Provenance Food Hall can be found up in West Houghton, it’s a family run butchers shop complete with a deli downstairs and a restaurant & bar above it. The business was founded by husband and wife team Brian and Karen Tinniswood together with brother Rob Tinniswood in June 2015. We stopped by midweek to sample a couple of courses from their à la carte offering.
The menu features some breadth of variety so vegan & veggie types can do their thing however it’s the meat that we’re interested, after all we are sat above a butchers!
Interior wise Provenance is fairly simple but perfectly functional, the dinning room is almost divided by the staircase which brings you up through the shop below, this helps make the space to become a little more cosy but without feeling like you’re sat away from the action. There’s also a well stocked bar and a piano set up so we’d be intrigued to perhaps return at a weekend and check out the atmosphere then.
Anyway, food time. The kitchen, headed by chef Lewis Gallagher, are keen to keep things fairly simple and traditional – and it’s working; they have featured in the Waitrose Good Food Guide for the last two years.
That said the fact the menu features the likes of the sushi is intriguing so we have to try it. The Pepper Sushi was never going to be the best sushi out there so in our opinion it needn’t feature, it’s not in keeping with the general theme and flow of things. Scallops were perfectly cooked however and combined with chorizo they provided a classic dish done well. One of the first things our eyes met on the menu were the words ‘Pork Cigar’ so we knew immediately they were getting ordered. Following on from the slightly disappointing sushi we honestly weren’t holding too high an expectation on these two brown, spring roll, like cylinders. We were dead wrong. They are really good! Accompanied with a smoky dipping sauce they work perfectly and do almost marry pulled pork with spring rolls. More than happy with that combination.
Keen to get stuck into some proper pieces of meat the mains are to be Duo of Lamb and house aged Rib Eye Steak. Although we chose dishes from the à la carte menu it was a Wednesday when we visited and it’s worth mentioning this is ‘Grill Night’ where there is a good selection of beef, chicken, pork and fish mains with a side and a drink for £10!
The 10oz Rib Eye comes with proper, thick, hand cut chips amongst mushrooms and onions rings – it’s a proper portion and cooked well for £20.
The Duo of Lamb definitely won the presentation award (scallops close 2nd) and was delicious alongside celeriac, really tasty carrots and Potato Dauphinoise. The lamb breast was really tender and excellent with a glass of red.
Speaking of red we opt for a couple of glasses of Malbec – tasty & reasonably priced. A key issue when venturing out into more suburban parts of Manchester can often be the transport/alcohol situation. Whilst it was easy enough to park in West Houghton it’s less straightforward for none locals to reach via public transport if you did want to enjoy a drink or three.
Pretty much full to bursting after some hearty, modern British, grub we share a dessert…well it’d be rood not to. The ‘Oops Chef Dropped the Manchester Tart’ sounds fun. Another delicious dish, the tart is sweet and provides another slight twist on a classic – something we there will be more to come from the kitchen at Provenance in the not too distant future as they establish themselves as a successful independent eatery.
If you’re local you’re lucky indeed, Provenance provides a great bistro/brasserie vibe that is well-stocked produce wise and well looked after by friendly staff. You also have the added benefit of them offering takeaway or just being able to pop in on a Saturday morning to see the butcher for your own dinner party recipe.
We wish the team all the success following their recently announced expansion plans after acquiring the unit next door. The food hall and restaurant are due to triple the size of current capacity to 150-plus covers in 2018. Looks like the venue and the menu are getting bigger and better all the time; well worth a visit.
Info & Bookings: provenancerestaurant.co.uk
Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant, Westhoughton