Provenance is the second of the two Good Food Guide hatted restaurants in Beechworth. Unlike Wardens' though this one has two hats. Or we thought it did until we found out that the most recent edition of the GFG has taken one hat away. Still, two hatted restaurants in the one small town is nothing short of a miracle. Provenance is situated in an old 19th century bank building so it has a certain amount of charm right from the get go. There isn't just one dining room but one main room with a couple of adjoining rooms. We were in one of the adjoining rooms. It was cosier that way. Apparently an older couple thought it was a bit too cosy because after we'd been there a little while, time enough for me to snap a couple of photos of us, the older couple asked to be moved to the main dining room. It kind of made us a little paranoid about what we'd done to offend the old dears. Funnily enough they weren't the only old dears I offended this evening. Earlier at our motel I had moved our car from across the car park to a spot closer to our room. A group of people were leaving the motel for the evening and one woman in particular had taken exception to the way and speed I'd apparently moved my car. Apparently I am an "arrogant fuck" and an " inconsiderate dickhead" and an "arsehole". That may well be but I don't have a potty mouth. Well I kind of do but I don't respond to older "ladies" spouting off at me. And she wasn't directing her diatribe directly at me she was talking VERY LOUDLY to her friends about the arsehole, but she wouldn't look directly at me while she was doing it.
Oops. That was a long aside. Back to Provenance.
An anchovy with its fried bones.
A local sherry
Shitake mushroom custard with fried chicken wings and wasabi.
Blue swimmer crab okonomiyaki, mayonnaise, salmon roe, cucumber salad.
2008 Smiths Chardonnay - Beechworth
Roast Nug Nug goat meatballs, chickpeas, baby carrots, silverbeet, egg and lemon sauce.
Snapper, fried silken tofu, shitake and konbu broth, lotus root, seaweed, fresh wasabi.
Sher Wagyu (marble score 7), dashi braised eggplant and daikon, soy beans, spring onions, ginger and miso sauces, konbu relish.
2006 Torbreck The Steading Grenache Mataro Shiraz - Barossa Valley, SA
Side - Baked fennel, parmesan, orange.
Bitter mandarin souffle, white chocolate and rosewater sauce, toffee mandarin.
Campbells Prince Rare Muscat - 20+ years old (Rutherglen)
I'm guessing the theme of the evening was Japanese. Many of the dishes had Japanese flavours, ingredients or style. Thankfully we didn't have to pay Japanese let alone big city prices. The most expensive main (the wagyu) was only $40 and the average was about $34. Not bad at all for a hatted restaurant and a pleasant change from the big city joints you have to take out a mortgage to pay for your meal.
Provenance Restaurant is at 86 Ford Street Beechworth. Don't follow Google Maps directions to get there from the Carriage Motor Inn though. It says you should turn right into Ford street from Camp street and walk for about 5 minutes when actually you should turn LEFT and cross the road and there it is. We decided to call that little detour our passeggiata through Beechworth.