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5.7 /6 Wonderful 141 Reviews

Provender Cafe Bistro

Wanstead French ££££ +100
1 person
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About Provender Cafe Bistro

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.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 22:00
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 22:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 22:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 22:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 09:30 - 23:00
  • Sunday 09:30 - 21:00
Provender Cafe Bistro, 17 High St, Wanstead, E11 2AA London

Further Information

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!


141 Reviews

5.7 /6 Wonderful 141 Reviews
Noise: quiet
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Quality/Price: great value
Food: heavenly
Service: extraordinary
Atmosphere: excellent
104 6
34 5
2 4
1 3
0 2
0 1
1 review so far 6
19.07.2017 16:09

Wonderful experience...loved it! Great food, wine etc, ambience was just right - relaxed atmosphere, staff were friendly and attentive but not overboard.. can't wait to go back.

1 review so far 6
19.07.2017 12:38

Have been eating here for many years. Always a real treat. Great food and wine whether you go for the fixed price menu or the specials. Good service and lovely setting.

1 review so far 6
12.07.2017 07:59

Lovely table where I could talk to my fellow Governor about business matters. Good service and delicious food. Value for money too as we had the set meal .

1 review so far 6
11.07.2017 08:49

We actually felt for an evening like we were in France. Beautiful food and lovely staff. We sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine on small tables like a Paris street.

1 review so far 6
06.01.2017 08:52

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!

1 review so far 6
04.02.2017 08:12

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.

3 reviews so far 6
10.07.2017 10:21

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!

2 reviews so far 6
14.03.2017 08:14

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!)

1 review so far 6
22.03.2017 08:49

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.

1 review so far 6
25.01.2017 10:07

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.

1 review so far 5
19.02.2017 08:41

Great food at reasonable prices. Very French. However, it was not made clear to me that one item I ordered was not on the prix fixe menu, from which I was choosing, resulting in a surprising bill. The patron was not very keen to apologise but finally did. A better way would have been to apologise and offer a reduction in the bill, thus guaranteeing a return. I liked the food and I will return but with reservations.

1 review so far 6
05.10.2016 21:38

We love Provender. The garlic bread is always excellent, saturated with delicious herby butter. We had a very cheap but delicious bottle of white wine and one of us had the very good value prix fixed menu, one a la carte. The creme caramel stood out for me. My husband's fish of the day, trout, was also excellent. We will definitely be back soon.

1 review so far 6
30.04.2017 20:08

We always enjoy Provender whether for brunch or dinner. Lovely food, wine and service. Probably the best place to dine in Wanstead. (Only annoying part of leaving this review is that Quandoo doesn't accept fewer than 25 words. Ridiculous. Almost couldn't be bothered and this will be the last time I review anything with Quandoo again 😖)

1 review so far 5
30.03.2016 11:55

We visited the restaurant on a very busy Saturday evening.That being said we had excellent attentive service. There was a very good varied menu and the food was perfectly cooked.The wine list was extensive and the 2 wines we had were of a high quality. Atmosphere was excellent although seating a trifle cramped and the decor somewhat unimaginative. Overall an excellent dining experience at a very reasonable price.

1 review so far 5
18.02.2017 09:52

We booked for valentines day and the experience was lovely. My only gripes were that they only had a rather expensive set menu which wasn't mentioned on the website when I booked and they brought the amuse bouche to the table even before my partner arrived meaning it was cold for her. Apart from that the dinner, setting and service was lovely.

1 review so far 6
15.04.2017 23:24

Excellent as always. Great food with good service. Didn't feel rushed at all. New Menu since thehe last time we went but still some of my favourites and some new ones as well. The choice of coffee or tea with a selection of mini desserts is now my favourite. Menu

1 review so far 6
17.02.2017 10:18

How good is this place? So good that you have to reserve a table on a Monday evening! So good too that even my partner, who is not a foodie (for him food is fuel), noticed how good the food is. Go, go, go! (But leave me a table.)

2 reviews so far 5
28.08.2016 16:56

An authentic French restaurant with excellent food and wine and friendly service. The set lunch menu offers a small but adequate range of fairly simple dishes which provide a delicious meal just right for the middle of the day. Watch out for the celeriac remoulade, which often comes as part of one of the starters and is delicious.

1 review so far 6
27.08.2016 12:09

Good food, well served on a nice round table and not too close to other diners; restaurant was busy but never felt neglected. This was a repeat booking of last year's birthday meal and looks like being repeated again in 2017 (though hope to visit before then!).

1 review so far 5
15.02.2017 11:17

The food is really exceptional and a delight to sample. Our waitress was very attentive and our only complaint is that we waited a fairly long time for our starters. However, it was worth it! Our meal wasn't cheap once we added a bottle of wine but the quality of the food justifies the overall cost.

1 review so far 5
17.04.2017 10:12

Nice little restaurant, good French food. We were a bit sceptical about this one at first, there are a lot of overpriced "French" restaurants in the UK, but it turned out to be good. We had a steak tartare, a fish soup, a souffle and some desserts (including café gourmand), everything was tasty. Nice wine too.

1 review so far 6
20.02.2017 11:45

Fantastic Food, Fantastic Staff, Fantastic Atmosphere - excellent local find! We have lived in the area for 8 years and have always admired the restaurant from the outside but never actually gone in. Last Saturday we visited and were not disappointed. Will definitely be coming back!

1 review so far 4
14.06.2017 08:54

Provender was a very nice restaurant with a good atmosphere. I was disappointed that they never said Happy Birthday to my 96 year old Mum who I had taken for her birthday despite me mentioning it at the time of booking and I also told the Waitress when we arrived. The food was good and not too expensive. The smoked salmon starter was delicious. Would definitely return again.

2 reviews so far 6
23.02.2017 11:50

Very good prix fixee dinner - onion soup was delicious as was the confit chicken leg. St Nectaire cheese was in perfect condition and served with seeded crackers. Service was charming and efficient. A lovely evening for a very reasonable amount of money.

1 review so far 6
11.10.2015 18:21

As always at this informal relaxed restaurant the food and service was excellent. As well as the usual French Fayre they provide an excellent Sunday Roast. Staff are polite and attentive and unobtrusive. Never had a poor meal here. An East End gem.

3 reviews so far 6
24.09.2016 09:28

Always a fantastic dining experience at Provender, whatever time of the day. This time was no different - a very happy meal with family from round the world - thank you to the staff for the excellent service and quality of the meal!

1 review so far 6
02.06.2017 15:46

Excellent fixed price lunch with service to match and certainly value for money. Air conditioning definitely helped as it was a very hot day. Ambiance added to the occasion as no music to distract . I'll certainly visit Provender in the future.

1 review so far 6
10.05.2016 06:33

went here for a meal with a group of friends . The food was lovely , would highly recommend the roast chicken infused with lemon and herbs / side of gratin dauphinois . The staff were polite , attentive and professional.

2 reviews so far 6
12.05.2016 10:35

The food was very good and service excellent. Tap water was provided as soon as we sat down and replenished as required. The waiter recommended a good, modestly priced bottle of wine that complemented our food. A very enjoyable evening.

3 reviews so far 6
30.10.2016 09:48

Diners always have a wonderful experience at Provender - and this occasion was no different. A new menu was available on the day. The crab salad was delicious, as was the mushroom and Roquefort pastry. Service, as always, was brilliant.

1 review so far 6
31.03.2016 19:25

Fantastic food, atmosphere and service. Been here a few times and I keep coming back for more. Would recommend for a relaxing meal on the day or you could make a night if it - lovely cocktails and wine.

1 review so far 6
06.07.2016 21:03

Very accommodation g when I requested table in quiet area at the back for a business meeting. Once there we asked to swap tables from square to round & staff sorted out in seconds ! Thank you! Lovely meal!

3 reviews so far 6
02.04.2017 10:34

Relaxed, friiendly atmosphere and excellent food. Always a pleasure to eat here. The smoked fish board has an excellent variety, the fillet of beef was cooked to perfection, and the cheese board has a good selection of French cheeses.

2 reviews so far 6
10.04.2016 08:13

Always great food and a warm welcome. Hate to recommend it too highly as I may not get a table next time! Seriously, I can't recommend this restaurant enough - a real piece of France in East London

1 review so far 3
05.03.2017 09:58

Portions for mains were quite small for the price, we all left still feeling hungry. Ordered the duck which was supposed to be medium rare but was given one that was medium well. My companion ordered a side of green beans to go with her scallops but was not told that the main already came with green beans- she would have ordered something different if so! Food overall was ok but probably won't be coming back.

1 review so far 5
17.11.2016 23:40

Very pleasant evening with good service from the time you walk in. We chose the set menu of 3 courses. The food arrived quickly and was very tasty. It was worth the money and the overall experience was most enjoyable. Will recommend and definitely return.

2 reviews so far 6
05.04.2017 16:35

The food at this restaurant was absolutely delicious. The staff are attentive and efficient. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. Definitely the place to come for a chilled out lunch with good friends. I highly recommend it.

1 review so far 5
07.07.2017 11:02

Delicious starters and mains, the desserts were a bit average in comparison. Service was great, it was attentive but not pushy. We went on a Friday and although we had to book a week in advance, the restaurant had a relaxed yet lively atmosphere.

2 reviews so far 6
25.03.2017 11:15

I have introduced several friends to Provender and they have all enjoyed the experience. I find it a friendly place with excellent food and it won't be long before I am back again for another lunch.

1 review so far 6
03.06.2017 16:12

Haven't been for some time after an underwhelming experience in the past, mostly thanks to a particularly pompous waiter. Much improved, great staff, lovely table outside and nice food. We live locally so will return. Thanks!

1 review so far 6
11.02.2017 20:42

Welcoming and attentive staff without being intrusive. An uncomplicated menu offering a choice of fresh French cuisine. Every course was delicious and the pink champagne an added bonus. Thank you for a superb lunch, as always.

1 review so far 6
23.06.2017 13:58

This was the first time we visited Provinder, we had a great meal and the staff were a pleasure. My son is a chef and he was also impressed. We hope to go again very soon.

1 review so far 6
11.03.2017 22:30

Superb food. Thoughtful service. This is the sort of place where your server recommends a perfect wine pairing and then brings extra butter for that last slice of bread because he noticed you finished the rest.

1 review so far 6
28.04.2017 17:25

This was my second visit to Provender & every bit as good as the first with wonderful freshly prepared food. The ambience is relaxed but stylish with friendly, efficient staff, we'll definitely be returning soon.

1 review so far 5
10.04.2017 15:22

The service was very good and the food was well prepared and presented. The cheese soufflé was tasty if a little plain . The vichyssoise was very creamy but I like to taste more leek. Overall we had a lovely anniversary lunch.

2 reviews so far 6
03.06.2016 20:50

Always an authentic French experience, including great food. Love this place. Christophe runs a great ship and the food and wile and service are always exceptional. I'd rather not tell people about this place

1 review so far 6
18.04.2017 07:29

Always enjoy going to Provender, the set menu is excellent value and the flatiron steak superb, good choice of starters try the garlic bread, the creme caramel on chocolate mouse a very good too

1 review so far 6
05.02.2017 18:24

Fantastic food and great service. Really is worth a visit. The menu has a good choice of food for everybody. The wine list also had a good selection. I will certainly be visiting again.

1 review so far 6
16.02.2017 19:22

Fabulous French restaurant - very welcoming, great wines, great beers, great location, great staff and best of all, great food. Oh, and the best creme caramel from here to Paris and back again!

1 review so far 6
18.04.2017 11:50

First time here for a birthday celebration. A little bit of a journey from where I live - but compensated for by the great atmosphere, service and really good nosh. Definitely be back!