It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I’d go back to basics and review the one thing that stoked my interest in food blogging in the first place, a burger! And don’t worry, I’ll start reviewing places that’s not in the CBD soon.
So I finally got the chance to check out the famous Rockpool Bar & Grill this past Thursday when one of my workmates suggested visiting for a nice work lunch, to which I gladly obliged. Located in the heart of the Sydney CBD, and just a few minutes walk from our office, it makes for a prime gathering spot for anyone in the city that fancy a nice establishment to whet their palette. And the first thing I noticed when we walked in were the exquisite marble columns in the main fine dining section of the restaurant, it’s a shame I did not get the opportunity to snap a few pictures but it is a truly beautiful sight. The bar section where our group sat was impeccably furnished as well, hanging above us was essentially a giant chandelier made up of hundreds of wine glasses that gave the bar a really upscale feel.
Enough about the décor though, you’re here to read about delicious foods! Rockpool’s burger selection was slightly limited in that they only had on offer the Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger – $24 and the Grass Fed Mishima Burger – $21, and I went with the full blood wagyu because it was their more popular choice.
After about a 30 minute wait, all of our burgers were brought out at the same time. That’s my biggest concern with dining in a medium to large group, most of the times the restaurant would bring everyone’s food out in one go so nobody is left sitting there with nothing in front of them but, more often than not, someone’s food is a bit colder due to the wait. But thankfully that was not the case with my burger though.
I am surprised I didn’t create a drool puddle as I was taking the pictures as the burger looked as good as any I have ever had. The wagyu patty was humongous, the pictures don’t really do it justice in terms of how big it was in real life, the cheese was on point and the bacon sitting perfectly on top of both of them. Oh and there were some grilled vegetables stacked on top of the cheese and meat, with some more off to the side of the burger in what I assumed was an attempt to add some decoration to the plate while also trying to fill the empty space that should’ve been occupied by some fries that came with the burger order. While I am on this tangent, no, the $24 price tag of the burger does not entitle you to some french fries, or chips as they would call it here in Australia. If you want some potato goodies to go along with your meat sandwich you would have to either cough up $6 more for shoestring fries or $12 for hand cut chips. Yep, Rockpool chips cost more than an entire lunch at most other places in the city.
Anyway, back to the burger itself, I had wholeheartedly wanted to embrace and love this burger given how beautiful it looked and how grand the establishment is but it just wasn’t meant to be. The patty, while huge and having a good amount of juice from being done medium-rare, did not have much flavouring to it. That would usually be okay if the rest of the burger complemented it with added flavours but that was not the case here. The cheese and bacon added very little flavour, I could not really taste the bacon at all actually, it also was not very crispy so it didn’t accomplish much on the texture front either. And the vegetables, while being a nice and unique touch that added some good texture to the bite, did not show up to the flavouring game either. It was as if they had decided to leave all condiments in the pantry and let the customers mix and match their own flavours. But for $24 I was not inclined to do extra work aside from sliding the burger down my gullet. It’s kind of like an amateur athlete that looks really good on paper, has off the chart measurables and drill results that get drafted really high and then flop once they play in actual games.
To summarise, I was disappointed with the execution of the burger even though it aced the visual checklist. The lack of flavouring was its biggest downfall while most of the ingredients for success were there between the buns. I would give it another try somewhere down the line, I just hope whenever that is they would have added more flavours to their burger by then, as well as made the bacon better and a more integral part of the burger. My grade for the burger would be a 3.5 out of 5.0, with much room to improve. Grade for the fries/chips, a 0.5 out of 5.0. I mean, seriously, why?
For the FBAS folks:
Burger – 3.5/5.0 pickles
Spuds – 0.5/5.0 pickles