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Friday, April 13, 2012

Bites: Rockpool Bar and Grill Perth @ Burswood

With her brother and sister visiting us from Adelaide, the little darling and I decided to organise a special meal.  Hearing how Adelaide has such good food had us feel the need to make sure that our dinner did not come up short in anyway.  For this occasion, the little darling decided on paying Rockpool a second visit. 
The famous Rockpool entrace!

After being seated and the menu explained, we were served complimentary bread with sea salt and butter.  While the butter was rich, the bread was slightly harder than what I would have preferred!  Having some salt though, seemed to enrich the taste of the butter and bread altogether!
Complimentary bread and butter!

As there were quite a few of us that night, we shared a few appetizers.  It was a pretty good suggestion by our waiter Simon as sharing allowed us to try and taste the different things Rockpool had to offer.

First up was a warm Salad of Wood Fired Grilled Quail with Smoky Tomatoes, Olives and Herbs.
What its reads is what you get.  The quail for me was cooked perfectly with its meat still slightly pink at the bone.  I also felt that the mixture of herbs really worked well together.  But the highlight for me were the tomatoes which had the acidity and sweetness which binds all the ingredients together.  Unfortunately though, the baby olives are never my favourite ingredients as they carry a distinct taste which I reckon is an acquired one.

Next was the Wagyu Bolognese with Hand Cut Fettuccine.
Just like the one I had before two months ago, this was faultless in every level.  Fettuccine was silky smooth and rolled out thin but not thin enough to break messily.  This was just superb.  Meat was juicy with a hint of crunchiness which till today is still a mystery for me.  Bolognese sauce was rich but not the usual thick and sticky one would expect.  This was super yums!

The next appetizer was the Charcoal Roast Chorizo, Potato and White Beans
Despite being sautéed in heaps of oil, it was all good. Caramelized onions were all the hype in that dish. Chorizos were OK while the potato and white beans provided a good medium to have the onions and chorizos with. What I did not enjoy was the bread that came with it.  Too dry that it did not even help absorb the charcoal flavour of the dish.  Still a recommended appetizer!

Charcoal Roast King Prawns, Split and Marinated.
These prawns were highly recommended by our waiter that night.  Nevertheless, it failed to ‘wow’ me because despite being tasty, it was nothing new.  Prawns came out small albeit being called king prawns.  Marinade was delicious but it was all too common.  This felt like something my aunty would do better than what I had at Rockpool.  While it was delicious, it was to me, too simple.

After having 5 appetizers to share, we then waited for our mains.  While doing so, we decided to have a little picture session among ourselves considering that we had the whole VIP room to ourselves :)!
Xin Woei, Yvonne, Nee Nee and Fishman!

Little darling’s brother and sister, Ern Ser and Audrey with her!

After a good chat, our mains were served.
For the little darling, she ordered a Seared King Prawns with Goats Cheese Tortellini, Burnt Butter, Pine Nuts and Raisins.  It was so rich.  Every bite was filled with creamy cheese which was for most people on the table, over the top.  While flavours had a hint of sweetness, saltiness and fruitiness, none was enough to tone down the stench of the goat’s cheese.  It was ok for me but the rest of the people, they still could not accept it.

4 cuts of steak ranging from scotch fillet to rib eye as well as the T-bone!   In a restaurant that prides itself for butchering and dry ageing their beef in house, the quality of the steak surely did not disappoint.  With the scotch fillet and rib-eye cooked to medium, the melt in your mouth feel was sensational!  No wonder Rockpool has been branded as a bovine heaven by some.  Unfortunately though, the T-Bones were cooked to medium-well done which resulted in a tougher than desired steak.  So what would I recommend?  For a budget, definitely the Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old  Grass Fed Kettle’s 240gm Scotch Fillet.  For indulgence, non-other than the $120 full blood Wagyu Fillet!

On top of the steak, we also ordered sides to share.
Onion rings came out XXX-Large but it was inconsistently crunchy!  Would not complain for 8 bucks though!

Cauliflower and Cheese Gratin was yummy and tasty! It would have been heaps better if the cauliflower was cook through!  I thought that it could have been in the oven for a tad longer!

Royal Blue Potatoes Sautéed in Wagyu Fat with Rosemary and Garlic was full flavoured!  Very tasty morsel to go with the steak!

“Mac and Cheese”! This was the ugliest photo of the night but it was the best side for the night.  The sauce was to die for, the mac and cheese was baked to perfection with a crisp top! Totally yummy!

After stuffing ourselves with all the food, we moved on to the final phase of the night; DESSERT!  While we were close to ditching the dessert, the little darling thought otherwise. 
Nee nee and her sister ordered a Peanut, Caramel Chocolate Tart with Milk Ice Cream.  This beautiful dessert looks like a piece of art but in reality, it felt like a giant ‘pod chocolate’ with a scoop ice cream.   Inside, the caramel was slightly overpowering.  For me, the ratio felt quite disproportionate.  Too much caramel, but so little crust to go with.  As the waiter described it, this was really a monster by all means when it comes to dessert!

The Raspberry Mille Feuille was the little darling’s choice! Her request was sour and she got what she wanted.  Sandwiched between thin pieces of pastry was raspberries and cream before being top with a scoop of sorbet and gold. What was seriously sour on its first bite became deliciously fruity over time.  It was quite an outstanding dessert if you’d ask me!  Slight caramelisation of the pastry is just magic when you realise all the little attention to detail that was put into producing this lovely dessert!

For me, I chose Fig and Hazelnut Tart with White Clover Honey Mousse! The mousse was fragrant with a hint of honey on the tart.  Fresh fig slices were lined with carefully piped mousse over a sponge bed.  Smashing!  Nothing overly sweet or sickening.  The whole dessert was very refreshing and truthfully, it kept me wanting more.  This for me, was the best dessert of the night.  With fresh figs, hazelnut and the honey mousse so there was so much harmony in the ingredients leading up to dessert.  All of it together really;  felt quite mellow.

Overall, I found the meal to be consistent with what I had before.  The multi-award winning restaurant has had some rave reviews recently which to me was seemingly fair considering how our Valentines Day visit went pretty well before and speaking of impeccable service by the wait staff, they were every bit helpful.  While this was all very fancy and superb, it had me thinking from the perspective of just the food quality.   There was no doubt that the food tonight was yummy but if I had not shared my dishes tonight, it would easily cost something like 90-150 per head which is really costly.  For that sort of price there are heaps of other restaurants including Amúse, Jacksons, Nine Fine Food, Friends and so much more.  In places like that, $150 gets you a 7-10 course degustation with impeccable service too.  Would it really be worth it to go for Rockpool? My take? Yes.

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon