So it’s a relaxing afternoon and I am thinking about one of the leisurely lunches…. you know the one with a wasted afternoon, wonderful wine, comfort food, chilled company and of course a setting that takes one back to the 1980s.
We head over to Rockpool Bar & Grill for a relaxing lunch, something that’s a touch of class with an air of casual dining and a vibe that makes for a social occasion. The display of glassware is such an exciting sight – don’t know what it is, but its a peach of view.
Being a West Aussie I always search the wine list with the desire of finding an acceptable Margaret River red wine to dull the senses and make the week just a memory while accentuating the lunch experience at the same time.
Si Vinters, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot (2013), Margaret River, Western Australia
The wine is one of those little charmers… think of that moment in your life when you opted for simplicity over flair or pretension. The sense of amazement at how something oh so simple could bring so much happiness.
The aromas of dark berries and spice allow the wine to gently find a place in your heart. There are distinct dark berry flavours with subtle hints of chocolate with a rich body and firm structure from the Malbec. The taste of red fruits from the Cabernet provide a beautiful base to round out the wine. I disengage from the conversation momentarily to full appreciate the wine – it is quite the sensory experience.
We peruse the menu, will it be the trademark burgers or those lovely tapas style seafood dishes, or maybe a mix of both?
To start with, we have the beef empanadas. How do I describe these…think about the sensation of the lovely egg with its rich crumbly yolk and the firm white dancing with the mince beef, sweet raisins, the rich Mediterranean taste of the olives which is mingled among the spicy seasoning. Oh and don’t get me started on the crumbly salty dough casing which just flake in you mouth with its distinctive crunchy texture. The dish provides a little wake-me-up to every taste bud, preparing the way for the main course.
Oh and don’t forget the sauce (tomatoes, red onion. chillies, garlic, coriander, vinegar) – which adds a spicy tangy hit to the empanada should you choose to combine them!
Greenham Grass Fed Hamburger with Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle
We settle on our choices; two of us have the Greenham Grass Fed Hamburger.
The juicy grass-fed beef patty provides robust flavour which stands against the strength of the rest of the burger’s condiments. The saltiness of the bacon rashers introduce themselves with a lovely smoky overlay. Then the rich Gruyere cheese overwhelms the taste buds forcing one to collect their composure while the light tang of the Zuni pickle ribbons form a harmonious partnership with the onion and the relish to round out a lovely tasting experience. The soft brioche-style bun which encased this sensational array of flavours provides a fluffy texture and light sweetness to deliver a simple dish which fires on all cylinders.
The Fish Ceviche & Sardines with Chilli served on Bruschetta
One of my dining companions opts for the seafood items on the menu…. which looks simply amazing!
The afternoon fades, the crowd dissipate but charm and elegance of the place remains. The staff eagerly top-up the wine, the conversation continues to flow and the sun disappears into the clouds to farewell the week. It’s a venue with charm, with an atmosphere so conducive to a long lunch which just provides the perfect tonic to the end of the work week. How I wish this was a weekly fixture in my diary.