Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Five courses, two and a half hours. My last dinner in Sydney was delightful. I dined at Rockpool, Neil Perry's flagship restaurant situated in the historic Rocks district. The history ends there. Walk into the unassuming glass-fronted restaurant and immediately you're spilled onto the catwalk. Waiters carry plate upon plate of food onto plush blue carpeting flanked by a modern take on spotlights

The restaurant was a delight, though the meal hardly light. Courses were generous. And there were five of them.

Four Tastes of The Sea
Yellow fin tuna served sashimi style with ginger and sea salt.
Something something kingfish (apparently I was too busy eating to remember), also served sashimi style, but with a tom yum goong gelee on top. I liked the fish, through the gelee was a bit overpowering.
Scallop garnished with with green papaya in a soy dressing and pomelo granules. The scallops were heavenly - midsized, tender and fresh, though the soy dressing was a bit heavy.
Cerviche of scampi with a cucumber thai dressing. It was sort of rubbery like calamari, and least impressive to me

Black Truffle BLT
One of my favorite dishes, and quite surprising considering my usual bias against truffles. The BLT consisted of two thin slices of buttered toast with shaved slices of Western Australian truffles sandwiched in between. There was thin American-style bacon (rare in Australia) served very crispy on a bed of mushroom puree dotted with more (sauteed eleni, field, and morel) mushrooms. Delicious.

Twice Cooked Murray Cod with Caponata - Olive Tapenade and Black Olive Oil
The waiter explained the fish was cooked while vacuum sealed (yay for sous vide!), so of course I had to order it. Very nicely done. They crisped up the skin hence the twice-cooked bit. I didn't think the tapenade, truffle oil and garam masala would go together, but they did. Fish was tender and served on a bed of diced eggplant and pine nuts as best as I could tell.

Suckling Pig with Sweet Potato, Ginger Puree, Ginger Sauce
This dish did me in. The suckling pig had a crisp skin, but because they didn't remove the layer of fat beneath the skin prior to cooking, there was an overwhelming fatty layer underneath. The gingered sweet potato puree was nice, and there were also candied pear, apple and orange served with a grilled pearl onion on the side. The ginger sauce was a ginger foam that the waiter spooned on top of the pork, which was served on some sort of fried lettuce. I quite enjoyed these two elements. I also thought this was quite a generous dish. And then they brought out separate dishes containing a green salad and a gratin of potato. The additions made for a very large course. The upside is that my small and rather empty table suddenly looked rather full.

Passionfruit Souffle with Passionfruit Cream
I love passionfruit, so I pre-ordered the souffle and wasn't disappointed. Served in a small copper pot, the souffle was fragrant and sweet. The cream was spoon thick. The cream was passionfruit flavored but very tart, and it went well with the dish, cutting the sweetness and really allowing the passionfruit flavor to shine.

Coffee with Sweets
I thought I was done with dinner. I expected perhaps a cookie or some petit fours to end. I laughed when they brought sweets to my table. Two chocolate raspberry truffles, a strawberry macaroon, and cup with 9 homemade passionfruit marshmallows. And if that wasn't enough, another cup was filled with more than a dozen home made salted caramels which were amazing. I couldn't figure out a way to gracefully empty the whole cup of caramels into my bag, so grabbed a few for the road. The caramel and marshmallows I realized they pre-package, so each table gets one. and since I was a party of 1 it just looked (and was) ludicrous.

End meal End story. Rockpool was totally splurgeworthy in Syndey


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