I am in Perth for the annual Christmas break and we enjoy a lovely family lunch to celebrate the year that’s gone and the festive season. We decide to have the lunch at Rockpool Bar & Grill which is known for its beautiful steaks and focus on local produce.
For the entrees we opt to share a handful of starters. I find that’s always the right approach at Rockpool; a good mix of share plates to kick start the conversation and ease into the afternoon.
Yellow Fin Tuna with Moroccan Eggplant and Cumin Mayonnaise
This dish is a keeper; it combines the beautiful jelly textured pieces of rich tuna with the smoky tang of Moroccan eggplant and the bite of the cumin mayonnaise.
Charcoal Roast Squid, Smoky Chilli, Onion & Pork Belly
The dish combines the staples of smoky charred squid and onions, crusty bread and rich fatty pork belly for what is the epitome of comfort food – it would have been even more perfect in winter.
Traditional Garlic Prawns
This dish is a classic; beautiful prawns which are not overcooked with a fresh flavours of garlic intertwined throughout.
Wood-Fired Fremantle Octopus Salad
The dish has the natural flavours of the octopus on full display with the mix of tangy pesto, tomatoes, potatoes and crunchy salad leaves. A good array of flavours and textures through the dish.
Glenmore, Cabernet Sauvignon, (2008), Margaret River, Australia
I decide on a local drop for the lunch from south of Western Australia. The wine is c.10 years of age and I am hoping for some nice tannins and mature fruit to pair with my steak.
The wine, despite its age, still displays lovely red fruits and cassis aromas – although age has let a mix of subtle mocha and tobacco notes creep in. On the palate the wine flows nicely with ripe redcurrant and dark cherry flavours with strong hints of cassis liqueur and oak. In the finish some notes of mint and tobacco appear which will be accentuated with as it ages. The wine is also supported nicely by good fine grained tannins.
We opt for individual meat and seafood dishes and some shared sides. The focus on fresh produce and good quality seafood and steak means it’s our natural choice every time we dine here. The family is generally impartial towards seafood and I am always a steak boy!
My dad and brother have the toothfish – which is a favourite of theirs.
My mum has the swordfish which is a quite a substantial piece served with a side of lemon and some leaf salad.
Cape Grim Dry Aged Rib-Eye on the Bone
True to form I opt for the rib-eye. I always prefer grass-fed beef and Rockpool’s dry aging process helps ensure the flavours shine through in full form.
The charred outside of the steak and the rich juicy inside is a testament to good produce with simple but well executed culinary skill. It pairs well with the wine and is satisfying experience for the palate. I had a dollop of harissa to go with it, but honestly it was fine on its own.
Baby Carrots with Bourbon and Almonds
The beautiful firm carrots are overrun with the sweetness of bourbon and the crunch of almonds – a lovely fusion of textures and flavours.
Mushy Peas with Slow Cooked Egg
This has to be my all-time favourite side dish; gooey peas, with rich runny egg yolk and gelatine textured egg white mixed through with a little seasoned spice hit at the end.
The spread proves oh so beautiful as we tuck into the Main Course.
Coffee and Dessert
We are pretty full after lunch so we opt for a light dessert of chocolates and coffee.
Cashew and Sesame Chocolate Bark
This proves a hit with the family. The rich chocolate melts in your mouth and the crunch of the cashews prove all too alluring for us.
Coffee with Complimentary Caramel Popcorn
The caffeine hit keeps us awake as we exit the restaurant.
A very enjoyable lunch of simplicity; steak, seafood with staple sides and some quite well executed entrees. It made for a wonderful lunch to celebrate the festive season.