Rockpool has always been the place to go for a good piece of steak in Melbourne. While the steak is good, the price is not.
There’s the main dining area and the bar area. The ‘bar menu’ is good value, and you get full access to the proper menu also. You come and ask to sit in the bar area, the area is strictly for walk ins only and they don’t allow for booking. They will either ask if you want to sit at the bar for a drink or you can go and wait at Spice Temple. Spice Temple are owned by the Rockpool Group so either way they’re going to make some money off you. If you do choose this option, they will make a phone call to Spice Temple to grab you when a bar table is ready.
With the bar area you’re not actually sitting at the bar, but there’s another section with a little partition to seperate from the main dining room. You still get to sit on at a table with some comfy chairs, so you don’t need to stress that you’ll be sitting on bar stools!
Rockpool Bar & Grill has to be the most stylish dining room in town with incredibly high ceilings, Manhattan-style Art Deco architecture, private dining rooms including a dress circle upstairs. It’s like something out of Mad Men. And it’s a throwback to a time when money was no object.
Neil Perry is one of Australia’s leading and most influential chefs. Opening Rockpool in 1989, he has since gone outside of the kitchen as his celebrity status grows. He is Rockpool Dining Group’s Brand Ambassador across a dining empire that include Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Spice Temple in Sydney and Melbourne, Rosetta Ristorante in Melbourne and Sydney, Jade Temple, Saké Restaurant & Bar in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Saké Jr and a growing number of Burger Projects across the country.
Big eye tuna tartare with beetroot, black sesame, cumin mayonnaise and harissa
Good quality big eye tuna has a reddish-pinkish flesh colour. Caught in deeper, cooler water, it typically has a higher fat content than Yellowfin and is preferred by sashimi lovers. Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste that is used as the heat for this excellent tuna tartare.
Freshly shucked oysters with mignonette sauce – rocks – clyde river, merimbula
I have always enjoyed Sydney rock oysters – they are easily recognisable for their petite size where a four-year-old could easily be three times smaller than an 18-month-old Pacific oyster. While they are small, they pack all the flavours. Oysters from the Clyde River Estuary are known for being both salty and sweet. The Sydney rock oysters farmed in Merimbula Lake, on the so-called Sapphire Coast of NSW, are said to benefit from the lake’s refreshing tidal flows, resulting in an oyster that has a firm sweet creaminess with a salty quality.
Hand dived port phillip bay scallops with herb and garlic butter
The scallops are hand dived from the pristine waters of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. They grow naturally and are native to Port Phillip Bay, gathering in clusters throughout the bay.
As the scallops are handpicked, the shells are unharmed and are not damaged in any way, like what can occur by the use of a dredge. Handpicking the scallops means that they are not dragged through the sand or mud. This ensures that they are clean and free of any grit.
Whilst the scallops appear to be slightly smaller than their ocean cousins, Port Phillip Bay Scallops are sweet and succulent. I would prefer they are served lightly grilled, as the heavy baking with herbs and garlic butter killed the natural umami.
Salads and Other Things
Confit lamb ribs with orange, mint and sugar snap salad
Fried southern calamari with romesco
Roasted pumpkin and sweet potato with garlic yoghurt and burnt butter
The yoghurt and pumpkin were grilled to perfection and could be eaten on its own.
Wood fired grilled brussels sprouts with specks and chestnuts
This is so yummy, I always make this at home as well. All you need is bacon, pan fried to get out the fats to add flavours to the brussels sprouts.
Boiled mixed greens with extra virgin olive oil and lemon
A bunch of greens, boiled and served warm with just a drizzle of oil and dash of lemon.
Dobson’s russet potato sautéed with wagyu fat, garlic and rosemary
Sides we got dutch potatoes sautéed with wagyu fat, garlic and rosemary. We really didn’t need it but I couldn’t say no to potato with wagyu fat. It was fluffy and had a great hit of flavour.
Beef from the Wood Fired Grill
Provenir dry aged grass fed rib eye on the bone 350g
If you’re all about the grass-fed, the ribeye on the bone is a great way to go. The steak arrives on the more cooked side of medium, instead of medium rare as ordered, but it’s still good.
The process of leaving hunks of beef out to dry in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room is as time-honoured as pickling and canning. It was how beef was prepared before modern food hygiene rules and business interests gave rise to wet-ageing, where beef is vacuum-sealed in a bag and left to mature before sale.
All fresh beef is aged for a least a few days to allow its enzymes to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavour. Wet-aged beef ages faster, which means meat gets to the market quicker. It also retains more water weight – and heavier meat equals bigger profits.
Dry-aging is a costlier endeavour. It produces a lesser yield compared to wet-aging as the moisture loss results in shrinkage as the beef ages. By the time the meat is fully dry-aged, up to 60 percent of it is lost.
Service here is proper and professional. They don’t seem to smile much and they do take their jobs very seriously. They don’t really get anything wrong and if you’re someone who loves proper and professional service, then you’d like the way they go about their business at Rockpool Bar & Grill.
Look across to the open kitchen and you’ll see an amazing number of staff working the grill amidst a mist of cooking smells billowing out like atmospheric dry ice in spotlights. We smell a winner.
Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne
Crown Complex, Melbourne
Tel : +61 3 8648 1900
Date Visited : Jul 2017
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