Although the most expensive meal I have ever eaten, Rockpool in Sydney certainly lived up to its reputation. It was an incredible experience from start to finish (well, not quite as the amuse-bouche was about as amusing as a large fish egg floating in custardy soup, plonked into a shot glass, can possibly get). My dining partner and I chose the four course a la carte menu so we could sample a little of everything. To start I had green lip abalone, red braised thirlmere goose, chicken crisps and fine noodles with xo dressing. It sounds like a huge meal doesn’t it, but in fact it was a lovely fist-sized dish, plenty for the first course. I was intrigued by the chicken crisps which turned out to be a very thin slice of chicken skin, baked until it had become a wafer thin and would melt in the mouth. The whole dish was wonderfully savoury, yet left a slight sweetness right at the end, especially when consumed with the rather nice bottle of Australian Sauvignon Blanc we had.
For round two, I had grilled hervey bay scallops with sweet corn crepe and mussel butter. For me, this was the highlight of the meal. It’s one of the most delicious combinations I have ever eaten. I regrettably forgot to take a photo to display the simplicity of it, but I was far too involved in getting it into my mouth. The creaminess of the sweetcorn, the hint of the sea from the mussel butter and the gentle resistance from the scallops as I bit into them was to die for. I would pay a lot of money to be back in Oz right now and eating that dish.
The third course was a work of art in itself; bright smears of red pepper jus accompanied a lovely pink piece of slow cooked castricum lamb, braised breast, baby radishes and olives. Caper berries and tiny purple flowers gave another flash of colour to this edible collage. The lamb could’ve done with ever so slightly longer in the oven for my tastes, but it wasn’t bleating so it can’t be all bad.
I can never resist a cheese platter if it’s on a dessert menu, so I chose this for my fourth course and was treated to a very pokey blue, a tangy hard cheese (similar to cheddar), and a creamy camembert like piece. All delicious, especially when washed down with a glass of vintage tokay. The entire meal was very well complimented with attentive yet not overly obsequious service (I feel rather uncomfortable when waiters are so grovelling that if you asked them to chew your dinner for you, they would probably oblige). I’d recommend Rockpool to anyone, provided you have a good couple of hundred quid to burn.