11 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000
New name, same location
“With an emphasis on this country’s finest and most sustainable produce, Executive Chef Phil Wood’s seasonally inspired a la carte menu offers a diverse selection of modern Australian dishes, interspersed with celebrated classics from Rockpool’s rich culinary history. ”
Eleven Bridge now sits where Rockpool Est. 1989 was with an introduced a la carte menu, similar decor and new polished floorboards, and apparently a new kitchen floor as well. Service is polite, formal and professional. French cart service brings a bit of theatre to the table. The complimentary special appetiser of chicken wing in kombu butter topped with caviar is so good if you're lucky to get one and overshadows the amuse-bouche of crisp nori with crab meat. Complimentary sourdough bread served with an addictive kombu butter and light tasting housemade ricotta made just that morning makes for a nice start as you wait for your first dish.
Sydney Rock Oysters served natural ($4.50) from Merimbula have a nice amount of brine and are presented well on ice with a netted lemon. The tasty side dressing goes really well as an option. I've decided to match with a glass of their featured Nantua by Giaconda Chardonnay 2015 ($25) with lovely flavour and buttery notes. For main the Roast lobster served with various garnishes and congee sauce ($120 market price) is plated table side from a trolley. The local lobster is cooked well with a decent amount of meat for its size. The sauce is tasty although has quite a few 'garnishes' added which goes against the 'less is more' preference for me. Not so keen on the crispy fried bits of bread which probably suits a more traditional congee soup and I think I'd probably be just as happy with a couple less ingredients so the dish focussed more on the tasty sauce base and allowed the lobster meat to shine as the main ingredient. Just before finishing a complimentary leaf salad with palm sugar vinaigrette is served to help cleanse the palate and enjoy with any remaining sauce on the plate.
For dessert the legendary Date tart — original recipe from 1984 ($20) was a must. Rockpool Est. 1989 used to serve small slices as petit fours but now its made its way on the dessert menu. You could probably share but it's light enough to enjoy all to yourself. A selection of four petit fours follows for an extra sugar hit. I probably should have ordered a coffee at this point to help wash it all down. The choux pastry one was so surprisingly light in texture and a favourite. After checking out the nice toilets upstairs (with welcomed privacy screens I should add) I spotted a romantic table for two on the balcony which apparently is table 50, or affectionately known as the Romeo & Juliet table. If you're planning a date night this is the one to ask for in your booking. All in all a very pleasant dining experience and one that leaves me curious to try more of the menu.