Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dinner at The Providores and Tapa Room in London with Framingham Wines, UK/New Zealand

Pictures: The Providores and Tapa Room in London. Peter Gordon (right) and Michael McGrath (left) with Christian G.E.Schiller

My daughter Cornelia Schiller Tremann graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London with a PhD in late 2013. The annual graduation ceremony took place in July 2014. My wife Annette and I accompanied Cornelia and her husband Chris to London for the graduation ceremony. We celebrated the event at Peter Gordon’s Providores restaurant with a fabulous menu and wines from Framingham.

Picture: Dr. Cornelia Tremann with a SOAS Faculty Member

The Providores and Tapa Room is a top-notch restaurant and a wine bar, run by New Zealand’s star chef Peter Gordon and business partner Michael McGrath. The wine list is large and the wines are exclusively from New Zealand.

Picture: The Providores and Tapa Room, 109 Maryleborne High Street, London, W1U 4RX

I picked The Providores for a number of reasons: I had been to the Tapa Room a couple of times, but never eaten upstairs at The Providores restaurant. Before moving to the London School of Economics and then to SOAS in London, Cornelia lived for 3 years in the greater New Zealand area, i.e. in Brisbane in Australia. The Providores and Tapa Room is located in Maryleborne (109 Maryleborne High Street), which is a very interesting area. For example, one of the new and hip 28-50 winebars is just around the corner.

New Zealand Wine El Dorado in London: The Providores and Tapa Room 
Wine Bars in London: Vats Wine Bar, the Cork and Bottle, the Providores and Tapa Room

The Place

The Providores and Tapa Room is a hip place divided into a restaurant (upstairs) and a wine bar (downstairs). Plus, there are a few tables on the sidewalk of Marylebone High Street.

Pictures: The Tapa Room

Downstairs is the buzzing Tapa Room, with a large communal table. Breakfast is very popular here, in addition to the selection of excellent tapas. A long classic wood high counter table stands in the center of the Tapa Room. So, lots of chatting with people you don't know. Einstein-esque orange light bulbs hang from the ceiling. And an enormous Rarotongan Tapa, or ceremonial cloth from the South Seas, is covering one wall, hence Tapa Room. Tapa cloth can be found throughout the Pacific and is used either as a decorative piece, as a ceremonial floor covering at feasts, or in some cases as fabric for clothing.

Pictures: The Providores

Upstairs is the serene Providores, a classic dining room, where you order fixed-price menus.

Chef Peter Gordon

Gordon is of Maori descent and born in the coastal town of Wanganui, New Zealand. He moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 1981 where he worked for five years before travelling through Asia for a year, and then returned to Wellington, New Zealand. He is now based in the UK and New Zealand. In 2005, he was ranked as one of Britain's 100 most influential gay and lesbian people.

Picture: The Providores and Tapa Room Kitchen in the Basement

Peter Gordon: I love to cook creatively, and my excitement about new flavors and textures from all around the world defines that I create fusion cuisine. If you've visited any of my restaurants - The Providores and Tapa Room or Kopapa in London, or The Sugar Club, Bellota or dine by Peter Gordon* in Auckland - you'll already know something about fusion. But if not, you can get a primer in the Fusion section, or take a look at the Food page. I'm based in the UK and New Zealand, and I travel a lot, so I mean it when I say that the global pantry is my inspiration.

The Wines

The wine list is almost entirely from New Zealand and has well-chosen growers. If you do not like New World wines, do not go there. But if you are open to the wonders of the New World, your will find them there, right in the center of London. If you do not like wines from New Zealand, stay away. But if you like them, this is the place to go. I have never seen such a broad and deep selection of excellent wines from New Zealand outside of New Zealand. Naturally, the focus is on Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

In terms of wine by the bottle, there are about 100 wines on the list, with a sentence or so of explanation. The bottles are in the BP 30 to 40 range with some wines going for BP 20 and some for up to BP 60.

The Dinner

You could choose from a menu with about a dozen courses plus desserts. We went for the 4 courses option at BP 57. Here is what we picked.

Picture: Crab and coconut laksa, a bream and pink peppercorn dumpling, soba noodles, soft boiled qual's egg, crispy shallots, coriander

Picture: Salad of freekeh, goats' curd, endive, hazelnuts, grilled aubergine and spring onions, pickled raisin puree, roast tomato miso dressing

Picture: Spiced dahl stuffed tempura inari pocket, aubergine, spinach, yellowbean ginger dressing

Picture: Pan-fried Scottish scallops, celeriac puree, fennel, apple and radish salad, yuzu, manuka honey dressing, crispy shallots

Picture: Smoked Dutch eel, samphire, sesame and seaweed salad, chilli furikake, ponzu tapioca

Picture: Pan-fried gilt-head bream, clams, coconut, tofu, aubergine, curry, coriander

Picture: Roasted, smoked Somerset lamb loin, minted peas, baby vegetables, pommegranate yoghurt

Picture: Dessert

Picture: Dessert (This was Chris Tremann's Favorite of the whole meal on account of the hint of truffels in the chocolate cake)

The Framingham Wines

For the wines, we chose 2 wines from Framingham, a Riesling and a Pinot Noir. Annette Schiller and I had just met the cult winemaker Andrew Hedley of Framingham at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in Germany.

Wines and Winemakers from Australia and New Zealand at the 2nd International Riesling Symposium, Rheingau, Germany

Framingham was founded in 1994; it is owned by Sogrape Vinhos. Annual production is 26000 cases. Riesling accounts for 8% and Sauvignon Blanc for 75%. Andrew Hedley, who overcame throat cancer, is the head winemaker.

Picture: Winemaker Andrew Hedley and Annette Schiller at the 2014 International Riesling Symposium, Germany

Pictures: The Framingham Wines

The Providores and Tapa Room, 109 Maryleborne High Street, London, W1U 4RX

schiller-wine: Related Postings

 New Zealand Wine El Dorado in London: The Providores and Tapa Room

Wines and Winemakers from Australia and New Zealand at the 2nd International Riesling Symposium, Rheingau, Germany

New Zealand Pinot Flight – Maude of Central Otago, New Zealand, with Winemaker and Owner Dan Dineen

New World Wine Country: New Zealand - Facing the Fate of Australia?

German Wine Makers in the World: Karl Heinz Johner in New Zealand

New Classification of New Zealand Pinot Noirs

Wine bar: Paris, Berlin, New York, London

Discover Blaufraenkisch! Top 100 Tasting in London, UK - Schiller's Favorites

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in London, UK

Terroir(s) Wine Bars in London, New York and San Francisco – Wines with a Sense of Place versus Natural Wines

Focus on Natural Wines: The Terroirs Wine Bar in London

Wine Bars in London: Vats Wine Bar, the Cork and Bottle, the Providores and Tapa Room

The Amazing Champagnes of the St. Pancras Grand Champagne Bar in London – But no English or Other Sparklers

3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux 

No comments:

Post a Comment