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Published July 13th 2019
Reopening in 2018 after having undergone an extensive renovation, The Vicar is a revitalised food and drinking den serving up good times in Dural. Within this establishment are a number of areas, each bringing something different in the atmosphere and the food.
One such area is the Wakefield's Restaurant with its paddock to plate concept. The surrounding farms and orchards in Dural supply an abundance of fresh produce, from meat and poultry to fruit and edible flowers, for the Wakefield to put together home-cooked favourites and share dishes with a sophisticated edge.
It was for their Wine & Dine lunch deal that I visited with a friend to enjoy a choice of Spanner Crab Pappardelle Pasta (with Chilli Basil Shellfish Reduction) or Lamb Shank (with Crispy Polenta & Dried Olive), matched with a glass of wine – A Growers Touch Cab Sauv 2018 Riverina or 5452 by KT Riesling 2019 Clare Valley. For $30, it is good value, with decent sized portions plated up. You can enjoy it Wednesdays to Fridays from noon to 2.30pm.
On our visit, the pasta was not available due to a supplier issue. Instead of this option, a few others were offered and my dining buddy went with the Wagyu beef sirloin that came with duck fat fried chips. The steak was big, juicy and tender with a butter sauce atop, whilst the chips in the duck fat were more than pleasant. Both got a tick of approval. The meal was matched with the Riesling on the menu, a nice dry white wine.
I chose the Lamb Shank, which was very tender, with the meat coming off the bone easily. The polenta block was crispy as stated on the menu and soft inside. A bed of pea puree and an adornment of leafy greens completed the dish. It was matched with a different wine (from that mentioned in the deal), the Delta Pinot Noir Marlborough NZ 2017. This suggestion from the waiter was a good choice, going well with the lamb shank. It was a lighter red wine with fruity flavours of dark cherry and raspberry.
Apart from this deal, the Wakefield also has plenty of other food options that include entrees, mains, share mains cooked in French rotisseries, sides and desserts. The full menu can be viewed here.
As lovers of sweet things, we decided to add on to the deal with the purchase of some desserts. The Textures of Vahrhona Chocolate with Raspberry Sorbet and the Rotisserie QLD Pineapple, a Tres Leches Cake with rum and passionfruit, were our choices.
Both were very different. The chocolate dessert was well presented and pretty on the plate with an assortment of textures, colours and flavours. The layered light chocolate mousse cake with a darker chocolate top and a crumb crust on the bottom was delicious. Nice and light, it was surrounded by crunchy honeycomb pieces and a praline crunch (both a treat), a salted burnt chocolate sauce and a very refreshing raspberry sorbet that balanced out the sweetness. It was most definitely up there as one of the best desserts ever.
The pineapple dessert was delicious too but in a different way. It was tangy in the passionfruit and pineapple flavours, whilst the Tres Leches (Three Milks) cake was dense with the rum apparent. Very filling, it was a nice ending to lunch.
The atmosphere at Wakefield's Restaurant is perfect for couples, catch-ups with friends, and families. It's refined, stylish and relaxed at the same time. The makeover draws inspiration from the bygone days of Dural's wool sheds in the industrial-style building with its high ceilings, dramatic structural beams and large metal fans. An abundance of natural light flows into an array of wood furnishings and conical-shaped black copper light finishings. The neutral tones blend well together with the tables and seating, that consists of both chairs and comfy lounges.
Sitting alongside the restaurant is Mrs Goldsmith, a soon to be opening European-inspired wine bar with a beautiful floral installation hanging from the ceiling. Taking its name from the wife of novelist, playwright and poet Oliver Goldsmith, who wrote The Vicar of Wakefield, it will be the place for a tipple and a small bite to eat.
Other areas, already open within The Vicar are the Sports Bar inside serving up pub classics and the Northside Brisket Bar outdoors with its barbecue churning out smoked meats of pork, beef brisket and steak on rolls.
All in all, the million-dollar plus modernisation taking several years, is well worth the wait and a huge transformation from the previous tavern-style hotel. Come on down, see and try the new delights for yourself.