Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RESTAURANT: Rockpool on George

I've never really been able to make my mind up about visiting Rockpool on George. On the one hand I love Bar and Grill and Spice Temple, but on the other I just haven't been able to see the differentiation between Rockpool on George and it's rivals in that fine dining bracket.

But with a birthday happening and it's ascent to 3 chef's hats (making it the card in that pack I was yet to see) I decided to give it a whirl.

The room is nice, classic. It feels like a fancy restaurant felt like a few years ago before insane fitouts and "dark and moody" started to happen.

I'm not sure if it's the ceremonial feel of all of the white, but I feel like we've come to worship at the cult of Perry. The waiters start by asking us if we've been to Spice Temple or Bar & Grill. And which one, in which state, because they're all so different. Then we're handed the menus and presented with a list of all of the suppliers. (Hint: Because Neil likes people to know)

You can choose between having 2, 3 or 4 courses, but all start with an amuse of spanner crab and jerusalem artichoke. It's a sneak peak of things to come; a strong French backbone to the dish but an emphasis on delicate flavours, texture and bringing everything out of the ingredients on hand.

My first chosen course is the chirashi zushi which I'd heard a fair bit of. The best way to describe it is if someone took a really good bento box, one made with fish of superb quality, exploded it, and added a few dabs of chilli sauce. The rice is beautifully cooked and all of the seafood (tuna, kingfish, snapper, etc) is excellent.

Though the pick of the main courses has to be the blue swimmer crab and corn congee. Praise Perry, this is a great dish. It's a haute congee with superb ingredients and a huge emphasis on texture. It's probably the dish of the night. I want this. In a bucket.

Not far off is the chicken "terrine" that sits on a bed of custard with fragrant and medicinal "precious herbs". If  the chicken wasn't impressive enough on it's own--it kind of takes different cuts of the chicken and assembles them to make it look like a piece of pork belly--the custard is soft and the precious herbs are all perfectly cooked and round out the dish.

Desserts were all solid for this level; nice representations of flavour, texture and temperature.

I've found it hard to write about this meal. Most of the time I'll just shit something out pretty soon after the fact, either loving or hating the place, riding on the wave of emotion that I felt. But with this write-up I've been tinkering with it for a month or so, struggling to find the words that can convey my experience. But I suppose that's really the conclusion here: it was a meal that took me a month to write up. A month to continually force myself to write something, then get disinterested, then write some more.

There's no denying the food is good. But it left me feeling a little like I did when I went to est: I enjoyed my time, I didn't regret my time by any stretch, but perhaps next time I'll spend my money elsewhere. I can't fault this place, but I also can't get as excited about this place as I can with others at this price point. Maybe it's me. Definitely it's me.

RATING: Okay, may go back [?]

Rockpool on George on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...


Ben said...

You've come to the wrong blog for pics, my friend.

ChopinandMysaucepan said...

Dear Ben,

I agree with you about the waiters asking about their other establishments. I have been to Rockpool in Melbourne and whilst I think their rib eye was pretty good, I have tasted better ones too. I just don't like the steak arriving all pre-cut up but I guess it might be their way to end any argument that it wasn't cooked to requrement.