Westhougton may not be known for its fining dining or culinary delights, but Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant is aiming to change all that. After being featured in the Good Food guide for the second year in a row (the only restaurant to be featured in Bolton), it’s safe to say that Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant is well and truly on the food map.
Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant was established in 2015. Situated in Westhoughton, Provenance aims to use the best quality, locally sourced produce with full traceability. Provenance invited us down to try their tasting menu, packed full of choice selections on the Christmas Fayre along with a few picks from the a la carte menu.
On the ground floor is the food hall, featuring a delicatessen, greengrocers and bakers. Here you can find great local produce from the North Wests best producers. The Food Hall also offers customers and locals the ability to buy most of the ingredients used in the restaurant. If there’s a particular item you love simply ask the staff and they’ll be able to tell you where to find it in the food hall – an absolutely fab idea.
Upstairs is the Restaurant, offering fine dining without the price tag to match. Head chef Lewis Gallagher has put together a remarkable menu using much of the produce from the downstairs food hall.
Tasting Menu at Provenance – Canapes
We started the evening with the Christmas Fayre Canapes, giving us the opportunity to try bitesize samples of what will be served over the Christmas period. Mushrooms on toast finished with a little bit of Chestnut on top – served on homemade sourdough bread. An enjoyable starter & I would like to try the full dish.
Next up was Vegan Sushi that is currently on the menu, wrapped and toasted with sesame seeds. After trying to make my own sushi a few months back I’ve got a newfound appreciation of the craft of sushi making. These were not bad at all.
Last but not least were the Marinated goats cheese with pickled candy beetroot in filo pastry. The goats’ cheese was delicious! I will be buying some from the food hall soon :-).
Starters at Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant
Onto the Cauliflower Espuma with Granny Smith Apple. For those who are unsure, espuma is the descriptive word for culinary foam (derived from the Spanish word foam). The idea behind it is that turning it into a foam aerates the ingredients, making them lighter and hopefully gives you a better feel for the flavours.
Along with the cauliflower were two different varieties of apple. At the bottom of the pot was a sweet apple puree, reminiscent of sweet toffee apple, along with apple pieces that had been diced and compressed with more apple juice. Whilst it’s something I wouldn’t normally opt for it did indeed work, with the sharp and tangy acidity cutting through the rich creaminess of the cauliflower.
After that was the Butternut Squash and squash puree (for those not following a vegetarian diet it was Scallops, Butternut Squash and Chorizo) featuring Butternut Squash Bhaji – well-spiced with smoky flavours that sat really well together
Onto the Onion Tatin, another pick from the Christmas Fayre menu. Here the caramelised onion tart was paired with burnt onion powder.I’m a really big fan of anything using caramelised onion so this was a real treat for me.
Main Dishes at Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant
The next dish served was a Pan Fried Halloumi with Vegetarian Basil Pesto (those not following a veggie diet it was pan-fried cod). It was commendable that they’d thought about the fish and veggie dishes together – they both were presented the same so it did not massively highlight that it was veggie.
After that came the only dish that really differed greatly from those not following a vegetarian diet – the Blue cheese stuffed Figs with Candy Walnut salad. Whilst this is something I would be unlikely choose from the menu I was really impressed with the classic combination of flavours.
Desserts at Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant
Desserts started with ‘Oops Chef Dropped the Manchester tart’ a play on Michelin starred chef Massimo Bottura famous deconstructed lemon tart (Oops! I dropped the lemon tart). Apparently the original was a culinary tribute to imperfection. At least it cuts down on food wastage.
Easily one of my favourite dishes of the night and for someone usually does not like custard, that’s high praise indeed.
After all that, I had just enough space left to sample some Bite-sized versions of the Christmas Fayre Desserts. This included:
Christmas Pud Macaroons
Cranberry veggie panna cotta with mulled pear and granola
Milk Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut Praline and Candied Clementine – an absolute treat!
We will like to personally thank Kate, Lewis and the rest of the team for putting on such a great night. I will be visiting again soon and picking up a few items in the food hall the next time I’m in the area.
Bookings and Reservations at Provenance Food Hall & Restaurant
The Christmas Fayre menu will be served from the end of November up until Christmas Eve. For bookings and reservations please call 01942 812398.
Tasting menus start from £45 pp. Please call ahead for further details
Provenance Food Hall and Restaurant
46-48 Market Street, Westhoughton, Lancashire, Bolton BL5 3AZ