Rockpool Bar – No Need For the Grill

I’ve been to Rockpool Bar & Grill, the two-hatted restaurant three times before (and unfortunately every time before I started photographing my food – so no review), but I’ve never actually paid a visit to the bar. See, there’s this burger…a famed burger, supposedly one of the best in Sydney.

You can’t get it at the restaurant, you can ONLY get it at the bar. How about that for reverse exclusivity. Luckily, the bar is accessible simply as a walk in (you can’t actually book it). It’s not too expensive either – around $24. Yes, it’s expensive for a burger for sure, but then again, a burger is as good as its ingredients. And of course, you don’t look for “value” at a two-hatted establishment, even if it’s in the bar area.

Let’s check it out.

Date Visited: 28/11/2012
Address: 66 Hunter St Sydney, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Burger

The bar area itself is quite nice, but not particularly big. Its ground area is unlikely to seat more than 40 or so people. Still, it wasn’t too difficult to get a table – we were seated in less than a minute.

Being a work lunch, we didn’t have much time, but we did get more than just a burger. Le friend decided to get a sandwich. A sandwich, of all things!

Rockpool - Pork Sausage Sandwich with Grilled Peppers

Pork Sausage Sandwich with Grilled Peppers

Rockpool Bar & Grill

It looks the part, at least – exuding premium. The bread was quite problematic though – it was way too tough, almost impossible to chew. Knife and fork hardly made it any better.

The pork sauce was a little coarse, with many textural elements, more than appreciated, but did promise on the flavour. You knew you were eating pork alright.

The big drama was when we found a hair in the sandwich. Now that is a MAJOR disappointment, especially for a two-hatted establishment. I simply cannot explain it, except in the end, mistakes do happen. I guess we were on the wrong end of the luck scale that day! Oh well, we did get an extra sandwich out of it though which allowed me to try it!

Rockpool - onion rings

onion rings

I chose to get some onion rings as well, just because I felt like fattening up that day. They were crispy and crunchy, and of course, super oily. The way onion rings should be. Don’t leave them too long though – sogginess is an enemy of all onion rings!

Rockpool - David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger   with Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle

David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger w/Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle

This is what I came here for, and what I’ll be coming back to for sure. There’s a certain point when something reaches a point so overhyped, it’s undoubtedly going to receive a lot of criticism for not fulfilling expectations.

Oh well, sour people can be sour, because whether food is hyped or not doesn’t detract from its taste. What a great burger this is!

It’s not directly comparable to many other kinds of burgers – medium rare patty, high quality gruyere cheese, a brioche bun, the right amount of tangy palate-refreshing zuni pickles. The burger has excellent construction – no leakage or slippage. Its taste is remarkable, with a great bun:meat:condiment ratio (TBBT knows their sandwich science), not to mention each element is…in its own element. The bun is yum, the meat is tender and juicy, and it all works together so well.

Top ten burgers in my list? Definitely.

So, who’s up for lunch at Rockpool BAR next time?

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

The Good: amazing, superlative burger

The Bad: a very below-par sandwich offering

I give Rockpool Bar & Grill (the Bar) a grand total of 8 Caesars out of ten – 8/10

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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