ALTHOUGH Cebu now boasts eclectic eats and a number of modern culinary discoveries, nothing soothes the soul quite like comfort food. Devouring dishes that are prepared simply yet deliciously, warms the body and heart in a way that no other gastronomic trend can. At Providore, comfort food comes in huge platefuls and aims to please and impress.
One of the many restaurants under the Raintree Hospitality Group, Providore initially opened in September 2017 as Summit Galleria Hotel Cebu’s breakfast buffet provider. Later in December, it started to offer lunch and dinner a la carte. The menu, a mix of hearty Asian and Western cuisine, is the exact same one as in its first branch in Manila.
The 140-seater place beckons diners from outside with its large neon sign, while the ambient lighting inside is telling of the warmth they’re bound to experience—whether it’s from the food or the overall vibe. Upon entering, one is greeted with a glass display of pastries and desserts to the left, and shelves of local retail products up front and center. Food Parks by Raintree’s food and beverage director Ronald Yulo explains: “Part of Providore’s mission is to promote local brands. We have on display food items like fish skin, salted egg potato chips and bottled gourmet bangus, as well as non-food items like wooden souvenirs and bath products.”
Even the interior of Providore is well thought of. Three sections are seamlessly integrated into one grand layout—the study, which has lounge seating; the dining, where the kitchen is most visible from; and the game room, with furniture that’s a tad more contemporary. Once you’ve picked a spot, it’s time to decide on what to order. “Here, there’s something for everyone. If you want something familiar, we have it. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, we have that too,” says Ronald.
Start with the Providore Salad—avocado, grilled Japanese corn, crumbled blue cheese, cranberries and walnuts, and crispy bacon on a bed of market greens and arugula, drizzled with buttermilk ranch dressing and topped with grated pecorino cheese. Or try the Butcher’s Best pizza, one of the stone-baked creations at Providore. The dough, made in-house, is chewy with just the right crisp, and is topped with tomato sauce, pepperoni, chunks of beef, onions and cheese.
For the mains, one option is the “You’re Gonna Need Extra Rice” BBQ Plate—chicken and pork skewers served with extra barbecue sauce which, along with the serving size, gives its name justice. Another is the Grilled Pepper and Herb US Beef Belly—tender, smoky, flavor-packed cubes of beef with mashed potatoes, chimichurri sauce and peppercorn au jus to offset the bits of fat. Then there’s the Steel Plate Cooked Garlic Butter “Salpicao” Steak—sizzled US beef in a special sauce, with onions, butter and roasted garlic cloves which are pleasant, not pungent to the taste.
The Coconut Cream Tres Leches is deceivingly decadent upon first glance, but take a forkful and you’ll find it’s a light sponge cake, stuffed with macapuno, and topped with tres leches cream and dried coconut shavings. It’s sweet but not cloying; you’ll want to finish it all yourself. Pair it with any of its Vittoria or specialty coffee beverages.
Providore is located on the ground floor of Robinsons Galleria Cebu and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2018.
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