Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney

66 Hunter St

http://www.rockpool.com

We had dinner here a few weeks ago and it was a very enjoyable (if expensive) night out. It started with deluxe manhattan, the only alternative to a martini and was followed by a couple of great steaks, with the standout actually being a cabbage & potato gratin. It was worth the trip alone. That and the salted caramels.

However, what everyone talks about is the burger.

We were on our way to the Opera House and couldn’t bear the idea of a mediocre bite to eat along the Quay and so Rockpool again presented itself.

Again we kicked things off with a Deluxe Manhattan. I’m loving these….

It seemed like the entire bar was ordering burgers, so we got our order in quickly for fear of missing out.Though I don’t think this is the kind of place which is going to run out of beef.

It was good. Very good. All fine individual components which stood out and created a burger which was better than the sum of its parts. The bun had a crusty density, a million miles from what you would find at Bakers Delight.

You actually had to hunt for the bacon. It wasn’t in large supply, but it’s served its role admirably in providing some saltiness to the main attraction of the unctuous Wagyu beef pattie, which was a fine as hoped for – intense savoriness with a good enough balance of mince that didn’t make it too rich or fatty. A light touch of gruyere provided that. It was all brought together with an excellent sweet pickle that prevented the decadence getting too out of control. (Incidentally I’m always suspicious of people who don’t eat pickles…they’re invariable anally retentive….)

All this came with a side-order of fries ($12..) which were OK, but not in the same league as the burger. In the UK triple-cooked chips (thanks to Heston Blummenthal) have set the bar for tuber perfection. No other preparation method has yet come close. So if you’re going to strive to serve the best burger, you’ve got to serve the best chips…

It was a fine casual bite-to-eat and the burger did not disappoint. I now work within crawling distance of this place and I do not deny that my decision to accept that job was influenced in some small way by the proximity of Rockpool to it.

So if I’ve had a brutal day at work and need a ‘culinary shoulder’ to cry on, you’ll know where I’ll be.

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