Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth was my first massive steak crush. Between its bolder flavoured grain-fed or the more mellow, lighter tasting grass-fed beef, there was always something for everyone. As Australia’s first internationally acclaimed restaurant, I have always wondered how does Rockpool Bar and Grill in Melbourne compare to the one back home in Perth. On a cool Sunday night, I decide to take a trip to Bovine Heaven. Whilst I have no pictures of the entrance, the original Rockpool Bar and Grill in Melbourne sports the same long hallway graced by cuts of beef being dry-aged. A true sight to behold! Its interior was darker than the establishment in Perth but sets the mood for a good night out.
But food beyond anything else is key to my verdict of any restaurant. Why should it not be after all? Our starter was a Wagyu Bolognese. A classic favourite since my first trip to Rockpool back in Perth! Here, the waiter takes courtesy of plating a main size one into two appetiser sized ones to avoid the fuss of splitting.
With no questions, the mince melts in your mouth whilst the sauce was just perfect. But the pasta was not as thin as the one in Perth!
The grain-fed rib eye.
Its dark red middle is symbolic of why dry-aged beef is such a priceless commodity among foodies and beef lovers alike! The flavour is just yums and the way Rockpool cooks the steak always elevates the joy of eating it. At Rockpool, a perfectly charred steak that never fails to hit the sweet spot is a norm. Tender, cooked to order and the temperature of frying the steak is just spot on! For my condiments, I chose the Dijon Mustard and Harissa as both help bring the best out of the steak! But if you are not a fan of mild mustard, the spice laden Harissa might just be your thing.
No meal at Rockpool is ever complete without its famed Mac n Cheese side. And what can I say? Fat on fat on fat? Nobody got time for concerns! It was yummy! But for some reason though, the charm it first had on me 3 years ago had seemed to worn off. It no longer felt all that special.. and I wonder why!
We also ordered a side of chopped salad which looked absolutely rubbish after being tossed in the dressing but here is a picture of the oven-roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes topped with a roasted garlic yoghurt. This was really nice! It was my second time having it at Rockpool and I still cannot get over the way the garlicky condiment harmonises with the sweet edible tuber!
A sweet ending of what I can only remember now as some sort of cheese cake with strawberries, meringue and what I believe instead of a biscuit base, was grated coconut? Hahaha I really was so full at this point that sharing a dessert was all my stomach can afford.
But I have to say, it was an impressive slice this one. I was quite hesitant to follow XL’s choice of cake because cheesecakes had always been a fairly “heavy” dessert but this felt nothing like the conventional cheesecakes! Instead it was rather refreshing and led the dinner to a good ending!
A meal at any Rockpool establishment comes with a tag that most find unjustifiable. But coming here once a year for that once in a blue moon treat makes a lot of sense to me. You get the prime service, absolutely delicious steaks and over all, an amazing meal. The food here does not carry the cues of modern molecular gastronomy and lacks the necessary elements of surprise of fine dining but what Rockpool does is make the classic staples like steak & chips, absolutely spectacular. I mean after all lets be honest to ourselves, how many times have you been served an absolutely rubbish $30 steak? 1 too many I’d say.