I’d been eagerly waiting for Black Fire Restaurant in Braddon to open its doors. Specialising in authentic Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, the dinner and dessert menu was up on the website before the restaurant was even open causing me some serious hunger pangs. Located on Mort Street in the Habitat apartment complex (next to the Pita Pit and around the corner from Bentspoke Brewing Co), many passerbys were peering in to view the latest addition to the Braddon food scene.
Stepping inside, the first thing I noticed were the beautiful rustic looking chandeliers that gave off a warm glow making the space feel completely inviting. The decor is modern rustic with multiple textures used – exposed brick, transparent glass, wooden panelling and don’t forget the indoor plants. The front counter includes a bar area with wine, cocktails, scotch, rum and more available on the drinks menu. A large coffee machine against the window enticed people off the street to order a take away coffee.
A black board hangs on the back wall above the kitchen ready to be written on with the day’s specials. The stacked wooden logs on the back shelf are ready to be used in the wood fire oven. My friend V found out from one of the builders that there is another back room to the restaurant, perhaps for larger group bookings.
The dinner menu is split into first (entrees) and second (main) courses. There are several temptations on offer. The entrees should suit most budgets with dishes ranging from $4 to $26. Mains include freshly made pasta, arroz caldoso, and duck breast ranging from $24 to $30. Then there are a range of meat dishes cooked on the open fire roast and wood fire oven such as the 8 hours slow roasted suckling pig ($36), 8 hours slow roasted lamb ($36) and the Angus fillet tenderloin ($36). Looks like you can also order a whole roasted animal for the larger groups (I’m guessing this needs to be pre-ordered). Everything from the open fire roast and wood fire oven comes with sauce and a side or salad.
V and I went in for lunch filled with excitement at what this establishment could offer. I really wanted to try the suckling pig but that wasn’t available on the lunch menu (darn, next time!). Lunch is similar to the dinner menu but with a few items left off. I started with the charcoal scallop, light horseradish bechamel with radish and tarragon gremolata ($5 a piece). This scallop was fat, juicy and cooked to perfection. I absolutely loved the charcoal hit, zesty gremolata and creamy bechamel. A good start to lunch.
For the mains, we ordered the slow roasted Wagyu skirt steak ($28). The menu states Black Angus and Wagyu are certified pure breed, over 36 months old and dry aged for 30 days. I’m not much of a meat eater (until recently) so I don’t really understand what that means but was willing to find out. This came out in a hot pan served on top of a wooden board with plenty of red wine mushroom gravy.
A steak knife is simply unnecessary as the beef was so tender and fell apart easily. This was full of rich beef flavour that you could not mistake it for any other meat. I found that while very tender, the beef was a little dry (I guess because it is dry aged beef) but all that sauce was fantastic to provide extra flavour and moisture to the steak. The chef advised that this steak only comes medium cooked due to the slow roasting process.
We chose the Alubias white beans with chilli as the accompanying side to the steak (included in the price of the steak). I’m not sure what flavourings were on the beans but these tasted great. No chilli though.
Another main was the Wagyu osso bucco ($26) slow braised in vegetables and red wine that comes with taroz of mashed yellow potatoes and green beans. This came out in a huge dish with several pieces of Wagyu to satisfy most meat lovers. It looked different to what I imagined and I couldn’t see any vegetables. When I tasted the sauce, I realised the vegetables and red wine had been puréed. Similar to the skirt steak, this meat was perfectly tender and fell apart with the touch of my fork. The purée was delicious and added depth to the dish. The chef pointed out to try the bone marrow which is gooey and looks like fat but is apparently good for you. V liked it as it tastes similar to ox-tail.
The accompanying mashed potato was lovely and I liked the crunchy green beans on top to break up all that meat.
We couldn’t not get dessert after perusing the dessert menu for the last few weeks. The banana cake with dulce de leche, pomegranate maple syrup with tempranillo poached pear and chocolate flakes ($13) was ordered. The wobbly component caught my eye when this came out as I didn’t think flan was included (maybe it’s dulce de leche flan?). Smooth, creamy and wobbly, this was the only sweet item on the plate. The dulce de leche was salted which I didn’t like so much. Tempranillo is a type of grape native to Spain used to make wines so the poached pear was soaked in it. Since I don’t drink, I found this quite bitter. The banana cake was more like a muffin – not too sweet and pretty average tasting. I think I’d prefer it served warm. The pomegranate maple syrup was another sour element on the plate. There are a few strong flavours in this dessert and I didn’t find it as enjoyable as I would’ve hoped. I definitely prefer my desserts to be sweet rather than sour/salty.
Another dessert was the chocolate indulgence double mousse on a wild fennel and white chocolate silk with a raspberry and butter toasted almond tart ($13). The mousse is a winner – rich and thick. The tart was filled with raspberry goodness but again, I would’ve preferred if it was served warm. The wafer-like white object is caramelised white chocolate which V and I both loved – sticky, chewy, and toffee-like that gets stuck between your teeth. Mixed with the white chocolate ‘silk’ this dessert is so bad for you but you just want to finish it all.
Service is fantastic and we got to chat about the food with our waiter. One of the chefs is Italian and has worked in Italy, Spain and several other countries around the world bringing all his culinary wisdom to Black Fire. All dishes have been carefully prepared and you can expect yummy things from the wood fire oven, charcoal grill and open fire roast as the chefs have been trained to cook on wood fire. Black Fire has a great philosophy of using fresh and sustainable produce and to be as organic as possible. Fruit and vegetables come from organic farms in Cooma while seafood comes in daily from the Sydney fish market.
Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I will definitely be going back for that 8hr slow roasted suckling pig and the freshly made pasta. I’m advised that the breakfast menu below (how good does it sound?) is served until about 3pm on weekends so put this on your list of brunch spots to check out in Braddon.
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