What do you get when you mix gourmet dishes, top quality coffee and only the finest local provincial produce around? You get Urban Provedore, that's what. This new South Yarra café-cum-provedore, located on Toorak Road, past the station and just before Chapel Street, is fast becoming the new hot spot for trendy local lunch-timers and commuters alike – and it's not hard to see why.
Husband and wife team Jane Hansen and Paul Little, both accomplished business owners, have lovingly created a provedore-style cafe offering fresh, delicious food sourced from passionate and highly skilled producers from Melbourne and surrounding areas such as Red Hill and Mornington. Everything at Urban Provedore is made fresh on the day using hand-selected and highly sought after produce that the team have sampled themselves.
The coffee is a seasonal blend from Axil, ticking boxes for many coffee enthusiasts such as myself, and the décor is both warm and inviting. The fit out, designed by Paul Hickman and Wayne Finshci, features European oak and large glass paneled windows. Urban Provedore is uncluttered with ample space so you can sit comfortably at a communal table or opt for a cosy alcove or window seat.
Extremely passionate Head Chef Andy Ledson is at the helm, serving up mouth-watering dishes bursting with quality. After spending just five minutes with this guy I could tell his love affair with food started early. A master of his trade, you'll find him in the kitchen day in, day out working alongside his friendly staff, plating up the impressive dishes that food envy is made of.
This brings us to the menu. Being the sweet tooth that I am, the Buttermilk Vanilla Pancakes instantly stood out – two thick and fluffy pancakes topped with poached fruits and crispy strips of candied bacon alongside a generous serve of pure Canadian maple syrup. It's a must-try for anyone with a pancake fetish or put simply: those who like to indulge. For something a little more wholesome, the Ham Hock Fritters are the perfect savoury dish for breakfast or lunch. Resting on a flavourful combo of potato hash, creamed corn, braised cabbage and black pudding crumbs with slightly sweet vinegar, you're going to love looking at this dish just as much as biting into it. That's a promise.
Now for the egg varieties; the Spanish Baked Eggs are addictive, so if you're hungry save yourself the trouble and order these straight up. Enjoy a beautifully blended concoction of house baked beans intertwined with chorizo, smoked ham hock, braised tomatoes and a slight hint of chilli. There's also a side of sourdough so you can dip until your heart's content. Or go all out with the UP Breakfast with poached eggs and gourmet grilled pork and fennel sausage alongside buttered thyme mushrooms with kipfler potatoes on sourdough. Yum! For an extra flavour kick, add the house made tomato chutney or béarnaise sauce. In fact pretty much all sauces, condiments, dressings and add-ons are made in house. The guys at Urban Provedore don't believe in 'pre-done'.
It's not all about the menu either; the display cabinet offers a yummy selection of sandwiches and baguettes together with a great offering of cured meats, fine cheeses and local olives. The wall-lined shelves are adorned with Larsen & Thompson teas, specialty Pangkarra pastas, Ridiculously Delicious peanut butter (yep, that's the brand) and an assortment of Yarra Valley relishes, dressings, olive oil…and lots more! Then there's my favourite – the ready-made take home meals. That's right folks, stop in on your way home from work and pick up a lasagne, Asian curry or whatever you fancy – all made and prepared daily by the team of chefs, so you don't have to lift a finger.
Urban Provedore is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch between 7am and 7pm. Pssst, in the next few months the guys will be introducing a mini tapas/antipasto menu so you can nibble on some delicacies as you enjoy a wine or two. Oh yeah, did I mention they're licensed? Win.
Urban Provedore | 231 Toorak Road in South Yarra
Image credits: Tash Sorensen, The Urban List.