rockpool bar & grill – burswood
Neil Perry – he’s in there, somewhere.
I’m a bit of a Neil Perry fan – I cook from his books regularly (been on a Balance & Harmony bender lately, until my sister borrowed it from me. Ahem.) and like a lot of people, have been to the Melbourne Rockpool and really liked it.
It appears that first impressions count. The entrance is like a candlelit runway, offering glimpses into the meat and wine cellars.
Opening out to the kitchen and the front of house, the interior is captivating (though I have to admit, not as beautiful as Melbourne’s Rockpool) – the mottled wallpaper and differing textures from sheer drop curtains and twine bound lights give an intimate, organic feel.
We started with the lobster omelette, which was thin, delicate and soft, folded over chunks of lobster leg meat. Served with a velvety lobster bisque sauce which added a kick of shellfish flavour to the dish, it was delicious!
Wood fire grilled White Rocks veal sweetbread with eggplant, harissa and cumin mayonnaise
Paired with a strong flavours – cumin mayonnaise, eggplant and harissa – the liver-ish, crumbly, almost smooth mouthfeel of the White Rocks veal sweetbread starter was surprisingly, very good.
This was my first time eating thymus glands and I loved it. Perfect for offal enthusiasts and for those who don’t like offal, this is the dish to convert you.
This is what a $110 steak looks like.
Food service here is very efficient – not long after the starters were cleared, our steaks arrived. K’s pre-destined (I say pre-destined because he knew his order three weeks in advance..!) David Blackmore’s dry aged wagyu sirloin was delicious (it ought to be at $110 a pop).
The 9+ marble score sirloin is buttery and almost melt-in-the-mouth. The fat is amazingly silky and has a gentle, cushiony texture with delicate taste. The steak in one word: luxuriant. It’s worth the money but if you are going bang for your buck, I would recommend the Rangers Valley grain fed dry aged 440g rib eye ($70).
David Blackmore’s dry aged full blood wagyu sirloin.
Rangers Valley dry aged 300 day grain fed rib eye on the bone
The rib eye was huge, much bigger than anticipated. I ordered rare – and for once, that was what arrived! The rib eye was tender but had some pleasing chew and a deep earthy flavour from the grain fed marbling of fat.
The steak also had a smoky flavoured from being seared over the grill. Usually I would gnaw the bone from the rib eye, but my steak had been charred a bit too much and by the last bite, it left a bitter taste.
Otherwise it was a fantastic steak, with the flavour of 57 days dry aging shining through.
Cooked rare – rib eye on the bone.
The steaks come with sides like mustard and harissa, bearnaise sauce and a lemon slice – good for cutting through the fat. But otherwise, sides are ordered separately and these are easily the highlight of a visit to Rockpool.
There are plenty of choices and true to character, we went for the heart stopping ones. For research purposes, of course.
Onion rings and the addictive “mac and cheese”.
The onion rings were a winning combination – light and crunchy batter with tender red onion, minus excess grease. Some were stuck together but the more the merrier.
Resembling the colour of highlighter fluid (from Red Leicester cheese perhaps), the “mac and cheese” had a topping of grilled breadcrumbs, which set off the runny sauce with some graininess. Although the dish didn’t turn out as I expected, the pasta was really addictive.
By this time we were incredibly full. Like roll-me-out-the-door full. But we decided to suck it up and march on to dessert.
At this point we saw the only fault in service the whole night – despite waiters, busboys and a manager walking past, our plates were left uncleared. A good ten minutes passed before someone noticed and we could order our desserts.
Hazelnut macaron banana sorbet ice cream sandwich.
Who could resist the hazelnut macaron banana ice cream sandwich? It was a bit too sweet and the macarons were too chewy – but, the banana sorbet was fantastic.
K had the black forest trifle which initially appeared to be a huge lump of mascarpone cream. Hiding beneath the quilt of softly whipped cream were superb plump alcoholic cherries and chocolate mousse.
Left: Black forest trifle. Right: The dining room.
Glass tea set with the end of meal complimentary caramel popcorn (upper right).
Despite the prices, it’s important to remember Rockpool is not fine dining. It’s a bar and grill, which does semi-casual food with top notch, local ingredients, with a menu that boasts a range which is second to none.
There’s some really interesting dishes on the menu (not including the further wine and cocktail menus). The presence of Alaskan king crab, partridge, bottarga, wagyu ribs, jamon, vongole clams – are enough for crazed foodies to return for second, third, or even fourth visits! There’s something, albeit exquisite and pricey, for everybody.
All this in a sleek looking restaurant.
Overall, I think at Rockpool, you get what you pay for. You pay for crowd pleasing, great food, cooked perfectly with good service.
Being a bit of a fanatic, I rang up ages ago for a booking and thought better of it and booked into their third week and sure enough, we didn’t see any lingering teething problems.
Though we experienced slightly patchy service, dinner was decadent, rich and I almost had to be rolled out the door. Now if that isn’t a good experience, I don’t know what is.
Up’s: Top notch menu with amazing produce. Well executed food – each dish was pretty impressive. Good looking restaurant.
Down’s: Desserts were too sweet. Service was slightly patchy. Expensive – but you pay for what you get.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Great Eastern Hwy (Burswood Entertainment Complex), Burswood WA 6100
T: (08) 6252 1900
Sun – Fri Lunch 12pm – 3pm
7 days Dinner 6pm – late
Bar 7 days 12pm until late
add a comment.
You may use Markdown syntax in your comments.