At the Victory Theatre Café & Antique Centre in Blackheath, I’ve had a waiter:
- ask me about my sex life,
- get so enamoured by my friend’s hat that he ran off to show us his, rather than take our food order, and
- ask me to drive them two hours to their house, because they wanted to get there in time to see a band.
And I keep coming back…
I don’t know whether it’s because they have the best spiced chips I’ve ever had in Australia. Or because I like to have breakfast away from Katoomba where I’ve probably left my dignity somewhere in the train tunnel between the Carro, the Station Bar, and the Gearins. Or because you can sit outside and soak up the sun in all the seasons, even when it’s bitterly cold.
I visit this café every time I’m in NSW’s Blue Mountains. It’s one of those eclectic places in the mountains that keeps you coming back.
And it has some cool history behind it. The old art deco building opened in 1921 as the Arcadia Picture Palace, showing movies at first, and when attendance fell in the 60s it was later used for ice skating, public meetings, and then as a peg factory and a seat belt factory.
These days it’s home to a large antique centre and café. The antique centre side of The Victory Theatre represents over 50 antique dealers in NSW, and has some amazing looking furnishings, paintings, and vintage clothes.
The café is run by Blue Mountains local Terry Tan. Tan uses fresh local produce where it’s possible, and free range eggs and chicken, and Megalong Valley Wagyu beef.
At night, it’s an Asian fusian/inspired menu, which is completely different to its daytime menus.
On this occasion, I was at the café the day after my hen’s party (or what you’d call a bachelorette party in Canada or the States and I would roll my eyes at because of the connotations that raises).
I just wanted a bit of quiet, so I could enjoy my pounding headache on my own, and try and drink enough caffeine and eat enough fried goodness to ward off a hangover I was scared was coming.
The first thing I get is Coke in a glass bottle. There is nothing like it when you’re feeling out of sorts. When I’d get bad head colds in the corporate world but couldn’t afford to take a day off work, I’d get Coke in a glass bottle and drink it with a couple of Sudafed. Instant pick me up!
Coke in hand, I was feeling human enough to make a choice from the breakfast menu and tuck in. For the health conscious there’s the oats with vanilla poached pears and pistachios, ricotta hotcakes with banana and maple syrup, and poached eggs with salmon, potato rosti, rocket, and lemon oil.
But if you want your proper breakfast there’s bacon and egg rolls on Turkish bread with home-made BBQ sauce, mushrooms and gruyere cheese omelettes, eggs benedict and the Blackheath breakfast.
I choose the vegetarian version of the Blackheath breakfast: fried eggs, spinach, tomatoes and, mushrooms – which I replaced with a side of hashbrowns. I really could have gone a full plate of hashbrowns, but wanted to keep up some semblance of civility for some reason.
The meal does exactly what it needs to do. The hashbrowns are crisp, satisfyingly friend, and plentiful. Perhaps my server knew what was running through my head. The spinach was sauted nicely and the tomatoes were firm but cooked well. The eggs were fried and still properly goey to sop up with the toast.
This occasion was strange incident free. No idea how I escaped that at Victory Café, but perhaps my own strangeness on this day kept the eccentrics at bay!
Us Nomads will be back in Australian sooner than we know it, and I’m looking forward to another taste of Victory Café.
Location: 15-17 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath NSW 2785, Australia
Contact Details: Phone: (02) 4787 6777
Opening Hours: Open every day 8am-4pm, Dinner Friday and Saturday from 6pm
You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica, over at Google+.