Vulcans, Blackheath, NSW

33 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath

I am a restless soul. If I spend too long in any one place, I get cabin fever and have to get out. Sydney was beginning to grate a little bit – too much time looking at furniture and not enough time doing anything interesting.

We decided to spend a weekend in Mudgee which conveniently meant a brief stopover in the Blue Mountains and the opportunity to try Vulcans, a much vaunted institution, which has been the recipient of 2 chef hats.

Having quickly become Sydney softies we were a little taken aback by the mountain chilliness of Blackheath. But the outside of Vulcans was all the more inviting for it – a cosy red brick restaurant with steamed windows and a great Friday evening buzz.

We took in the huge wood fired oven and felt immediately at home. Clearly this was a place which was all about the home-style food. We  were quickly offered a menu and settled in.

The sourdough bread was a pre-requisite – a good hunk of warm bread, which was deliciously crusty & moreish. I could have eaten this with our bottle of red the whole evening and left a happy man.

But we were here to eat more than the bread. We both started with an artichoke soup with crab.

The soup was delicious. Often artichoke soup is rich and suffocated with cream. This was smooth & intense flavoured with the vegetable. It was studded with many chunks of crab. Every spoonful surfaced with a piece of the crustacean.  It was a whole meal in itself and of such a large portion, impossible to finish, if we wanted to leave room for mains.

We were eager to see what else would follow.

My wife ordered glazed pork with papaya salad. It was another sizeable portion. We both love som tum, so had high hopes. No arguments on how the pork was cooked. The papaya salad had the anticipated spice & heat, but simply lacked sweetness.

I had the blade of beef with kaffir lime & lemongrass – another Asian inspired dish. This followed a similar theme of the previous dish. It was hefty, with the beef benefiting from long slow cooking and spoon soft. The Thai flavours hit like a sledgehammer, making the dish pretty assertive. It was as a result hard to love the dish as a whole. The dish needed a greater balance of flavours to create harmony. The accompanying vegetables (beans & roast potatoes), although good just weren’t up to it.

Moving on, we decided to finish with a chocolate orange wedge.

This was more like it, but funnily enough not unlike the mains – big rich flavours with intense accompanying saucing. Like all the other dishes we weren’t able to finish it (a first!).

We wanted to enjoy this restaurant – good earthy cooking with a simple philosophy. It was promising to begin with, but the mains were a let down. There was no balance and for a restaurant this well regarded we expected better. That’s no fault of Vulcan’s, but of our own expectations, but if we return we would be wary of what we order and leave the Asian influenced dishes well alone.

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One Response to “Vulcans, Blackheath, NSW”

  1. Blog Reviews for - VULCANS Blackheath - Blue Mountains Food Guide Says:

    […] Click here to view original web page at foodmiles.wordpress.com […]

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