from l’Hexagone. OK, so they do do fish and chips, or, as they call it, poisson a l’Anglaise.
The relationship between England and France has been, at best, complicated. They invade us and build us a culture, we laugh at their waiters. We burn Joan of Arc, they provide half the Arsenal team. It’s tit for tat. One place trying to revive the entente cordiale in London is Provender Cafe Bistro on the High Street in Wanstead, where the menu is packed with French classics that even the most hardened rosbif can enjoy, from steak frites to chevre chaud.
Provender Cafe Bistro provides a fully French dining experience to the public of East London, so when you get down to Wanstead High Street, don’t delay in ordering. Aperitifs – washed down with lashings of pastis where possible – include a real garlic bread, fresh baked to order, so grab one between your group to be getting on with. For starters, escargots are an option, but we might plump for the charcuterie selection, which is imported directly from France. Mains are extensive, but the steak tartare is always a fleshy favourite. In fact, the biggest question facing you at Provender Cafe Bistro is where to sit – no Parisian layered tables here – so take away the discussion by booking in advance! Bon Appetit!
Lovey food and great service. Tasty Bellini, we all loved the goats cheese popcorn. Delicious plate of charcuterie. Kids enjoyed their hot dogs and we had very good steak frites.
We had a brilliant brunch at Provender. There’s a reason we always pick here for a special occasion. The food is perfect and the service is tip top!
Love this restaurant: the food and wine are always great, as is the service and atmosphere. A wonderful neighbourhood restaurant.