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Guest Post – Rockpool Bar & Grill

Hi – today something a little different.  My friend Robert and his wife Bronlynn are our long time ‘Overseas Bite Sized Food Adventures’ travel companions.  As Bron & I are in Bali at the moment, Robert has written a guest post.  He said ‘Sorry, no photos’ but luckily, I came prepared so here’s one of the two of us enjoying a Bite Sized Food Adventure in Turkey.
Fiona & Robert in Istanbul

Fiona & Robert in Istanbul

As part of a recent weekend in Sydney, we went to Rockpool Bar and Grill (RB&G).  It was one of the three things that we had planned to do in Sydney; along with the Picasso exhibition and Bridge Climb, so we were really looking forward to it.RB&G is in the old City Mutual building in Hunter Street, right in the heart of the financial district.  There is almost nothing else open at night around that part of town, so it is an unusual spot for a restaurant.

However, the building itself more than makes up for the lack of atmosphere on the streets.  The 11-storey building was opened in 1936 and was the tallest building in Sydney at the time.  It is a gorgeous art-deco building, full of marble floors and columns.  It’s almost like an art-deco time capsule, where you expect to find Georges opening the door to Hercule Poirot’s apartment, and letting in a prospective client.

The restaurant is a large room, very dark, and with a reception desk bigger than most hotels.  There is a large bar area and a smallish mezzanine area.  It was busy, with barely an empty table, and some tables did two sittings while we were there.  This is a large operation.

We were led to our table, which was right in a corner and behind one of the glassware stations.  I was initially a bit worried about the level of service that we would receive – being tucked into the corner – but I needn’t have; it was attentive and professional.  (As an example, there was a young couple at the table next to us.  She mentioned that it was her birthday, and the next thing we saw was a cupcake with a birthday candle being delivered to the table.)

We started with a glass each of René Geoffroy ‘Empreinte’ Champagne, which was very dry and just delicious.

The menu is A3-sized, and printed on heavy paper.  It shows the day’s date, so it obviously changes daily.  It is quite “busy” with a lot of choices.

We shared an entree – one of the specials of the day – 3 Rottnest scallops, roasted simply.  Bronlynn commented that she thought that they were “cooked perfectly” but probably a bit underdone to her taste.

For main course, Bron ordered from the “Main Plate” section of the menu.  She had a Wagyu braised chuck with gremolata, roasted cherry tomatoes and potato puree.  The chuck was very tender and full-flavoured.  Bron particularly liked the gremolata too.  Her only quibble was that it was served in a bowl, not on a plate, which made it a bit difficult to cut.

I ordered from the “Beef from the Wood Fired Grill” section of the menu.  I had the Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone.  It was the best steak I have ever had, tasty, and perfectly grilled with a bit of crunch on the surface, and medium-rare in the middle.  It came with a béarnaise sauce. We also had a couple of sides: Organic Carrots Inspired by St John’s, and Zucchini with Garlic, Lemon and Mint.  Bronlynn described the second one as the best zucchini she has ever had.

We had a half-bottle of Bordeaux with the mains.  I can’t remember which one, as the sommelier could not find our first choice and so offered an alternative which I couldn’t find on the wine list.  (I’m guessing that this is an occupational hazard with the wine list and cellar at RB&G!)I had the Dark Chocolate Pudding Tart with Chocolate Sorbet for dessert, which was everything that you’d expect.  Rich, chocolaty and gooey.  Bronlynn had the Devils Food Cupcake with Mascarpone Cream from the Petit Fours section of the menu.  Hint, if you go to RB&G, and you can’t manage a full-size dessert, then this is your choice.  Bron washed that down with a glass of Seppeltsfield ‘Grand’ Rutherglen Tokay, and I had a Château Roûmieu-Lacoste ‘Cuvée Classique’ Sauternes.

After that we had coffee, which came with caramel popcorn – or as we called them, “Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs”.

All in all, RB&G is a fantastic experience.  The name should give it away, but it does lean heavily toward the “grill” side of things.  So in a nutshell I had the poshest, tastiest, nicest, bestest steak and vegetables ever*.  I would recommend it to anyone as a very special dining experience.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

66 Hunter St
Sydney   NSW   2000
http://www.rockpool.com/sydney/bar-and-grill/Visited: Saturday  – Dinner Service 

* Whilst this may be true, Robert has stolen this quote from Bronlynn – TIFFIN

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1 comment… add one
  • Shannan April 17, 2012, 8:16 pm

    Lovely to have a guest review. I look forward to visiting next time I'm in Sydney.

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