A few weeks ago I was meeting a friend of mine for lunch in Mona Vale. We had an Asian noodle bar in mind but as Lou was walking through Pittwater Place she noticed Blacksmith. And with its bold fit-out, it certainly makes a statement. Considering it used to be a shoe shop, this is definitely a space where a lot of thought, planning and skill has gone into producing a great looking cafe.
One half of the restaurant is within the Pittwater Place Shopping Centre and the other half opens onto Park Street. With its dark and netal exterior, it’s certainly a visual force on the shopping centre that is architecturally bland. The fit-out of the restaurant is very eye-catching and to me, apart from the fact you can’t sit up at the bar, looks very New York.
The ‘blacksmith’ theme is very evident with a polished concrete floor, lots of metal twisting around doors and lampshades and dark wooden walls and a blackened ceiling making your feel like you are stepping inside a blacksmith’s workshop.
With the cafe spilling out onto a paved courtyard with plenty of seating, I can imagine this will be a very good place to meet with friends at the end of the day to enjoy a few cocktails. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights there’s a happy hour from 5-7pm and on occasions there’s also live music.
Despite only being open for a week, the cafe was bustling. The interior is quite dark and the lighting low which also gave it a New York feel. In terms of seating, there seems to be an eclectic mix. The booths looked the most comfortable but they were occupied so we found a table for two towards the back of the restaurant near the kitchen. The table was very small and difficult to put your legs under and we had to sit on stools and there was no where to put your bag. It was quite uncomfortable but never mind, the atmosphere was great.
The menu appeared quickly and it is like a clipboard folder with metal backing and a leather front. I was hoping the menu would be as exciting and as interesting as the interior but alas, the lunch menu was pretty much just a selection of ‘gourmet baguettes’. There is an ‘all day’ breakfast menu that you can order from until 3pm however we wanted lunch.
I ordered the steak sandwich which came with pickles and a spicy chutney. I asked for the steak to be rare and it was but the steak was a little tough.
I thought the steak sandwich might have come with some fries but when it arrived on its own I asked for a serve of hot chips. I didn’t realise the fries would cost $8.00 taking the price of my lunch to $25.00 that I thought was quite expensive.
Lou ordered the Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken baguette and thought it was lacking in Vietnamese lemongrass flavours and that there was very little chicken but at least she likes green leaves.
Afterwards we thought we’d like something sweet and so I went up to the counter and selected two cupcakes. Mine was jaffa and Lou had the chocolate. While they were lovely in presentation, unfortunately they were both stale with the icing tasting a little rancid. I asked if they were made on-site and was told they’re outsourced.
Overall, I found the menu to be lacking in excitement and the food to be rather just so-so. However, when we were there Blacksmith had only been open for seven days and so I’m quite sure some of the issues we experienced were due to opening dramas. I believe Blacksmith is a fantastic addition to Mona Vale’s dining and cocktail scene and with it’s impressive fit-out, I’d love to visit again in a couple of months to see how things have settled down since opening.
Verdict: Brilliant vibe, menu needs to improve.
Blacksmith: 10 Park Street, Pittwater Place, Mona Vale NSW 2103
Ph: 02 9997 5483