If you had one final meal would you choose a plate of savouries or sweets?
This was the ‘first world problem’ that my friend and I mused over with the assistance of a bottle of red the other night.
Cheesecake over crispy pork belly? Slowly roasted beef cheek over warm chocolate fondant’s? ……. You can clearly see it is a hard decision.
Past history suggests all my best ideas and notions can be found at the bottom of red wine bottles and this specific night was no exception.
The place to solve this ‘problem’………. Rockpool Bar and Grill (A Neil Perry restaurant) It was agreed research via taste testing at one of Perth’s most recently discussed and acclaimed fine dining restaurants would help in the decision-making process.
Seeing I had been wanting to go to Rockpool since it’s opening, I took it upon myself to organise this crusade with a group of 10 friends in tow. Booking was relatively difficult considering the time of year and having a large party, so we settled on a 7pm booking on a Wednesday night. In hind sight going out on a ‘school’ night served us well making us practice self-restraint when it came to ordering cocktails.
Rockpool Bar and Grill
Great Eastern Hwy (Burswood Entertainment Complex)
Burswood, WA 6100
Phone: 08 6252 1900
As I walked up the long passage flanked with pictures of seafood and glass cases of fresh meat, I felt as if I was about to encounter a true gastronomic experience. We were immediately greeted by a number of staff and escorted to our table. Although it was a big restaurant,it’s arrangement with partitioning and mood lighting made it warm and inviting. Being a lover of anything with carbohydrates, I was pleased to find complimentary crusty warm bread waiting patiently for me to devour. As girls do cocktails were ordered at about $18 per drink. Although a little pricey each cocktail was enjoyable in particular the margaritas with charcoal(yes, what santa fills your sack with)salt. If you are a wine person then you will be impressed by the 62 page wine list, which we also dabbled with.
In the spirit of the research entree’s were bypassed to ensure a) we could afford to pay the bill and b) ensure we could fit a savoury main and sweet dessert in. Being indecisive once again the waitress was a great help in suggesting a variety of ‘well loved’ dishes. After being disappointed that they had run out of the popular crispy pork belly, I opted for the Mishima chuck braised in dark lager and onions with potato gnocchi and silver beet ($49). Sides of roast pumpkin and sweet potato with burnt butter and garlic yoghurt ($12) and roasted parsnips and eschallots with swiss chard and ginger ($12) were ordered to share. With one of the girls ordering the Mt Barker char grilled free range chicken ($39) we knew the wait for mains would take 50 minutes to come out as indicated by the extensive menu. Due to good company, drinks and bread this was not a problem, and no one got hurt by a mob of disgruntled hungry women.
The meals arrived together and looked visually appealing. The portion sizes for the meat and fish were substantial, especially with the sides. Surprisingly the pasta serves looked limited however I was assured by my fellow grazers that this was not the case. My meat was top-notch pulling apart with ease. I did add a little more seasoning aka salt, but I will openly admit that this is a bad habit of mine ,which I am yet to successfully give up. As the sound of silence filled the air, I realised that good food was the only way to stop a group of ten girls from incessant talking. Savoury dishes were off to a good start and sweets would have to be of a high standard to make my decision swing that way.
Although tempted by the peanut butter caramel chocolate tart with milk ice-cream ($23), I decided to opt for the hazelnut macaroon sandwich filled with banana ice-cream ($14) (probably influenced by my one true love being a Peters ice-cream giant sandwich). Others opted for the ice cream filled profiterole’s ($16) and the red velvet cupcake with marshmallow icing ($6.50). After such a good main expectations were high, which was perhaps a reason why I was slightly disappointed with the desserts. The macaroon itself was cooked well with a crunch to the outside and soft middle but the flavour combination of hazelnut with banana ice-cream didn’t work for me personally. Mixed reviews were given about the profiterole’s with some wishing for the custard to come back, while others loved the ice-cream and chocolate filling. Most disappointing however was the red velvet cupcake with the marshmallow icing which lacked in flavour and certainly didn’t have the ‘wow factor’ that a restaurant of this calibre and cost usually offer. On the upside, the icing to cupcake-base ratio was great (more icing than base, which I love). With my sister-in-law making officially the worlds best cupcakes (check out her blog ‘top the cupcake’ –http://topthecupcake.blogspot.com/) it may have been an unfair comparison.
So there it is folks based on extensive research at Rockpool, I have come to conclude that savory mains might be the plate of choice should I ever face the ‘one last meal dilemma’. Until that point in time, I have taken a personal oath to continue to eat both savoury and sweet dishes, to establish validity and reliability in the above statement.
Positives: Excellent customer service and wine/food knowledge by the staff, great variety in food and wine list, great atmosphere and complimentary crusty bread.
Negatives: Some financial planning required prior to the visit, no pork belly left and slightly disappointing dessert menu.
Overall it was a fun, tasty and memorable experience. Although I won’t be rushing back for another meal, I certainly won’t object if anyone wishes to take me to dinner here (hint hint).
Love The Fat Cow x.