It wasn’t really our anniversary. Our anniversary was back in April and on the big day we were living in Hue, Vietnam. We went out for the fanciest meal possible in Hue to celebrate… which cost about AU$8. It was a fantastic night, but we thought that maybe, once we were back in Australia, we could celebrate with a proper big night out. And in Sydney, it doesn’t really get any BIGGER than Rockpool Bar and Grill.
I wasn’t going to write a blog post about this dinner. We didn’t bring the big camera, just the point and shoot, and I didn’t want to be analyzing the dinner rather than enjoying it with my handsome husband of 6 years. But, since we were taking pictures on the evening anyway, and I can’t help but photograph food, and the food is so simple and well-made that it doesn’t really require any analysis, I decided I had all the info I needed to tell you guys about our fantastic meal.
The dining room at Rockpool Bar and Grill is seriously impressive. It’s huge with massive marble pillars and moody purple and blue lighting. The large open kitchen on the right side of the dining room allows us to glimpse the cooks at work. And there, in a black leather jacket with his signature ponytail swinging behind him, is head chef Neil Perry. He didn’t look like he was going to be doing any cooking that night, but I was pleased to see him there.
We were seated up on the balcony overlooking the whole room. At first I was disappointed to be so far from the action, but then I realised that the balcony gave us an incredible view of the room and a much quieter place to enjoy our meal and chat privately. It was perfect for an anniversary dinner.
For his starter Andy had charcoal roast chorizo with potatoes and white beans. It was a very big serving, so he let me steal a few bites! The chorizo was very soft and smoky and the dish had a lot of heat. I was actually very impressed that it was so spicy. A winner.
My starter was the seared King Prawns with goats cheese tortellini, burnt butter, pine nuts and raisins. About five years ago Andy took me to the original Rockpool restaurant in the Rocks and this dish was one of the courses on the degustation menu. We have literally been talking about this dish for the last five years. It. Is. Amazing. Andy thought I was cheating by ordering a dish that I’d already tried, but I think that if you still daydream about a dish five years later, you’re allowed to re-order it. This is pretty much my perfect plate of food.
For our mains, we both had steaks. Rockpool Bar & Grill takes their steaks seriously and we haven’t had steaks this brilliant since we were in Argentina. Andy had a Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed 350g Rib-eye on the Bone that had been aged for 81 days, cooked medium rare. Talk about pedigree! Andy thought that the steak, which was cooked on the wood fire grill, had been injected with butter because it was so rich.
My steak wasn’t quite as big as Andy’s, but it was just as delicious. I had the Cape Grim Dry Aged 36 Month Old Grass Fed 250g Fillet, cooked rare. The steak had the perfect char and was still pink and soft in the middle. It was the best steak I’ve ever had in Australia.
For side dishes we ordered the sauteed Brussels sprouts with speck and chestnuts and the Royal Blue potatoes sauteed with Wagyu fat, garlic and rosemary. The side dishes were both fantastic. I loved the sweetness that the chestnuts brought to the sprouts. The potatoes were insanely good, but we could barely eat them. We were so full. Instead, I asked the waiter if we could take them home (I can’t stand the thought of wasting food) and he boxed them up and brought them to us in an adorable little brown bag. I’m not ashamed to say that I ate them for breakfast on Monday morning.
The wine list at Rockpool Bar & Grill is bananas. It’s huge and there are bottles on the list that cost more than we make in a month. We settled on a bottle of Bishops Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. It was amazing… not too tannic with a sweet and fruity flavour. The perfect accompaniment for our steaks.
We were way too full to even consider dessert, so we just enjoyed the rest of our wine while we chatted and watched the staff in the kitchen. Our waiter was lovely and the service throughout the meal was flawless. We left feeling very pampered, very full and very very happily married. A perfect anniversary dinner.