Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rockpool Bar and Grill, City

I had originally planned to go to Rockpool Bar and Grill with my New York travel buddy Miss M. We were going to catch up one Thursday night after work and plan our Big Apple escapes. Alas Miss M was sick the night of our scheduled rendezvous so we postponed to the following week, however she forgot she had a work function on. The following week sounded good to both of us so we locked it in our diaries. Oops – Miss M forgot she was going to be in we took a rain check and I thought I’d never end up at Rockpool Bar and Grill (our trip to NYC has been booked and paid for 8 months in advance however so we were DEFINELTY going to meet up there...definitely).

When Miss M raised the idea of one last try for dinner at Rockpool Bar and Grill a few weeks ago I said yes...but as a safeguard I invited Miss Chicken along too. At least that way I guaranteed a dinner date even if Miss M’s diary got the better of her again.

I am pleased to report that both of my dining companions showed up that night and we had a wonderful time at the jaw-dropingly beautiful art deco Rockpool Bar and Grill. Miss M and I arrived a tad before our 6pm booking so we took a seat in the bar and had a drink each and marvelled at the stupendous Ridel glass chandelier that dwarfs the bar below it. The chandelier is made of nearly 3000 wine glasses – which takes 20 staff five hours to disassemble, clean and put back to gather. I wonder how many people call in sick on “cleaning day”?

My jaw drops even further when we make our way into the restaurant proper. Wow – what a stunning room! The restaurant is housed in a cavernous space with a roof that is two stories high and supported by huge marble columns. The whole room feels like it’s out of the set of a Batman movie...or perhaps even something you’d see in Mad Men. STUNNING! Despite the room’s vast interior it still feels warm and cosy with the use of leather seats, warm tones and carpets to buffer the sound of the other diners.

Once again I am on a budget and a night at Rockpool Bar and Grill could quickly get quite expensive if you don’t take note of what you’re eating and drinking. Whilst there are more than a few reasonably priced mains on offer there are also a few dishes that are out of my price range (like the $600 caviar dish for example – a girl can dream, right)?

We each decide to order two entrees and share some side dishes, though Miss M gets sidetracked by a wonderful sounding special so ends up getting an entree and a main.  The dinner starts with some lovely bread and creamy-smooth butter.

Of course Rockpool Bar and Grill is another uber-dark restaurant and I continue to struggle on with Mr Nikon (he quite likes the fancy schmancy meals you see). I promise I will NOT whinge at all during this post about my dark, blurry, fuzzy-wuzzy photos (except for the whinge I just had).

Both Miss Chicken and I start off with a hot starter of Charcoal Roast Squid and Pork Belly ($28.00). The serving size is quite large for a starter and much more generous than I had thought it would be in a fancy place like this. The dish has quite a lot of caramelised onion which I love and the addition of some crispy bread makes it a very substantial entree.

I really struggle with what to choose for my second entree as everything on the menu sounds so appealing. As I quite enjoyed my foray into steak tartare at Ms G’s I deice I’ll give it another try and order “My” Steak Tartare with Chips ($25.00). This version of steak tartare is much more creamy looking, less red in colour, and less obviously a plate of raw meat than the version I had at Ms G’s. For the uninitiated, if you didn’t tell them what they were eating they would really have no idea this is a a plate of essentially raw meat. It tastes better than it sounds trust me – super creamy and smooth, and it goes perfectly with the super fat chips that it is served with. The texture is quite similar to a smoked salmon dip.

For sides we order a small serve of “Mac and Cheese” ($9.00) as this dish had been highly recommended to me by a few people. It’s deliciously creamy with a crispy topping and incredibly morish. It’s served in little metal dish, so you don’t get the crunchy bits of the bottom of the dish like you would if you made it at home.

Given my recent discover at Porteno that Brussel Sprouts don’t need to taste like overcooked balls of snot, we agree to order Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Speck and Chestnuts ($12.00). I liked these, but not as much as the deep fried version at Porteno, as they still had the bitter taste I associate with Brussel Sprouts. Deep-frying makes everything better in my opinion, although I would happily order these again.

We finish the meal with some Petit Fours - Salted Butter Caramels ($8.00) which are deliciously salting and sweet. It’s a nice way to finish the meal – on a sweet note, but without the stomach bursting option of a rich dessert.

What a great night I had at Rockpool Bar and Grill. I’m already plotting my return visit ASAP! Maybe The Boy will buy me my $600 caviar dish...or maybe not.

Rockpool Bar and Grill is at 66 Hunter Street, Sydney. Phone them on 8078 1900.

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. I couldn't finish the mac and cheese here because it was too rich!

  2. Smart choices: a little bit of everything and easy on the wallet. This is one of the top restaurants in my wishlist.

  3. finally after 3 fail visits! $600 caviar..that would be nice! :D

  4. Mmm yummy! And what an interesting fact re all those glasses - that's crazy!

  5. "my New York travel buddy Miss M. We were going to catch up one Thursday night after work and plan our Big Apple escapes. .....(our trip to NYC has been booked and paid for 8 months in advance however so we were DEFINELTY going to meet up there...definitely).

    What a great night I had at Rockpool Bar and Grill. I’m already plotting my return visit ASAP! Maybe The Boy will buy me my $600 caviar dish...or maybe not."

    Miss Piggy, Miss Piggy, shame on you. Reading between the lines you sound like you are heading for a divorce and other unpleasant experiences . You should be spending more time going out with your guy and less with the girls. Most certainly OS holidays should be spent with your other half. While having your guy dish out $600 to prove his love is a little immature. I'm like your guardian angel and I wish you well in your life's travels, but I can't help reading between the lines to be a little concerned that you might be traveling the wrong direction in your life. Take care.

  6. The charcoal roast squid and pork belly sounds delish. I love caramelised onions too.

  7. I love a good mac & cheese! And their's sounds really good!

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I want to go back (last time I went my work paid, and we had beautiful steaks). The salted caramels are such a good finish! :D

  9. so glad u finally got to go! i really did like the Charcoal Roast Squid and Pork Belly and who can say no to salted caramels?

  10. yummers i could do with some caviar hehe :) ooh that tartare is quite unusual looking to the ones i've had, it really doesn't look like raw meat! can't wait to go back, love the food at b&g!

  11. oh MR/Ms Anonymous - friends are just as important as partners ;)

    yay for you finally arriving those caramels sound delish :D

  12. You're deliberately picking out dark restaurants now, aren't you? :) Well done, the pics look good.

  13. Anonymous needs to relax. I'm glad you finally got to go! That mac and cheese looks divine, I'll make the time to visit here one day :)

  14. We went to Rockpool Bar & Grill on Saturday! How amazing is the food and the dining room? Those sprouts look delish! I maintain that Brussels sprouts with anything pork-related is always a winning combination!

  15. Third time lucky was it? So happy you got to enjoy the great food and service Rockpool BG has to offer. PS How come we never get salted caramels in Melbourne??? :-/

  16. The food looks awesome. I've been meaning to go here for a while. I think you deserve the caviar!

  17. All looks fantastic, but hey I expected that. Made Neil's mac & cheese on Sunday night for dinner, it really is rich and filled with butter, cheese and all those indulgent no nos.

    Now regarding Mr/Ms Anonymous, isn't it funny when people have a dig at your posts they don't have the balls to leave a name which means giving you an email address to refer to? Guardian angel, I don't think so.

    Enjoy your trip to NYC with Miss M and live it up. Then enjoy many romantic evenings snuggled up with the boy sharing the stories, memories and photos of your girls only trip :)

  18. So why isn't the boy going to NYC with Mrs Piggy?
    You figure that out Einstein.

  19. You are a blogging machine! I love the dishes you chose. Squid and pork belly!, and those chips, that mac' n cheese!!! I must get there!

  20. Hi Everyone - thanks for your comments, it was certainly an amazing dinner in an amazing space.

    Anon - don't worry about me, my marriage is more than A OK. The Boy & I spend more than enough time together and as we all know it's important to spend time together and also apart persuing our own hobbies and friends. Thanks for your concern tho...

  21. MAC AND CHEESE!! MAC AND CHEESE! even though I'm lactose intolerant, I WILL NOT give up mac and cheese! Their's look too good to be true! Must try it.

  22. I went here last weekend for a friend's birthday! So glamourous, classy and elegant along with excellent food. But LOL at Brussels sprouts = "overcooked balls of snot"!


Thanks for leaving your comment!

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Free Blog Template by June Lily