The folks at The Providore have certainly made a success of their foray into the cafe business at Mandarin Gallery. Even with new competition, they continue to enjoy a strong following. They have expanded the Mandarin Gallery outlet and opened a new one along Orchard Road at Tangs (see our post The Providore Cafe at Tangs). We went to their outlet at Mandarin Gallery on a weekday morning and almost every table indoor was occupied.
Located on the 2nd level of Mandarin Gallery, The Providore occupies a prime spot with an alfesco area overlooking Orchard Road. The escalator from the outside of Mandarin Gallery leads directly to the entrance of the cafe.
The indoor area has two sections. There is a retail space carrying a range of cheese, sauces, olive oil, ciders and other gourmet food and beverages. The cafe section is decorated in contemporary casual style and has an open airy feel. It looks attractive and it is easy to feel comfortable and relaxed in the cafe. There are regular dining tables, communal tables for big groups and counters with high bar stools.
On weekends and public holidays, The Providore has a breakfast-brunch menu from 9 am to 3 pm. On weekdays, breakfast is served from 9 am to 12 noon. We ordered an Organic Muesli Parfait ($12.50) and a Ricotta Pancakes ($17.50). A small latte was $5.
The wait for the food was fairly long, perhaps because the cafe was rather busy. Iced-water was served while we waited. The coffee arrived before the food. The lattes were very well done. They were thick and creamy and the coffee flavour came through the milk nicely. The breakfast was off to a good start.
The Organic Muesli Parfait came in a tall glass. Toasted muesli and roasted almonds were topped with slices of fresh fruits and yogurt. A dollop of syrup added sweetness to he concoction. Milk was served separately so that it could be added as needed. The decadent looking but supposingly healthy parfait was delicious. The flavours amalgamate well and the contrasting textures made the simple breakfast item quite enjoyable. It was really filling.
The Ricotta Pancakes were caramelised banana and candied walnuts on two thick fluffy pancakes with syrup on the side. The pancakes were light but a little dry. Without a generous amount of syrup it would be hard to finish the pancakes. The banana and walnuts were nice. On the whole, the Ricotta Pancakes made a hearty breakfast but they were not the most enjoyable.
The Providore, Mandarin Gallery has a very good strategic location in the heart of Orchard Road. It looks nice and has a convivial atmosphere. The service staff were friendly and efficient. The coffee was great but we found the food to be fairly average. We feel the prices are high, particularly the price of the fairly basic pancakes. We think there are much better places to go to for breakfast but we would return to The Providore for their coffee and maybe also to have ice cream and cakes. We would go there more for the atmosphere than the food.
333A Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6732 1565
Open every day from 9am until 11pm
Nearby MRT Station: Somerset