Rockpool Bar and Grill – The Bar

66 Hunter St
Sydney, NSW 2000

I am highly fond of the bar at Rockpool Bar and Grill in Melbourne (as well as the restaurant proper), so it stands to reason that the Sydney branch – the OG no less – should be as good if not better. Well turns out I was dead wrong. Unlike Melbourne, where the bar feels like a casual but no less special extension of the restaurant, the bar in Sydney resides in a small room off to the side of the main dining room, and is dark in a way that makes you suspect that it looks like your local pub if they turned the lights up. The food and service are both similarly uninspiring, and similar to anything you can get at a run-of-the-mill restaurant with a half-decent chef. If you’re going to go to Rockpool in Sydney, make sure it’s the restaurant and not the bar.

Rating: 12.5/20 – stupendously underwhelming

Fish Ceviche Toastada ($16)

The Fish Ceviche Toastada ($16) is a nifty little snack that combines succulent, sashimi-grade fish with creamy guacamole and a squeeze of lime for a decadent yet refreshing starter. Though I gotta say, for the price, I would expect an extra one of these.

David Blackmore’s full Blood Wagyu Reuben ($25)

With a menu that excels in beef, you’d expect the David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Reuben ($25) to be exemplary, and it is. The thickly-layered pastrami was tender and surprisingly mild, which meant that each bite had just the right amount of saltiness, rather than being excessively so, as Reubens often run the risk of doing. If it were up to me, I would like the bread a little more toasted, and plenty more sauerkraut – but that’s just personal preference.

Beef Shin Ragu with Casarecce ($34)

The Beef Shin Ragu with Casarecce ($34) was good, but largely unremarkable, especially for the price. The tender chunks of beef however were a highlight.

Catherine’s Passionfruit Pavlova ($24)

Whenever I’m at Rockpool, I can never resist Catherine’s Passionfruit Pavlova ($24). Tottering with an absurd amount of cream and fresh passionfruit, this everything a good pavlova should be, but rarely is.

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