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