07 February 2012

Vulcans: Modern Australian, Blackheath (17 April 2011)

33 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath NSW 2785
Phone: (02) 4787 6899
Open: Friday, Saturday & Sunday for lunch & dinner

Blue Mountains long time stayer

Starting with dessert I visually remember the famous Chequerboard ice cream ($19) being one of the signature dishes of this restaurant by Chef Phillipe Searle. It's appearance is subtle and less striking in appearance to what I was expecting. I asked whether it had changed over the years but apparently has remained the same for its 26 year dish life. It's an intricate pattern of star anise, pineapple, liquorice and vanilla anglaise where your taste buds try and work out the flavour subtleties. For entree the Three Tofus in 3 ways with ginger and sesame dressing ($19.50) is a tasty dish for vegetarians and those who aren't simply carnivores. If visiting Sunday the restaurant does a duck special which I believe needs to be ordered in advance but I was lucky some extra ones were made available. The Twice cooked steamed simmer duck breast on the bone spiced with star anise and black pepper ($40) comes at a premium price but my favourite was the generous sized Oyster blade of beef pot roasted with lemon grass and kaffir lime ($36) for its tender meat and lovely flavours. A good dish to have on a cold day and would go well with some Organic Sour Dough ($2) to soak up the juices.

For dessert I thought the Bombe-Milk chocolate & macadamia ice cream and cherry sorbet ($14.50) delivered more punchy flavours for your dollar than the Chequerboard ice cream ($19). The Macchiato ($4) and Cappuccino ($4) were pretty decent. Overall an enjoyable meal worth visiting the Blue Mountains for. It was expensive and I wished the seating was more comfortable and less crowded which would have made it more pleasurable to sit for an extended amount of time. My visit definitely left me wanting to try the other dishes but being located so far away it might be a while until I find the time. If you dined with a party of four you'd probably be able to order everything on the limited menu. With no signage and visible street number on the restaurant I think I must have passed it 3 times in the car trying to work out where it was in the street. It wasn't until I parked and walked down to the street that I finally found the restaurant.

PROS: Tasty dishes, Interesting although limited menu, Long standing restaurant, Plenty of street parking, House wine reasonably priced but limited range by the glass
CONS: Expensive, Seating quite basic and felt crowded in parts of room, Possibly no air con, All the way out in the Blue Mountains
MUST TRY: Oyster blade of beef pot roasted with lemon grass and kaffir lime, Chequerboard ice cream at least once

Three Tofus in 3 ways with ginger and sesame dressing ($19.50)

Sunday duck special: Twice cooked steamed simmer duck breast on the bone spiced with star anise and black pepper ($40)

Sunday duck special bone factor

Oyster blade of beef pot roasted with lemon grass and kaffir lime ($36)

Green beans ($9)

Bombe-Milk chocolate & macadamia ice cream and cherry sorbet ($14.50)

Chequerboard ice cream with star anise, pineapple, licquorice and vanilla anglaise ($19)

Bantry Grove Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($8), TSG Canberra district Tempranillo Shiraz Graciano 2008 ($8.50)

Macchiato ($4), Cappuccino ($4)

Bill $171 for two, Chef Phillipe Searle in the kitchen

Menu — nice handwriting. Note credit card payments incur 2.5%

Wine menu

Drinks menu — Single beer choice so hope you like Fat Yak Beer

Cosy seating is bordering on a little squashed

Table setting

Side passage to the toilets — nice walk in Autumn when it's not raining

Extra kitchen area at the back

Seating is perhaps a little classroom — maybe it is or perhaps I've just insulted the furniture designer?

Aesops in the toilet is always a winner when matched with hand towels and pretty flowers

Homemade jams

Understated restaurant front of Vulcans

View down Govett's Leap Road towards Vulcans

View Larger Map
Vulcan's on Urbanspoon


Buggles and Squeak said...

Vulcans is one of our all time favourites. we used to visit up to 6 times a year,but time restraints have limited us to around 2 times a year.The food is always spectacular and we dread the day Phillip and Barry retire!

lateraleating said...

$40 for a dish with that bone-meat ratio is not very good value.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

The chequerboard ice cream looks very interesting indeed!

Vivian - vxdollface said...

There's a very homey kinda feel to this restaurant, I think it's the meaty dishes. The chequerboard looks pretty neat!

Miss Kimbers said...

Wow that beef looks so tasty. I just packed my lunch into my bag - tuna in water, cucumber and tomato. I am so disappointed with my lunch now!

Simon Leong said...

hi buggles and squeak, i hope to return to try other dishes on the menu. hopefully they'll be going strong for a few more years at least.

hi lateraleating, i'm not too much of a fan of bones, especially at an expensive price, so thankfully the flavours were good. the duck was perhaps their signature dish but i actually preferred the beef.

hi lorraine, it's one of those dishes i vaguely remember in a good living many years ago and seems to still be going strong for them.

hi vivian, it is a cosy place. wish it had a bit more room around the tables and seating though to be a bit more relaxed and comfortable for sitting for a long time.

hi miss kimbers, your sandwich sounds ok but i guess not as tasty as a juicy tender beef dish :-)

Madam Wu said...

Everything you ordered looked and sounded incredible. Love the clever tofu dish and the interesting ingredients used to spice up the duck and steak and how stunning is the ice cream? Food prepared with love and care. It's now on my Eat List!

Simon Leong said...

hi madam wu, i love how you say it's your Eat List. I usually use Wish List but Eat List sounds more appropriate :-)

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map