By Greedy Financier
December is always such a busy month – countless Christmas parties, one too many friends born in December, Christmas Day celebrations, Boxing Day sales and New Year’s Eve – it really is the party month, and my waistline (and liver) sure are feeling it! So in between all the messy and not so classy parties, I managed to squeeze in a refined dinner at Rockpool on George. The bf just so happens to be born in December, and I thought it’d be nice to have a mature stylish dinner for a change.
Rockpool on George
As soon as you walk into Rockpool on George, you immediately sense the sophistication of the two level restaurant – there is a dedicated doorman, swift waiters and pristine white tablecloths. We were promptly seated upstairs, cocktail orders taken and fresh bread delivered to our table.
Bread and Butter
I don’t normally comment on bread and butter, but the bread and butter at Rockpool on George was sensational! The dense sourdough had a hint of honey and a perfectly chewy crust. The accompanying butter was whipped and so light and fluffy. I would have happily sat there eating loaf after loaf after loaf…
Canapé – Queensland Spanner Crab, White Peach and Hazelnut
To start us off, we were given a complimentary canapé. Pieces of succulent sweet crab meat were interspersed with juicy bursts of diced white peach and lovely hazelnut – it was an absolute delight in my mouth.
Pig’s Head – Red Braised, Stir Fried Milk, Red Pepper and White Sesame, King Prawn and Candied Pine Nuts
For the first course, the bf went with the red braised pig’s head. I didn’t sample his dish, but he did comment that it tasted very much like a Chinese dish (not surprising given Neil Perry’s love for Asian food), and the pork was moist from the thick layer of fat still attached to the lean meat.
Cuttlefish – with Gaian Poultry Duck Prosciutto, Ink, Crispy Chicken Skin, Carrot Leather and Furikake
I had the very pretty cuttlefish dish. It was a gorgeous assortment of prosciutto, egg yolk, chicken skin, micro herbs, flowers and baby radish sitting atop thinly sliced (perhaps raw) cuttlefish. While it seemed like a busy mix, the individual components actually combined together to create a deliciously unique dish.
Quail – with Eight Treasures, Daikon, Tong Ho, Nori and Chilli Condiment
For the second course, the bf went with the quail. Again, it was very much an Asian influenced dish. I only had a taste, but the quail was perfectly pink, and the dish delivered a robust spice kick.
Pork – One Thousand Layers over a Chicken Parfait Tartlet
Chicken Parfait Tartlet Broken Open
I had the pork and chicken parfait tartlet. Designed to be served cold, the tart consisted of thin strips of pork layered on top of a delicate crisp pastry shell filled with silky smooth chicken parfait. I did enjoy the tart, however half way through I found the richness of the liver a tad overwhelming, and was surprised to find spots of tartness (excuse the pun!).
Pigeon – Chinese Roasted with Scallops, Smoked Eggplant, Black Mushroom and Cucumber Pickle with XO Sauce
The bf chose the Chinese roasted pigeon for the mains. The pigeon had perfect pink and moist flesh, and once again, unsurprisingly, there were Asian overtones. The house made XO sauce was flavoursome, but the spiciness seemed to have been turned down to cater for the Western palate.
Lamb – from South Australia, Rolled Saddle, Bo Ssam Shoulder, Celery, Wheat Infused Soy Beans, Tea Smoked Mussels
I ordered the lamb for my main course. The lamb saddle was cooked to a beautiful medium rare pink, and the shoulder was wonderfully tender. The sparsely scattered celery leaves enhanced the flavours of the lamb, while the smoked mussels were a wonderful complement. The chewy soy beans bulked up the dish and made for a satisfying meal.
Radicchio Salad with Palm Sugar Vinaigrette
A complimentary radicchio salad was served with the mains. A simple yet delicious salad that combined the bitterness from the radicchio with the sweetness and tanginess from the dressing.
Vacherin – Pandan Custard, Coconut Parfait, Jasmine Sorbet and Lime Granita
For dessert the bf went with the vacherin – a complex Asian dessert that did a superb job of balancing sweet and sour. The bf found the dessert slightly too tart for his liking, but I on the other hand, adore sweet and sour desserts (love lemon curd!). The mellow sweet flavours of the pandan custard married wonderfully with the tart lime granita, and I find myself right now (as I type) craving those very flavours!
Chocolate – Grand Cru from Valrhona with Peanut Butter and Jelly
In stark contrast to the bf’s vacherin, my dessert was decadently rich and luscious. The magnificent amalgamation of peanut butter and chocolate was captured in this dessert, with a dark chocolate (I was given the choice of milk, slightly dark or very dark chocolate) and peanut butter mousse sitting below perfectly quenelled milk chocolate ice cream. A jelly roll up (I assume cranberry, since cranberries were garnished on top) provided a fantastic tartness which helped to cut through the richness of the mousse, while crunchy peanut butter brittle lent a textural aspect to the dish. The dessert was divine in every single way imaginable (admittedly coming from a self-confessed peanut butter and chocolate addict)!
Vittoria Coffee and Petit Fours
We finished the meal off with some cappuccinos and petit fours. We were presented with a small selection of tart mandarin jellies, moreish nougat and slightly bitter “mini profiteroles” (to be honest, I couldn’t remember what this petit four was called). By this stage, we were pretty full, despite having eaten only four courses!
I went into Rockpool on George with high expectations, and was not disappointed. From the service to the food, almost everything was impeccable – but then again nothing less would be expected from a 3 hatted restaurant. Yes, it is a little pricey, but Rockpool on George is definitely an institution you want to keep saved up for that special occasion.
Speaking of special occasions, The Two Taste Buds would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you stuff yourselves silly today!
Rockpool on George
Lunch: Friday and Saturday from 12.00pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday from 6.00pm
Ph: +61 2 9252 1888
107 George Street
The Rocks Sydney