There are birthday cakes, and then there are birthday cakes Rockpool-style.
To be fair, this particular cake was made to mark 10 years since Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth opened at the casino. And because there are some fairly high-calibre chefs employed in the Rockpool kitchen, this cake is going to be in a different weight class than, say, an Australian Women’s Weekly train cake. (Having said that, I reckon Rockpool chefs immortalising the pool area of nearby Crown Towers as the ultimate AWW-style swimming pool cake would be all-time). The restaurant’s head pastry chef Brendan Owens fits the “high-calibre” description – his previous gigs include head pastry chef at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde plus multiple stages with Janice Wong at 2am: Dessertbar in Singapore, and he was part of the first generation of cooks to pass through Restaurant Amusé here in Perth – as does the cake he’s brought to the Rockpool birthday party.
The cake – or to use its full name, the “Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate & Salted Caramel Gateaux With Nohory Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream” – is made up of a lot of elements, including Valrhona cocoa products. It wouldn’t look out of place in a Masterchef finals week challenge. I won’t go through them all, but basically, it’s a combination of some (very good) mud cake atop a (very good) wafer of praline and feuilletine (crisp shards of crepe) entombed by numerous (very good) iterations of chocolate. Everything is built in moulds, spray-painted with 70 per cent cocoa and then topped with a single quenelle of vanilla ice-cream. It’s chocolatey. It’s delicious. It’s a cake that speaks loudly and clearly to the Rockpool ethos of elevated comfort.
Broadsheet Access members get special tables at busy restaurants, tickets to exclusive events and discounts on food, coffee, brand offers and more.Find out more
There’s just one catch: it’s only available as part of the restaurant’s Best of Rockpool Bar & Grill 10th Anniversary Tasting Menu ($155 per person, two people minimum), on offer throughout April. The buy-in isn’t insignificant but eaters get plenty of bang – and West Australian produce – for their buck, doubly so if they splurge on the optional all-WA wine match. Most crucially: you get to celebrate team Rockpool’s milestone by blowing out the candles on one of the fancier 10th birthday cakes you’ll find on the west coast this year.