6 blokes at a somewhat impromptu tour through one of Perth's fine dining destinations, Rockpool Bar & Grill.
- Not specifically food related, but I must comment on the first page of Rockpool's menu. It has been around for a few years now at least, perhaps since the restaurant opened, but I really like the way they have set out 'house rules' for the place. They're cute, bordering on wise, and sets the tone for a mature and refined dining experience.
- Obviously we six boozed-up bogans valiantly failed to meet that tone, but the house rules are a nice touch and something I've not seen elsewhere in Perth. Is there another restaurant that does something similar?
- On sitting down we (I say we, but apparently it was just me) told the waiter to just bring us out a bunch of food that tastes good. We later came to regret this decision when we received the bill. That being said, it was nice not to have to sift through and agonise over the menu.
- To start there was a mix of olives of various sizes, oysters, calamari, mussells, squid and pork, and something called the 'four tastes', which I understand is the 'four raw tastes of the sea' though I have no memory of what it came with (possibly a shitload of shellfish?).
- The starters were all effing delicious and probably all we needed to eat for the evening, really. Highlights were the squid and pork and the shellfish. Also, tip for next time, don't bother with the shitty olives - there's $12.00 we didn't need to spend.
- The next course moved away from the ocean and onto the plains, with wagyu fillet, 36 month rib-eye, wagyu rump, 36 month fillet, an assorted greens salad, some boiled greens, cauliflower, chips, baby carrots and onion rings.
- Look, to be honest, the second course was a bit meh and something I could have skipped. The steak was supposed to be medium rare but was much less cooked than that. There was some discussion at the table concerning whether 'medium rare' on a very expensive steak should be the equivalent to 'well done' on a cheaper steak (i.e. you always go two degrees less cooked when you're dealing with fancy meats) but personally I thought the steak was definitely a bit underdone. See for yourself in the pics. The vegetables were boring, though, to be fair, they were designed as a complement to the meats and so probably not meant to be dazzling.
- We had fancy red wine, fancy white wine, espresso martinis, something with sambuca in it and $85 worth of sparkling water. Like the olives and the chips, the sparkling water was simply padding and an area where the wait staff squeezed more money out of us. But everything else was delicious.
- Because we were sitting in the smaller private room we were introduced to our two allocated waiters at the beginning of the evening (It was Giuseppe and someone else) and both were excellent throughout the night. Service really was impeccable. Other than them doing an excellent job in ensuring we spent lots of money (which is exactly what their employers expect them to do!) we had no complaints. Wish more restaurants could have wait staff like them.
- The smaller private room is cosey and gives a good degree of privacy with the doors closed. The table is probably a bit too small for the size of the room, but that allows for more intimate affairs and certainly helped us, given we were all sharing food.
- I mentioned a few reviews ago how the curtains and lighting does an excellent job of ensuring diners forget they're at the Crown Casino, what is a pretty depressing establishment. The overall feel of the restaurant is very classy and well done.
An expensive affair but probably worth it in the end. If you go to a place like Rockpool and let the waiter order for you then prepare to be cushioning your bruised wallet for a few weeks afterwards, but there is no doubt in my mind the Rockpool team met their end of the bargain and gave us some pretty impressive food, impeccable service in a very refined setting. The second course missed the mark, but the first course and Giuseppe's overall efforts far exceeded it. Once the next mining boom hits I'm totally doing it again.
8 somethings with sambuca in them out of 10.