Rockpool Sydney

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Leslie and I headed to Rockpool early on a Friday evening to celebrate a special anniversary for us. Whilst I had walked past the old location in the Rocks on many occasions, it was the first time visiting for both of us.

Given the early evening timeslot the restaurant was quite noisy every time someone entered, not helped by the recent roadworks due to the public transport construction occurring throughout the CBD.

A bit of fun perusing the extensive wine list – with some hefty margins

Interestingly unlike some other fine dining restaurants in Sydney, no amuse bouche was served so Leslie jumped straight into the oysters

Said oysters! Leslie enjoyed the citrus dressing that accompanied these.

2 sakes accompanied the first two plates

Amanoto Junmai Daiginjō Akita, Japan
– this was the red bottle – a lighter, clearer sake compared to the next

Chikuma Nishiki ‘Kizan Sanban’ Junmai Ginjō Nama Genshu Nagano, Japan
– the blue bottle – this sake is unpasteurised with no starch, sugars etc

Soy noodles with szechuan pickled daikon, quail tea egg, cucumber and shiso granita

Whilst this was a most pleasant dish – I was served on a chipped plate on the first course of the night, and unfortunately this set the tone for a mundane service from the innumerable staff that served us throughout the night.

Enriched koshihikari rice with kingfish, peach cucumber and celery

A lovely broth, but where’s the spoon to be able to enjoy it all?

Prawn mousse in squid ink sauce

accompanied by 2015 Spinifex ‘Luxe’ Rosè Shiraz Blend Barossa Valley, S.A.

Honey and spelt bread served with konbu butter and fresh ricotta

the butter was fantastic – the rich bread a little too powerful for the delicate ricotta

Premium course – supplement $35

Sterling caviar with soft poached egg and allemande sauce

This was paired with a glass of 2005 Charles Heidsieck Brut Reims, France

The dish was lovely with a (very) small portion of caviar atop a potato nest. Was it significantly better than the standard option? yes, $35 better? no!

Unfortunately at this point, we had a run in with the sommelier, who attempted to push a glass of the flat champagne onto Leslie. It was clearly flat (how, i’m not sure given we were a 6:30pm sitting) and yet it took us pushing for him to begrudgingly open a fresh bottle. To add insult to injury, he then clearly underpoured the glass obviously believing we’d had our money’s worth with the one sip of flat champagne. ergh.

Charcoal grilled swordfish with braised grapefruit, bok choi and seaweed

Char siu roasted partridge with shiitake and leeks

Apologies about the 1/2 eaten meal! Subtle char siu flavour – a nice pairing, if a little on the small side.

Paired with the 2014 Sinapius ‘Home Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Pipers Brook, Tas.

Supplement – $35

Strozzapretti pasta with grilled Moreton Bay Bug

This was easily the best dish of the night, and can be had on their day time a la carte menu ($40), or at the bar at night, for a measly ( 😉 ) $45

Super rich sauce, and tender, delicate flesh. Fantastic dish!

Blue Mountains wagyu softly grilled with wasabi and lime

A zesty side salad was also served, that worked to cleanse the palate after the superbly rich meat.

Paired with the beef was the 2012 La Violetta ‘Almirante y Obispo’ Garnacha/Mataro/Tempranillo Great Southern, W.A.

Vacherin of pandan custard with pineapple granita and mango sorbet

2015 Mt Horrocks ‘Cordon Cut’ Riesling Clare Valley, S.A.

Valhrona chocolate and macadamia with coffee soaked prunes, malt, banana and liquorice ice cream

NV Pfeiffer Classic Topaque Rutherglen, Vic.

Date tart – original since 1984
Earl grey tea with caramelized white chocolate

And a decadent little square of chocolate cake with some fancy spun sugar for our ‘celebration’ (which most tables were receiving)

Unfortunately I didn’t feel this meal was up to the standards of other highly rated restaurants in Sydney.

For example
– no amuse bouche
– I was served a chipped plate on the very first course of the meal
– the sommelier made a scene of us requesting a fresh glass of champagne when the one he served was clearly flat, and then poured a substantially smaller serve
– waiters were difficult to understand- there is only so many times you can ask them to repeat themselves until you give up

and while i’m nitpicking – i do think it’s a bit of a sting in the tail when they charge you $5 for a coffee at the end of a degustation menu.

To finish on a more positive note – the pasta and moreton bay bug was fantastic – and brought back great memories from our time at frenchie and frenchie wine bar

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