When it comes to must-do Sydney food experiences, Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill is right up there. From its opulent, green-marbled, art deco interior to the choreographed service from floor staff and an occasional thrilling glimpse of that famous ponytail, this striking sibling of Perry’s Rockpool family is something special. But the dramatic decor isn’t what entices the well-heeled masses.
It is, of course, the food. And plenty of it. At its heart, Rockpool Bar and Grill is a steakhouse, but you’d be ill advised to ignore the excellent seafood, or the poultry from the wood-fired rotisserie. A huge, unpretentious menu boasts around 30 starters and about the same number of mains, with proteins from partridge and pheasant to wagyu beef and all manner of oceanic creatures. Then there are the numerous sides – perhaps a tumble of mixed mushrooms or Brussels sprouts with speck and chestnuts. It’s a diverse, exciting and considered menu, sprinkled with touches of nostalgia – some mac and cheese here, a soft-boiled egg there. The wine list is a tome of world-renowned labels, including that lauded 1945 Romanee-Conti at a staggering $89,510 a bottle, and only a small number of wines below $100.
A cluster of awards and rave reviews lie in Rockpool Bar & Grill’s wake, so expectations (and prices) are high. But with its impressive interior and expertly executed yet uncomplicated food, it lives up to the hype.