15 June 2012

Rockpool Bar & Grill: Modern Australian, CBD Sydney (11 Nov 2011)

66 Hunter Street, Sydney NSW 2000 

Neil to the impressive grandeur

After initially being impressed with the food and decor at Rockpool Bar & Grill while attending the Glenfiddich Launch of Rich Oak 14 Year Old I chose to return on 11.11.11 to help make the special date a memorable occasion. It was hard to tire from the impressive high ceiling and countless wine glasses sculptured on top of each other while perusing the menu. Our waiter was thankfully friendly and professional (Edward) and made us feel comfortable and looked after us throughout the night. Complimentary bread was served slightly warm with a nice crust and my Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic ($12) used homemade tonic which was good. The international wine menu would probably satisfy most hard nosed wine connoisseurs. The 2006 Chateau Reynon Bordeaux Blanc France ($16) was slightly sweet, refreshing and enjoyable while I found the 2010 Domaine La Millière ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Cotes du Rhone France ($12) less sophisticated on the palate.

I remember enjoying the Charcoal Roast King Prawns ($30) at the Glenfiddich Launch which again had nice marinated flavours although this time around seemed a little harder to eat as the meat unfortunately didn't pull away from the shell as easy. My Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Sauce came at a premium price. The Clyde River 5 Yr Old Sydney Rock ($5.50 each) had a good salty depth of flavour and brine present while the Coffin Bay Pacific ($4.50 each) had a cleaner taste and were more meaty with some brine present but not as much as hoped. My Alaskan King Crab Cocktail ($35) was thankfully deshelled for easy eating, not too salty and had nice fresh flavours although I would have loved just a bit more meat on plate but I guess I didn't have to work at getting it out of the shell which is always a win. The Crispy King George Whiting Fillets ($55) with “Crazy Water” (which seems to be from Texas) had a nice crispy batter as hoped and a nicely flavoured broth however the serving size of about 6 fillets was way too generous for just one person to comfortably finish and would have suited a table of 3-4 to share. A smaller serving for less would have been more ideal.

My Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone ($60) of Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old was served medium rare as ordered. Tender and flavoursome as hoped with just a few fatty bits throughout to contend with. Sides were quite reasonably priced with the simple and flavoursome Boiled Mixed Greens ($9) and fresh and crisp Radicchio, Cos and Endive Salad ($9) being enjoyable. The Charcoal Oven Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato ($9) was a generous portion with nice flavours from the garlic yoghurt and burnt butter which would have better suited sharing with a couple more diners. Being quite full from the generous portions we opted for the Blood Orange Sorbet with Yoghurt Cream Brandy Snaps ($12) as a simple palate cleanser with satisfying flavour to finish.

PROS: Friendly and professional service (Edward), Nice decor and ambience, Tempting menu, Quality ingredients, Extensive international wine list, I like the flat table supports
CONS: Expensive, Toilets located upstairs, Tables space a bit limited
MUST TRY: Cape Grim Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone, Alaskan King Crab Cocktail just because it's already deshelled for you
VERDICT: An impressive setting suitable for a special date night but will come at a price
Real Pink Lemonade: Our Real Grenadine, Lemon, Soda ($9), Hendrick’s Gin & homemade Tonic ($12)
2006 Chateau Reynon Bordeaux Blanc France ($16) WORTH TRYING :-)2010 Domaine La Millière ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Cotes du Rhone France ($12)
Complimentary bread and butter
Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Sauce: Clyde River 5 Yr Old Sydney Rock ($5.50 each), Coffin Bay Pacific ($4.50 each)
Clyde River 5 Yr Old Sydney Rock ($5.50 each)
Coffin Bay Pacific ($4.50 each)
Charcoal Roast King Prawns, Split and Marinated ($30)
Quite a bit of prawn shell to sort through
Alaskan King Crab Cocktail ($35)
Crispy King George Whiting Fillets with “CrazyWater” ($55)

Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old, Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 350g 60 days ($60)
Cooked to medium rare as ordered
Boiled Mixed Greens with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon ($9)
Radicchio, Cos and Endive Salad with Palm Sugar Vinaigrette ($9) 
Charcoal Oven Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato with Garlic Yoghurt and Burnt Butter ($9)
Béarnaise sauce for steak although a bit overly generous to finish
Blood Orange Sorbet with Yoghurt Cream Brandy Snaps ($12)
Bill $297.50 for two
Love the high ceiling

Open kitchen for a bit of cooking theatre
Flat table supports — I like
A bit of Neil Perry merchandising

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Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


Vivian - vxdollface said...

Hehe I too would have liked more of that Alaskan crab cocktail! Brandy snaps with sorbet look good

Kerancia said...

Always wanted to go here. The oysters and rib eye looks delicious!

joey@FoodiePop said...

Truly one of the most impressive dining rooms in all of Sydney for sure. Six fish fillets is an awful lot for one person, and for $55 it's a lot of eating the same thing! That rib eye on the bone looks to die for.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Getting through your backlog, I see... :) Love RB&G - always a top experience.

gaby @ lateraleating said...

Rockpool is in my wishlist for this year. Steak perfection!

Richard Elliot said...

Having eaten in the bar (with you!) I'd be tempted to try the restaurant.

$60 for a steak seems frightening, but it looks like you had plenty to eat and drink for $300. Which doesn't compare too badly to the amount you'd expect to pay at a fine diner for two people. I suppose degustation menus hide the prices of individual courses.

tastyfoodsnaps said...

the Crispy King George Whiting Fillets with “CrazyWater” looks amazing!
the crispy batter, yum!

Simon Leong said...

hi vivian, you can never have too much Alaskan crab I say ;-)

hi kerancia, definitely should check it out for a nice night out — just make sure you bring your credit card.

hi joey, quite possibly the best dining room in Sydney although Quay has the views of Opera House and Harbour Bridge if you're lucky.

hi tina, my backlog goes for about 3 years now i think :-(

hi gaby, glad to hear it's been a good experience for you too.

hi richard, i still need to do my bar review too. the bar area is great for a drink at night as well if you manage to get a seat at the bar.

hi tastyfoodsnaps, gotta have crispy batter that's for sure :-)

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