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!
Lovely food, great service, reasonable prices all make for an excellent experience. Unfortunately as we are doing "dry January" we didn't have wine, but I know from previous visits the list is varied and interesting.
Another lovely evening, with excellent food and unobtrusive service. Quality all excellent and how lovely it is to eat in a calm atmosphere without screaming/noisy people all around.
Excellent food and service as usual. That is why we keep going back.
This is a lovely restaurant in Wanstead serving French food. The plat du jour is very good value for money but I would like to see more choices. Staff very friendly and helpful. Will go back.
Visited Provender with a friend for the first time for dinner on 5th January, recommended to me by friends of mine. We were not disappointed! The service was pleasant and efficient and the food excellent. We enjoyed the 'fixed price' menu where there was a good choice and thoroughly enjoyed all three courses. We were surprised as to how full the restaurant quickly became, for a Thursday evening, and it is essential to book a table. I shall definitely return!
On arriving, we found our reservation via the website had not come through to the restaurant. However they found us a table and we had a most enjoyable evening. During our meal, the manager came to say our booking had just arrived! The staff were attentive and polite. The food was delicious although the tarte tatin was a very generous portion and too much after 2 previous courses. We would definitely return for a most enjoyable French experience.
A now well-established restaurant in Wanstead which has maintained very high standards over the years.Good service and some truly excellent dishes. Prix Fixe menu very good value, wines well priced and altogether a great place to eat. The only suggestion I would make is that, if like, me you eat there quite a lot, some 'specials' or new items for the menu would be good. I have eaten my way through most of it!
My most recent visit was with my wife and a friend at Friday lunchtime. The restaurant was largely full, but the service was as excellent as ever: no irritating waits but no pressure. The food and wine at Provender are always excellent. I chose goat's cheese, moules frites and trifle and I would happily recommend all of them. Overall, a very satisfying experience as usual. We shall be back (yet again!)
Very nice French restaurant. Lots of staff and very good service. Prices were fairly reasonable. We visited on Saturday night and I would say that the majority of the clients were regulars. Good menu. The food was well cooked and we'll presented. We ordered from the a la carte menu but when we visit again we will try the prix fixé menu. Would recommend making reservations before visiting.
A truly superb dining experience, with exquisitely balanced flavours attractively served by most courteous people. With an excellent range of menu choice, it was easy to select the perfect dishes to suit each of us - of course, we each envied the other's choices, but then there is always next time (and there will be). Many thanks to all the team at Provender for a wonderful evening.