Rockpool Bar and Grill


A lot of the restaurants at Crown come with a lot of hype but not much substance. I’ve been stung many times before with various restaurants in the complex, so I actually avoided Rockpool Bar & Grill for a long time, thinking that they’d just be overpriced and underwhelming. I would never have thought that they would be one of my favourite and ‘go to’ restaurants!

Even though I have been here on numerous occasions, I have never ventured into the main dining room. The reason for this is because the ‘bar menu’ is just such good value, and you get full access to the proper menu also. So the rules are simple, you come and ask to sit in the bar area, the area is strictly for walk ins only and they don’t allow for booking. They will either ask if you want to sit at the bar for a drink or you can go and wait at Spice Temple. Spice Temple are owned by the Rockpool Group so either way they’re going to make some money off you. If you do choose this option, they will make a phone call to Spice Temple to grab you when a bar table is ready.

With the bar area you’re not actually sitting at the bar, but there’s another section with a little partition to seperate from the main dining room. You still get to sit on at a table with some comfy chairs, so you don’t need to stress that you’ll be sitting on bar stools! When it gets busy, you do have to wait a while… my longest wait was nearly an hour. However generally 15 to 30 mins, a table will be ready.


There’s an adequate amount of options on the bar menu. What’s my pick of the lot? The Mishima burger of course! Mishima is a special type of Japanese cattle which David Blackmore breeds. This burger is not available all the time, so it can be a bit of a gamble whether it’s available or not. Sometimes when I’m really craving for it, I would call them up first to ask if the Mishima burger is on the bar menu. Otherwise I just wing it and hope for the best! This is my favourite gourmet burger in Australia and it’s truly amazing. The meat patty is cooked medium rare – when the meat is freshly minced, you can have a medium rare patty no problems. The meat is not only juicy and succulent but also has that strong beef flavour. The pickled zucchini and onions just top it off as it adds some acidity to the taste. They even seperate the tomato and cos lettuce so you’re burger doesn’t get soggy, how’s that for consideration!


I’ve also had other dishes such as the Minute steak, fish stew, cured ocean trout on brioche and the steak tartare. Speaking of the steak tartare, this is another stand out dish which you must get! It’s served with fat cut chips which surprisingly goes really well with the tartare. These two dishes are my favourite but I cannot fault any of the other dishes here. They all taste great and you won’t be disappointed. I used to also get a quail entree but they’ve since taken that off the menu. I’m quite upset the quail is gone… Rockpool if you’re reading this, please bring the quail back!


Service here is proper and professional. They don’t seem to smile much and they do take their jobs very seriously. They don’t really get anything wrong and I find them to be on the ball at all times. I did get a warm and bubbly waitress last time I was there which was a nice surprise, but generally the service is not like that. Depends what you prefer really, I’m someone who likes to have a chat and have a joke around with the waiting staff. There’s no right or wrong I guess. If you’re someone who loves proper and professional service, then you’d like the way they go about their business at Rockpool Bar & Grill.


Rockpool Bar and Grill
Approx $50 AUD per person (bar menu)
Approx $100 AUD per person (full menu)
Address: Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: +61 3 8648 1900

Rockpool Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bistro Vue


There is one thing which Bistro Vue set out to do, and that is to be as French as they could possibly be. As a matter of fact, they tried so hard that their dining room actually looks more French than all the restaurants we went to in France! Everything from the chairs, tables, cabinets, plates and even the walls are French influenced.

We made a booking on the day and was greeted warmly when we arrived. They asked us to have a drink first at Bar Vue which is attached to Bistro Vue. It was full of Friday after work drinkers but it wasn’t too noisy, we could still have a conversation. I ordered a Bourbon Macchiato and Helen got the cocktail of the day. Both cocktails were very nice however I thought the ones in the classic section were a bit pricey. Half way through our drinks we were told that our table was ready and we were escorted into the dining area.


We ordered a French red and proceeded to look at the menu. Now you know a menu is really good when there’s too many good things and you can’t decide what you want! We decided against the $110pp for 6 courses because we wanted to try specific dishes from the à la carte menu. The waiter who served us was a little odd. When we started ordering he kept making a weird face. I looked at Helen as if to ask ‘what does the face mean?’ but she had no clue either. I didn’t know whether it was because we were ordering too much or too little. He was also quite pushy with the Paperbark baked snapper dish which we did end up getting. Can’t say i’m a huge fan of the service.

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The food here was really high quality! Steak tartare was very authentic, and brought back memories of France. The garlic snails was nice but didn’t come through as much compared to the other entrees. The trout was beautifully smoked, but the highlight of the entrees and the night was the duck egg, this dish was just amazing! I never imagined duck egg and kale would go so well together. I would recommend anyone to come here just for this dish. The paperbark baked snapper provided some theatrics when it arrived on the table as they unravel the paperbark. It was a very tasty piece of fish. Worst dish of the night has got to be the kangaroo loin (serves me right for trying kangaroo at a French restaurant). It’s just that I’m still searching for that perfect roo which I had so many years ago…

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As a whole I really enjoyed my experience at Bistro Vue. The ambiance was great and they produce high quality French dishes. Apart from the service, I had an awesome experience here. I felt like the mains were on the expensive side in comparison to the entrees. The entree portions were quite generous so I’m thinking next time we would do 5 or 6 entrees instead of ordering mains. If you haven’t been here, do check Bistro Vue out, I’m sure you’ll leave with a very happy tummy!


Bistro Vue
Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 430 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9691 3838

Bistro Vue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato