30 January 2011

Foodie Tweetup at The Provincial Hotel, Fitzroy

On Friday night I went to a Tweetup foodie event at The Provincial Hotel in Fitzroy. Yep, I met a heap of people from Twitter and we all had dinner. I already knew @calfy, @cheriecheroo, @starinmelbourne and @jentopia from previous meet ups (I knew @calfy (Shawn) as we went to primary school together, and Jen and I are blog/Twitter friends). The other 11 people were strangers to me - I only knew a few of them from their Twitter accounts. It's so cool to meet people from the internet. Everyone was so lovely! Meeting people from the internet is no longer the dodgy, seedy and risky thing it once was. I highly advocate it!

The Provincial Hotel is beautiful inside - rustic and spacious. I went there in 2003 when I first moved to Melbourne, and I don't recall it being this dedicated to food - from memory, it was solely a pub. I only took a few photos of the interior.
This giant bottle of Veuve Cliquot was in my direct view.

Some of the group had previously dined at The Provincial and interacted with the restaurant through Twitter (of course!).
The executive chef, Paul Cooper designed a special menu for us - such fine dining at amazing value! In all honesty, I feared a degustation menu would leave my tummy and purse empty at the end of the night. But my fears were allayed early on - it was less than I expected to pay, and I was pleasantly full.
Although the restaurant was full of diners, it felt like we were the only group in the room - great, personal service from all staff.

Like all Tweetups, and this a foodie Tweetup, mobile phones were at the ready, next to cutlery, poised for tweets as the night progressed. Descriptions of food, introductions (follows) and thank yous, all in 140 characters or less. Some of us placed our gourmet street presses on our side plates, folded up like napkins. We were ready to eat and tweet.
I'll write you through the menu now. It seems like the logical step for five courses. We had bread for starters, with really high quality olive oil and balsamic for dipping. No photos. You can imagine bread, I am sure.

1st Course

Heirloom tomato and watermelon salad, with mint, radish and marinated fetta.

This was a pretty awesome salad. I loved the creamy feta, the balsamic and the mint. The heirloom (or 'airloom' as I pronounced it) tomatoes were yummy too. The salad was covered in a gazpacho jelly.

Here I am about to eat it.

2nd Course

Scallop Ceviche, avocado, cucumber, lime, and ginger beer granita.

This was my favourite savoury course. The scallops were so tender (I love salmon ceviche so it was near on guaranteed I'd love this) and I wanted to drink the granita when it'd melted. The green dots are avocado. And the brown slivers were like a cross between a pastry and a flat bread. Such an arty dish.

3rd Course

Wood roasted Yellowtail Kingfish, marinated zucchini, sauteed organic kale, lemon, smoked herb oil.

The Kingfish was so fishy and fresh. It had a crispy skin too. I loved the lemon and herbs with the kale.

4th Course

House corned Warialda Belted Galloway beef silverside, with crushed potato, mustard, and almonds.

Sadly I have never been a silverside fan. I did eat the lot, and really enjoyed the fig mustard and mash. The other tweeps loved the dish. During this course, I tasted one of the vegetarian options - pan fried cheese gnocci with broad beans and fetta, and using Faux Fuchsia's rating scale, I gave it 11/10. I am less of a fan of broad beans than I am silverside, but I ate two broad beans and LOVED them!

5th Course

Chocolate Fondant 'just for Cherie'

This dessert was amazing! Seriously good. Even though chocolate is not often my preference, I rate this a million out of 10. Wow. It was such good quality chocolate, the fondant was like eating a cloud filled with gooey goodness. And the icecream was great too. The smear on the plate is orange grand marnier jam. (Un)fortunately someone had to forgo their dessert, so I shared it with Shawn and Jen after I'd eaten my own dessert.

I really enjoyed the night - met some great new friends and ate wonderful food. I'll definitely be up for another foodie Tweetup! And we may have some new recruits for our food blog!

The first pic of the very beautiful Jen and I. (Ok, so there's another one, but this was the best one of the two, I thought).
And here is our group of Tweeps. A fantastic bunch of people!

Thanks for organising, @calfy and @cheriecheroo, and for your hospitality, Erez Gordon and all at The Provincial Hotel, and especially to Paul Cooper and the team of chefs for the wonderful food.

The Provincial Hotel / Cafe Provincial


  1. oooh lala! The Provincial has always been in my mind as a great drinks venue but blogposts such as this have certainly got me interested in trying out its foodie repertoir.
    Also great to see them getting on board the bloggers/social media wagon with such aplomb - and Carly, I'm now going to sign up for your foodies group! Xx

  2. What delicious food!

    Looks like it was a great night, Carly!

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  3. What a great idea - a Tweet-up - although I'm yet to get on Twitter because I already spend far too much time online. Looks like you had a great and delicious evening!

  4. I really wish I bought the SG swallows top!

    I'm feeling a bit of non-buyer's regret...

    Love your layers.



  5. Sounds like fun!! And I love the Provincial - fun night!!


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