66 Hunter Street
Sydney NSW 2000
25 November 2009
SMH Good Food Guide 2010
Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney is Australia's most beautiful dining room. Situated in the sensational 1936 Emil Sodersteen-designed American style art deco skyscraper, the dining style, like its Melbourne sibling, is simple and uncomplicated - perfectly wood fire grilled meats and seafood from Australia's best producers - a perfect match to what is Australia's greatest wine list. With an emphasis on excellent produce and an efficient and friendly service style, the adjoining bar is the perfect spot for pre or post lunch and dinner drinks, or a more relaxed dining experience.
Rockpool Bar & Grill is the sister restaurant of Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne (in Crown Casino) and is situated next to Neil Perry's Spice Temple.
Neil Perry is a prominent Australian chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter. He also is the co-ordinator for Qantas Flight Catering under his company Rockpool Consulting and has a food brand sold under his name, available at Woolworths Supermarkets. Perry co-owns and is executive chef of a number of critically acclaimed restaurants in Australia. In Sydney his current stable consists of three restaurants located in the city's CBD: his flagship fine-diner Rockpool, modern Chinese restaurant Spice Temple, and upmarket steakhouse Rockpool Bar & Grill. The original incarnation of Rockpool Bar & Grill meanwhile is located in Melbourne. Former restaurants operated by Perry include Wockpool and XO, both which have since closed.
Prior to joining the hospitality industry Perry started an apprenticeship as a hairdresser before dropping out and working as a waiter. This is where he found his calling as a chef.
Perry's career in the hospitality industry began with managing Sails restaurants at the Sydney suburbs of McMahons Point and then at Rose Bay. This was where most of Neil's floor management skills were learnt. By the time he was 24 he found himself gravitating towards the kitchen, and realised his passion for cooking by working with, and learning from over the ensuing years, chefs such as Damien Pignolet, Gay Bilson, Stephanie Alexander, Steve Manfredi and David Thompson.
Neil became head chef at Barrenjoey Restaurant, Palm Beach and was given creative control over Perry’s in Paddington. In October 1986, Neil opened the Blue Water Grill at Bondi Beach which became an overnight success. He then opened Rockpool in February 1989 with his business partner and cousin Trish Richards.
In 2007, Perry opened Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne. Less formal than Rockpool, the restaurant is an upmarket steakhouse, located in Crown Casino. High quality beef cooked over wood-fire grill, supported by a modern and international à la carte menu form the backbone of the food served. In spite of the riskiness of opening a large restaurant (serving up to 200 people a day) in a venue as high profile and lucrative as Crown Casino, the restaurant has proved a major success for Perry. Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne has also received positive reviews from critics since opening, including being awarded two coveted "chefs hats" in the Melbourne Good Food Guide.
Meanwhile this same year, having maintained Rockpool for almost two decades as a Sydney fine dining restaurant, Perry finally decided to close the restaurant and reopen with a change of direction as a "casual seafood venue" instead. Perry cited a lack of will to continue operating Rockpool at the demanding and highly competitive level he had been as the main reason for the change. The restaurant was renamed Rockpool (fish) and continued to receive positive reviews in its new form.
Though this new incarnation of Rockpool as Rockpool (fish) had only been open for a brief time, in mid-2008 Perry had a change of heart and suddenly announced that Rockpool would be returning to its original form as a fine-diner. As Perry put it: "Rockpool classic". The restaurant has since reopened, with an ethos and menu akin to its old form.
2009 saw the opening of two more Perry restaurants in Sydney, both located in the same art deco building on Bligh St in Sydney's CBD. First to open was Spice Temple in the basement level. Like the now-defunct XO, Perry opened in Surry Hills some years ago, Spice Temple represents another foray by Perry into more traditional Asian cuisine—specifically regional Chinese food this time—given a sophisticated polish. Spice Temple was soon followed by the opening in the above level of a sibling installment of Melbourne's successful Rockpool Bar & Grill.
Neil also heads a consultation team for the Australian flagship airline Qantas, whom which he creates and controls in-flight menus. Menus are developed quarterly for International First and Business Class travellers, with the team overseeing the implementation and introduction to catering centres at key ports.
|Michael Lip||Four Raw Tastes of the Sea||Rangers Valley Dry Aged 300 Day Grain Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 440g + 72 days|
|Michael Zheng||Charcoal Roast Squid and Pork Belly||David Blackmore’s Dry Aged Full Blood Wagyu Rump 240g 20 days||Black Forest Trifle, Inspired by The Fat Duck's BFG|
|Jeffrey Chen||Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Sauce||Rangers Valley Dry Aged 300 Day Grain Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 440g + 72 days|
|Revsion Tam||Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Sauce||Free Range Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad|
|Pauline Banh||Sautéed White Asparagus with Shiitake Mushrooms, Slow Cooked Hens Egg, Burnt Butter and Parmesan||Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 350g 78 days||Chocolate Jaffa Mousse Cake, Rockpool circa 1992|
|Janice Khoo||Kurobuta Prosciutto and Capocollo, Rodriguez Chorizo, Blackmore's Wagyu Bresola, Mondo’s Pancetta with Pickles||Free Range Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad
Wagyu Bolognese with Hand Cut Fettuccine
|Jason Yap||Kurobuta Prosciutto and Capocollo, Rodriguez Chorizo, Blackmore's Wagyu Bresola, Mondo’s Pancetta with Pickles
Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Sauce
|Free Range Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad
Wagyu Bolognese with Hand Cut Fettuccine
|Shen Ying Xia||Charcoal Roast King Prawns, Split and Marinated||Free Range Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad||Chocolate Jaffa Mousse Cake, Rockpool circa 1992|
|Charcoal Oven Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato with Garlic Yoghurt and Burnt Butter|
|Kipfler Potatoes Sauteed with Wagyu Fat and Rosemary|
|Green Beans with Creamy Anchovy, Chilli and Lemon Dressing, Toasted Almonds|
|Mushy Peas with Slow Cooked Egg|
|Shen Ying Xia||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Dinner with Peter Costello!||Menu||The Restaurant - Kitchen Area||The Restaurant - Dining Area||The Restaurant - Dining Area|
|Janice Khoo & Jason Yap||Michael Zheng & Shen Ying Xia||Pauline Banh||Revsion Tam & Michael Lip||Jeffrey Chen|
|Four Raw Tastes of the Sea||Charcoal Roast Squid and Pork Belly||Charcoal Roast King Prawns, Split and Marinated|
|Sautéed White Asparagus with Shiitake Mushrooms, Slow Cooked Hens Egg, Burnt Butter and Parmesan||Kurobuta Prosciutto and Capocollo, Rodriguez Chorizo, Blackmore's Wagyu Bresola, Mondo’s Pancetta with Pickles||Freshly Shucked Oysters with Mignonette Sauce|
|Rangers Valley Dry Aged 300 Day Grain Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 440g + 72 days||Free Range Chicken with Tuscan Bread Salad||Wagyu Bolognese with Hand Cut Fettuccine|
|David Blackmore’s Dry Aged Full Blood Wagyu Rump 240g 20 days||David Blackmore’s Dry Aged Full Blood Wagyu Rump 240g 20 days||Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed Rib-eye on the Bone 350g 78 days|
|Green Beans with Creamy Anchovy, Chilli and Lemon Dressing, Toasted Almonds||Mushy Peas with Slow Cooked Egg||Charcoal Oven Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato with Garlic Yoghurt and Burnt Butter||Kipfler Potatoes Sauteed with Wagyu Fat and Rosemary|
|Black Forest Trifle, Inspired by The Fat Duck's BFG|
|Chocolate Jaffa Mousse Cake, Rockpool circa 1992|