A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published May 28th 2019
Food made with love and the best local produce
Urban Provedore has a simple yet compelling mission statement: ...to provide delicious gourmet food and coffee, sourced from passionate and highly skilled local suppliers.
This philosophy must be a recipe for success as the business is still going strong in downtown Toorak Road, South Yarra some five years after it opened.
The entrance to Urban Provedore
Walking into the lovely large space this cafe occupies, I am struck by the open-style, modern decor, the subtle, yet adequately bright lighting, and the large display counters. It looks so fresh, it could have opened yesterday.
The bright, fresh interior
There is a good range of table seating available, from cosy window tables to larger communal tables to outside tables (deserted on this icy late autumn day). It's easy to find a table where it's quiet enough to have a conversation with a friend while sipping on a coffee or enjoying a meal.
Urban Provedore has recently launched a new menu, so I called in to check it out.
The menu has a good selection of breakfast options, and a more limited lunch range, but as they serve all day breakfast, most diners should find something to suit their tastes.
As well as standards such as toast and condiments, and granola, the breakfast menu offers some delights including avocado: heirloom zucchini ribbons, poached egg, feta, house dukkha on multigrain ($20), and autumn mushroom omelette: with garden herbs, creamy stracciatella and truffle on sourdough ($20).
The friend I was dining with chose sweet corn and zucchini fritters (fresh corn, zucchini, avocado, salted cheese, relish and poached egg) ($19), adding bacon for an extra $3.
Corn and zucchini fritters - 'generous' to say the least
I chose (from the lunch menu) the Hopkins River Steak Sambo (barbecued skirt steak, cos lettuce, smokey tomato relish and fresh horseradish) ($20).
Other lunch options include a chicken burger ($20), gourmet pies and rolls, and a delicious looking range of house-made salads (though the cold weather put me off ordering the latter).
When our meals hit the table, the first observation was that they were generous portions indeed! I knew as soon as I saw my meal that I wouldn't be able to get through it all; my friend felt the same way - but we gave it a good go.
The steak sandwich was an interesting take - more of a steak 'stack' than sandwich, as it was layered char-grilled toast alternating with chunky slices of perfectly cooked (medium rare) steak - so, two layers of toast, and two of steak. The toast had been generously spread with the tomato relish. While this was, at one level, the simplest of dishes, the combination was just so more-ish that I kept eating long past the point when I would ordinarily have stopped. (My partner went there the next day and ordered the same dish, on my recommendation, and agreed with my verdict!). Skirt steak not being a premium cut, I wondered when I ordered the dish what it would be like, but whatever magic had been worked by the chef and his team meant that the meat was as tender and succulent as a piece of eye fillet. Delicious!
The Hopkins River Steak Sambo - I have slightly messed up the stack here to better show the generous amount of steak
My friend put up a valiant fight, but again, couldn't get through the fritters. 'Fresh', 'homely', and 'generous' were all words she used to describe her meal.
There was certainly no room for one of the appealing house-made cakes in the display counter, but I at least managed a coffee. Urban Provedore prides itself on its coffee, and at $3.80 ($3.00 if you bring your own re-usable cup), it is competitively priced.
The coffee station at Urban Provedore, which prides itself on its excellent coffee
Urban Provedore is licensed, offering a small selection of wines (by the glass and bottle), beers and cider. For something non-alcoholic, try a juice (freshly squeezed), or a milkshake.
Urban Provedore is located at 231 Toorak Road, South Yarra. It is open seven days, from 7am to 4pm Monday to Wednesday, 7am to 7pm Thursday and Friday, and 8am to 4pm on weekends.
For more information or to book a table, call on (03) 9820 3500, or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.