Vat 2 is a restaurant with a lovely outlook across the jetty at Bunbury, and the menu is quite exciting with a combination of cocktails, share plates and larger dishes. It’s a nice big area with a variety of contemporary artwork.
I started with a blue cocktail containing galliano and blue curacao – very nice.
We chose our dishes from the tapas style sharing menu.
The first one to arrive was a tray of asian prawn dumplings, and they were delicious, topped with tobiko (flying fish roe), a really nice umami start to our meal.
The second dish was pork belly. I generally love pork belly when it is cooked well – it needs to be cooked so that the pork is really tender, and the fat either melting or beautifully crispy. I found myself separating the pork from the fat and the crackling and felt that it could have been prepared with more care. The pork was nice, the crackling was nice, but there was a chewy layer of fat in between that was unpleasant, and I left the fat on the plate.
We also ordered a salad which was a nice contrast to the meaty dishes. The dressing was good, and there was plenty of capsicum, cucumber and tomato.
The next dish was a Japanese fisherman’s basket. Fish, squid and soft shell crab in crispy tempura batter with mayo. What a disappointment. Not a massive portion for $26, and it was soggy where it had been cooked in oil that was not hot enough. After eating a few pieces of fish and attempting to cut the crab (which just oozed oil everywhere), we left it. Not pleasant at all.
Lastly we had BBQ chicken ribs which were cooked nicely and had a lovely crispy coating.
So what did we think of Vat 2 ? It’s quite an expensive restaurant and the menu is full of promise. The food is generally nice but doesn’t deliver on all fronts and not worth the price tag. The waitress did offer a part refund (10%) for the fisherman’s basket but to be honest, taking $2.60 off the bill didn’t really make us feel much better. The dumplings were definitely the star dish, the BBQ chicken was nice, but quite a safe dish, and the rest wasn’t really cooked with the care that you would expect from a restaurant with a sophisticated menu.
It was a Friday night and the place should have been buzzing, but it wasn’t very busy, and I think I know why.