86 Ford Street Beechworth, Victoria 3747
|Opening hours||Fri-Mon 5.30pm-8.30pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Accommodation, Degustation, Gluten-free options, Licensed, Open fire, Romance-first date, Vegetarian friendly|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||03 5728 1786|
Boundary-pushing Japanese-inflected cuisine in a gold rush-era bank is improbable enough. That a restaurant of Provenance’s calibre thrives in tiny Beechworth is miraculous. Chef-patron Michael Ryan and his winemaker partner, Jeanette Henderson, continue to hone a restaurant ‘worth a special journey’, with inventive cooking and staff who meld country charm with city smarts. Using techniques such as fermenting and smoking and unexpected ingredients (desert limes, roast sake lees, rose petals), Ryan plates up a succession of small dishes that work all the angles. Umami is used to good effect in an optional starter of silken tofu with soused seafood or soy-braised shiitakes, in anchovy or parmesan crisps with roasted broccolini, and in an unctuous dish of pork with tonkatsu sauce. Desserts such as baked egg custard with barley and burnt sugar can seem more intriguing than indulgent. The food is matched by some of the region’s best wines and rare sakes, drawn from the bank’s former vault.
And … The old carriage house is now a guesthouse.
Vibe Boom-era bank strikes gold.
Best bit A creative mind in the kitchen.
Worst bit The outdoor loos.