This might well be a Once Upon a Time report, as I am tempted to start off writing about the phenomenally good lunch we had at Vulcans in early July with: Once Upon a Time, S and I went to dinner at Oasis Seros in Paddington. I wore my favorite black velvet cocktail dress, and an older woman, in the Ladies,very kindly said how lovely the dress was . She had that kind of generous smile that may have been a product of the food but I suspect, with that the woman, attractive and well groomed, was that kind of generous spirit who knows a moment when she saw it. The food, I am sure, was most likely the necessary catalyst to bring about this awareness.
So, Vulcans. Why have I not been there before? That I tried once but it was booked out, now seems like a flimsy excuse. That we hardly ever go to the Blue Mountains seems like a flimsy excuse. The SMH Good Food Guide 2012 gives Vulcans a 15, says various good things, though it quibbles the service is a bit joyless. The good things are right but 'a bit joyless' is plain wrong, our waiter was lovely, friendly but not faux chummy. I take exception to the '15', it was twice as good as other mountain places given a 14.5. But to return to the food, why exactly was it so good? The first course I had was trout cakes, a kind of mousseline in a light roulade of brioche, balanced on the kind of sauce which is intensely delicious but hard to figure out why. Had I had a variant of this back in Once Upon a Time and that pleasant first encounter, forgotten by all conscious parts of my brain, was now telling me OH Yes, This Again? My main course, spiced braised duck arrived in that state where the delicious steam of being so very lately out of the oven has not had a chance to dissipate,but forms a kind of welcome committee for your olfactory-taste system. This effect too reminded me of a casserole dish served at Oassis Seros, which, when opened at the dinner, would result in a 'petite swoon', a steamy rush of anticipation of the extraordinarily delicious.
After this there was no need for dessert, but as I had seen what the table one over from me were eating, and said I we would have to be brave and order dessert, because it would be mad not to. Can it be considered gallant to demolish a Bombe of pear and ginger sorbet, edged in a quince concoction, borne up by chocoloate parfait and a perfect crisp coconutty macaroon base, even if I did carefully compare each flavour when partnered with each of the others was insightfuly wonderful? No, the virtue lies entirely with the kitchen.
I still have the little black cocktail dress and mercifully, we still have Vulcans.