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.


rockpool-IMG_6697 rockpool-IMG_6651-0


Lobster omelette

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.

Food: 4/5
Value: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Atmosphere: 4.5/5


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


Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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  1. Su

    I’ve been three times to Rockpool. First time was in their opening week, second time the week after and third time was about a weekend ago! Third time I ordered from the bar menu though so I could get the Wagyu burger.

    The lobster menu was not on the menu any of those times, I wish it was!!!!

    I think the best food I had was on my first visit which was the opening week. The chips were fantastic (each subsequent visit we also ordered the chips and while they were perfect on the outside they were so hard and undercooked inside), the mac ‘n’ cheese was PERFECT (I could scream to the rooftops about the mac ‘n’ cheese and unfortunately the next week I told everyone we had to order it because it was soooo and it was tasteless).

    Service has always been very good though. However, I find there are some definite hits and some definite misses. Why 2/3 times the chips are undercooked, I don’t understand. The pork belly dish was pretty much only the fat and no meat, which is not appealing to me.

    They have a chorizo and bean dish, I think they used only some chorizo and another type of cured sausage. Honestly it tasted almost like salami. It just didn’t taste as chorizo should, and it had that salami-like look to it. And it was swimming in oil. Drowned in oil. I get that they include a piece of toasted bread to mop it up with, but it was just so much oil.

    That’s not to say I wouldn’t return. I’d definitely go back again and have the burger and also want to dine in the main restaurant again. I do like that they have a daily menu so there’s also a chance to try something new and different. But my honest opinion is it didn’t live up to the expectations I had based on all the buzz surrounding Rockpool prior to opening. So perhaps I expected too much? All I know is, if a restaurant can get such positive press even prior to opening, they really should be able to execute perfectly something as simple as a cooked chip.

  2. Adrian

    Yum – Wagyu 9+ is such a great cut and having it aged at Rockpool Bar & Grill makes it better. Being big on my steaks, I like to cook my own (un-aged) wagyu 9+ rib eyes these days with home made horseradish cream… Wagyu 9+ rib-eye is amazing.

    I also like the look and feel of the Melbourne Bar & Grill, but the Perth one has its own feel which (probably) matches our casualness more. When I spoke to Neil one time when he was reading the paper at the bar, he said the Melbourne restaurant was designed to fit in with their more bar like culture (which I really like), whereas in Perth he went ahead with a more light and bright feel to match. From the entrance to the bathrooms it all looks amazing imho.

    After having gone *cough* times, I think Rockpool Bar & Grill is a great whole of experience meal. There are quite a few dishes now I can say I personally really enjoy and I can’t think of anywhere else in Perth that compares as a whole experience.

  3. mei

    Adrian – You have just reminded me to drag out the Weber before summer ends (this heatwave has to end sometime!), perhaps to slap a beautiful Wagyu 9+ on it! We found a website a website that sells wagyu online in WA – check it out, let me know what you think:

    Yes, the Perth decor does match the easy going nature of Perth and is already quite sophisticated by our standards! We might be heading back for the wagyu burger soon, can’t wait. It’s an addictive place! Gee, I hope Neil Perry happens to be next to me at the bar next time! Actually, maybe not. I’d probably come across as a babbling groupie lol. Thanks for swinging by!

  4. onya

    Myself and five other people dined in Rockpool Perth Fri 11 March. Overall the experience was extremely disappointing and a return visit at this stage is highly unlikely. The fit out and feel of the restaurant is amazing, superb job. But it is a bit like a school with great facilities with average teachers; one without the other is futile.
    Upon arrival we ordered some cocktails and beers. I ordered 2 cocktails. The first one was garnished with a miserable piece of mint, nothing else. The second cocktail did not arrive until we had been moved from the bar to our table. I had to ask the waiter 15 minutes later whether the cocktail would be arriving. Apologies were voiced from this very pleasant waiter (heavily freckled face, white jacket) who seemed genuinely concerned about the delay. The second cocktail eventually arrived with an unimaginative offering of pineapple. Where is the imagination and art?
    Entrees were fine apart from the over charred rock hard bread on the pork belly entree. My colleague’s sirloin steak was full of sinew. Inexplicably some of the steaks came out cut into neat rectangles. There may be a valid reason for this but the result compromises presentation and the feel of eating a steak. The effect seemed rather amateurish and reminded me of cutting up food for my young child. My T-Bone came with no sauce, if I was supposed to order sauce as an extra this was not indicated to me by the waiter. The chef must have had a moment of culinary inspiration when he decided to place a poorly cut lemon wedge beside the steak. The steak itself was poorly trimmed with too much fat and overdosed with sea salt. The béarnaise that accompanied some of the other steaks was way too acidic and had very little warmth, little aeration and almost splitting.
    The side of potatoes fried in wagyu fat and rosemary was average, basically overpriced Pommes Parmentier. My colleague ordered the boiled green which she indicated was laced with salt and unbearable to eat, I tasted and had to agree. One of our party requested mustard with her steak. The mustard condiments arrived just as the steak was finished. The waiter’s retort was that the steak was fine just by itself, very unprofessional. She offered to take the steak off the bill. Alarm bells should have been ringing at this stage and her supervisor should have been alerted.
    The wine waiter brought the wrong bottle of wine and upon pouring the wine managed to pour part of it over my colleague’s hand. Those who declined wine were not offered an alternative. We had to ask for our water to be topped up on two occasions. The bread had to be asked for. Coffee was served yet we had to ask the waiter for sugar, my local cafe can these basic procedure right.
    There seemed to be a total lack of management of staff. At no time during the meal did the maitre d’hôtel or someone approximating management approach our table and enquire about the quality of the meal or our enjoyment of the night.
    Overall the experience was extremely upsetting and disappointing. Neil Perry was present on the night, in what capacity I am not sure. It seems to be me that his attempt to replicate his other offerings in the eastern states has been severely compromised by the recruitment process. His staff are you letting him down on too many accounts.
    On the top of the menu is quote from Neil Perry, “The cornerstone of good cooking is to source the finest produce”. What he has failed to add is that you need chefs to cook it and waiters to serve it. The best fit out in the world and the finest ingredients does not a restaurant make. Most of the problems encountered are a reflection of average recruitment, poor training and absence of quality control. Did the chefs even taste their food? The average punter might be impressed but discerning diners will not be impressed. There is absolutely no excuse for these defects in a restaurant that is charging these prices.
    A visit to Jacksons, Star Anise or Loose box will provide you with lessons on how a first class dining experience is catered for and the essential match between price charged and expectations met. The Wild Duck in Albany with it limited pool of staff manages to surpass this restaurant. Rockpool on this occasion has failed to deliver a quality dining experience. I do not normally subscribe to critiques on the Internet however I am so incensed with this dining experience that htere are not many options for recourse.

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