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