Well, tonight, I so wanted to be reminded of why I used to love Rockpool. But that wasn't the case. It has almost become tradition that during the Christmas/New Year break, my family goes to a restaurant which we don't usually go to during the year. Last year, we went to the Taxi Dining Room and had a phenomenal degustation dinner, so this year I thought we'd go back to Rockpool. To be fair, our previous experiences at Rockpool were excellent, service was sufficiently attentive without being intrusive and the food was exceptional.
This time, our visit was slightly disappointing. Dinner was by no means bad, but just disappointing.
We shared a few entrees, which included a sashimi style dish, wagyu bolognese, grilled king prawns, sauteed asparagus with shitake in burnt butter. Most of which was excellent, except the "crudo" of a variety of fish which was not spectacular. Highlight would have to be the Grilled King Prawns - it was a definite winner.
For mains, we had lamb, steak, duck and swordfish. I think where there was disappointment was that the food was fine, but it was just that - fine.
It wasn't memorable like our previous experiences. My Dad wondered why his steak didn't come with any condiments (even though we saw them being offered to the table next to us). I suppose we should've asked, but we shouldn't need to ask for something as rudimentary as that.
Trifle, Macroon, and Orange Creme Caramel featured in our desserts selection, and were all good. But having said that, I've come to the conclusion that there is no better creme caramel than MoVida's. For those of you who have not tried MoVida's creme caramel - you're missing out...BIG TIME.
Visually, the food was not stunning, but I don't think Rockpool was ever about the nit picking detail of presentation. I think it is more about the quality produce they source and use. That they continue to succeed, and succeed very well. There is no doubt about the quality, but the way it was executed was perhaps not what I was have been recently used to. Perhaps my expectations and standards have now changed.
Service was painstakingly slow. I must admit, we were a little bit annoyed this time as the service was intermittent, and almost only on a necessity basis. I think service is tantamount to whether or not a restaurant lives up to expectations. If service had been a notch lower, it would've been unacceptable.
Rockpool Bar and Grill - Melbourne, Crown Complex