If you haven't heard of Rockpool I'd be wondering where you've been for the last year or so that its been open. You might not have taken the blow to the wallet and gone there, but I'm sure you've read the reviews or heard what people have to say about it.
When you arrive at Rockpool you step into another world. The windows in the hallway see through to the wine cellar on one side and the fridge of steaks in the other.
From there the sliding doors pull back automatically and you walk into a world of opulence.
Rockpool is huge. Decked out with low 'mood' lighting and curtains that hide away table after table.
The number of staff is staggering, all of them greeting you happily as you enter the restaurant.
We started off our night with a quick drink at the bar. My best friend Carly's having a glass of red while I opted for a tart cocktail known as Jack Rose. Applejack, real grenadine and lime. It was tangy and had the kind of zing that makes you feel like ordering another straight away. The perfect palate cleanser before we were led to our table to begin a night of over-indulging.
We decided to share our entree, selecting the fried calamari with a perfect quinele of romesco sauce ($28) sitting beside it. The squid had the exact amount of crunch it needed, the dish seasoned correctly while keeping it fresh and moorish. Underneath the calamari was a nest of seaweed and red cabbage which had some slices of red chilli throughout.
The waitress was also on hand to offer us some complimentary fresh baked bread - that came with a very decadent slab of creamy butter. Yes real butter - one of the best things around. I have to stop myself from devouring the entire stack of warm bread she has on hand because I know that I am about to embark on a feast. But that bread... it calls to us and Carly's looking incredibly happy as she munches away.
The appropriate amount of time later our mains arrived, wafting a delicious scent under our noses. I was sated from the bread and calamari, but seeing more food in front of me incited an eating machine from deep within.
Carly went for the dish I would have if she didn't. A goats cheese tortellini with seared king prawns, burnt butter, raisins and pine nuts ($35). It looked small but it packed a punch like pasta always does. The flavour was great, though it probably could have used a bit more sauce. But it was elegantly presented and deceptive in its serving size.
Goats cheese tortellini
I went for the 250 grams Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 month old grass fed fillet steak ($55). Not my original choice - I was going to order the Wagyu but since I eat my steak rare, it wasn't recommended by our helpful waitress given the meat's high fat content. But I was more than happy with what I got.
Cape Grim steak
The steak was (to Carly's intrigue) just the way I like it. Seared on the edges and untouched in the centre. My knife cut through it with no resistance; the meat melting in my mouth.
The condiments that come with it were a lovely touch. The bernaise sauce one of the best I've had and the hot english mustard living up to its name. It was a dish I had to take my time to get through as it was a LARGE serving for me. Especially because Carly and I decided to share a cauliflower and cheese gratin ($12) on the side.
There was a great selection of sides to choose from. We ummed and arred between what we got and the onion rings before making a decision. The dish wasn't bad but it was slightly runnier than I like it to be, and the cheese used had a strange aftertaste. But to some palates they might have loved it.
Cauliflower and cheese
We had taken so long with entree and mains that when it came to ordering dessert we had to be moved from our table to the bar area. That was a bit disappointing but at the end of the day it meant we got to have dessert. And they were the best dishes of the night.
We decided to share - like we usually do. Passionfruit pavlova ($21) that was sky high and had meringue inside so soft it was like eating a cloud. The edges were crunchy, the passionfruit sweet. And on top was a mountain of cream that made the dish extra decadent. Really phenomenal stuff.
And the other dessert we choose was lemon curd doughnuts ($23) with shredded apple that was cooked in lemon juice and served with vanilla bean ice cream. Yum yum yum. A heavy dish but still really amazing and had definite wow factor.
Lemon curd doughnuts
All up Rockpool didn't disappoint. As Carly stated on the night, it'll never be a restaurant I'd call my favourite, but there were some standout flavours and dishes I'll always remember. It's the kind of place you need to go to to say you've been; one that I will think of fondly. Though hopefully I'll forget the dollar figure on the bill.
For more information about Rockpool Bar & Grill visit them on their website or view their menu online.