My second Rockpool experience was for a family celebration some months back. And most recently, I was taken there on a date. (Yes, I am a very lucky girl).
I have to say, the service, in general, has vastly improved since my first visit. Both times, there were no longer any glaring problems with the service. And on my last visit, our waiter and our sommelier were particularly wonderful. They were both friendly and knowledgeable, and really contributed to us having a great night.
Now, onto what Rockpool is famous for - the food! I took lots of photos on the second visit, but none on the third visit (what with trying to look cool and everything). I will attempt to do them justice in words below.
I am embarassed to say I can't remember exactly what this salad was. It was a few months ago, and the particular item doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore. There was a boiled egg, some tuna, which sat atop a selection of salads - a bit of carrot salad, some coleslaw with a wonderful mayonnaise dressing, among other things.
Horseradish and béarnaise sauce. And on a side note, having just uploaded these photos, I now remember where my Pullivuyt obsession must have started! A short while after this dinner, I bought these same little pyrimidial dishes (approx. $13 at leading homeware stores), and have used them as condiment plates, and cute pudding moulds too.
For my last visit, I remember some especially lovely dishes: the 'Chicken and Egg Soup', Blue Fin Tuna Carpaccio with Black Olive Oil, Pine Nuts and Herbs, the Wagyu Chuck Steak Braised in Red Wine with Gremolata and Potato Purée, and the Blood Orange and Prosecco Ripple Ice Cream Sandwich.
The 'Chicken and Egg Soup' comprised a deeply chickeny broth, tiny cubes of chicken meat, pieces of spinach and a softly poached egg in the centre. The fact that it was voraciously devoured by someone who routinely adds 2 Maggi stock cubes when making soup at home speaks volumes.
My entrée, the Blue Fin Tuna Carpaccio, was also delicious. It had 4 pieces of the freshest tuna I'd ever had, drizzled with black olive oil, pine nuts, tiny triangular lemon pieces, and some greens. It also came with chargrilled bread, which was doused in garlic oil.
The Wagyu Chuck Steak was meltingly tender, with an intensely flavoured sauce, a sprinkling of gremolata on the top, and a velvety smooth potato purée. The meat was cooked so well that it could be eaten with just a fork.
The ice-cream sandwich dessert was a perfect light ending to a large meal. There were 3 small quenelles of the prosecco and blood orange-ripple sorbet, sitting between 2 meringue rectangles. It was topped with a quenelle of cream and some orange rind. On the side was an anise-flavoured fruit salad, which I think had blood orange and some other fruits in it.
So as you can see, I am absolutely enamoured with the food at Rockpool. And on my last visit, the service of the waitstaff was really excellent. I would recommend Rockpool to someone who's after a special dining experience, and who is willing to pay for it.
There was one, small, teensy weensy problem with our last visit, which I feel I should mention. When we arrived, we were told that the system had lost our booking. The staff member greeting us (the restaurant world's equivalent of a nightclub bouncer) was rather rude to us about it, implying we didn't have a booking. We felt that this could have been because we didn't look like typical Rockpool clientele. In the end, however, our problem was solved. Once the "bouncer" realised why we were there, we were treated like real customers should been from the beginning, and the attitude was gone. Having overcome those small problems, we ended up having a fabulous night.