Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rockpool Restaurant @ Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth, Australia

A guest review from an old friend :) ....

Dear Miss Bella (aka. Mrs Van Nistelrooy) is always complaining about how my blog taunts her with photos of food in Malaysia which she misses and can't have (since she is in Australia now).

Q: So, what does she do?

A: TAKE REVENGE by writing a wonderful post on delicious food in Australia that I can't have because I'm in Malaysia!

*LOL LOL LOL*

[ BEGIN REVIEW ]

The exclusive Rockpool restaurant by Neil Perry, has gained a bit of a following among fine dining enthusiasts over the years. A quick scan of its menu(s) online and googling ‘Neil Perry’ reveals that the chef is at the top of his game and knows it. (He has a great passion for fresh food, seasonal organic produce and ethically sound farming practices)

With the resources boom in the oft-overlooked state of Western Australia seeming to have no end in sight, Perry had observed a change in the tastes, dining preferences, and importantly, wallet sizes of its citizens - Partnering with Crown-owned Burswood Resorts and Casino, Perry opened his third Rockpool restaurant in the Southern Hemisphere.
Boozey start 1 - So many interesting beers in Australia....

I have not had the opportunity to dine at Rockpool Sydney, however my dining companion has, and he was very enthusiastic about trying out Rockpool Perth.

We arrived about 20 minutes earlier than our booking time, and we were ushered to the bar to have a drink while they readied our table. I started with a 2009 Honey Moon Vineyard ‘Brut Rosé’ sparkling wine and my dining companion a White Rabbit, a dark, robust ale.
(There didn’t seem to be very many people at the time, but mind you, it was only about 6pm)
Boozey start 2 - Also, many many interesting wines in Australia :D....

At 6.30pm, we were ushered to our table by our maitre d'.... For the sake of this review I will call him Jean-Luc - he had a French accent and the more I called upon his expertise to explain the menu to me in plain English, the more I actually addressed him as so, even though I had no idea what his name was.
(Could have been Pierre. Or Jacques. Or Nicolas Sarkozy)

Before I dive into the food, I apologise for the poor quality of the photos – point and shoot camera are terrible in dim lighting.

First off – a side of bread and butter.

The bread was warm, fresh and chewy, the butter not too salty. I did like the bread, but I felt it was something I could easily get from the New Norcia Bakery.
Crusty bread and salted butter - yums :D ....

We started with the Ceviche of Prawn and Red Emperor with Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes (AUD $ 32++).

Jean-Luc had warned that the ceviche had chillis which can be rather spicy. The ceviche was delicious, a great opener to our meal. The raw prawns and red emperor were soaked in lemon juice for just the right amount of time, and it was bouncy with a bit of chewiness to it.
Ceviche - a healthy South American seafood salad?....

The avocado and cherry tomatoes were a fresh addition to the prawns, and the parsley gave a really nice herby kick to it. As for the chillis? Not even close to spicy, but it did lend a sort of sweetness to the dish. A very refreshing starter.

Our second starter was the Duck and Walnut Galantine with Spiced Orange Marmalade and Toast (AUD $ 20++). Compared to the ceviche, this was very rich.

The gallantine was delicious, with walnuts dotted throughout the dark meat. The gallantine with the marmalade, which had a slightly burnt aftertaste to it (a good thing!), creates a fantastic taste explosion.
Delicious slab of duck....

After much argument, I ordered the Mount Barker Free Range Chicken, Char Grilled Corn, Pumpkin, Roasted Garlic and Bread Salad (AUD $ 39++). My dining companion complained that my dish was going to take 50 minutes (as warned on the menu), and he’d be dead from starvation by then. Still, our starters kept us filled while waiting.

Free range organic chicken definitely tastes very different from normal chicken. It was soft and almost had a velvety quality to it, with the skin melting in some parts but deliciously crispy in others. I really enjoyed this dish, and the sweet grilled corn it came with provided a good counter to the savoury chicken.
Real chicken is delicious....

My dining companion had the Wood Fired Grilled David Hohnen’s Arkady Lamb Loin Chops and Cutlets with Mint Jelly (AUD $ 38++). Don’t be fooled by the picture, you can actually add ‘sides’ to this dish.

We argued about this as well, considering the starters we ordered. He wanted Hand Cut Fat Chips AND Onion Rings, but I said that was going to be too much, so he settled for Onion Rings.
Meat lover's delight....

The lamb was nicely cooked, grilled brown on the outside and still pink on the inside - the meat melts in your mouth. The mint jelly was nothing like the stuff you buy in a bottle from the supermarket. You could practically smell the fresh mint like it was just plucked from the plant - Loved it.

The onion rings were a little bit hit and miss. I’m not sure whether they sprinkled salt over it, but the first one I had was very salty. Having said that though, the rings were coated in a delightful light batter, and it definitely went well with the lamb (and chicken!).
The onion rings look good....

By the time our mains were taken away we were full to bursting. We still asked Jean-Luc for the dessert menu though. There is always room for dessert, especially at Rockpool.

My first trip to Rockpool had been for dessert. While my colleagues ordered ‘healthier’ items like a cheese platter to share, I went rogue and ordered the Profiteroles and Ice Cream with Chocolate (AUD $ 16++). I did not regret it and have been dreaming of it since, so I zeroed in on this dessert once again. Jean-Luc advised that the ice cream this time was caramel.
A stack of delicious profiteroles....

It was just as I remembered.

Profiteroles topped with hardened chocolate, nuts and crunchy crystallized sugar, with caramel ice cream sandwiched between. I was back in heaven. It’s the kind of dessert that has a little bit of everything to make you completely satisfied – pastry, chocolate and caramel. No other dessert will ever come close to this. For now, anyway.

Jean-Luc recommended the 2009 Xanadu ‘Cane Cut’ Semillion Savignon Blanc (Margaret River) dessert wine to go with the profiteroles. This wine was warm, rich, and robust, with fruity undertones that went very well with my profiteroles.
Feeling tarty? :)....

As for my dining companion, he went for a favourite as well, the Peanut, Caramel Chocolate Tart with Milk Ice Cream (AUD $ 23++). The tart was outstanding – it's very hard to find well-made chocolate tart anywhere, and I have to say, this was a very good chocolate tart, with the mix of chocolate, peanuts and caramel, along with the house-made vanilla ice-cream.
High class popcorn....

Ooooh, popcorn to go with coffee! Yum!

My initial reservations with ‘fine dining’ is that I’d end up having to drive through McDonald’s after. However, Rockpool is surprisingly generous with portions, so my reservations were completely unfounded.

Overall I’d say the Rockpool dining experience was good, with attentive, knowledgeable staff, both at the front line and in the open kitchen, an extensive wine list, and a rich, earthy restaurant décor.

The funny thing is, after you’ve had a lot to eat, you tend to feel a little bit guilty. I didn’t feel it one bit, in this case. Perhaps Perry’s idea of fresh produce and good cooking makes it a less guilty experience?

Who knows? It’s definitely good cooking, though.

[ END REVIEW ]

SHOUT OUT:
Thanks to Miss Bella for her awesome review! :)
(UR EVIL PLAN WORKED! I AM CRAVING FOR A MEAL AT ROCKPOOLLLLLLLLLLLLL)

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


Summary Information:
Rockpool Restaurant @ Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth, Australia

Opening Hours: Lunch Sunday to Friday, Dinner 7 days
Phone: + 61 8 6252 1900
Address: Burswood Entertainment Complex, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood, WA 6100, Perth, Australia
(Rockpool is located at the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel)
Map: (Below)
Website: Official website here

(MOST PROB) NOT HALAL



MAP:

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OTHER REVIEWS:
- Urban Spoon
- The Aussie Bite
- Perth Asian
- Australia Good Food Guide
- The Food Pornographer


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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Toast And Roast @ SS2, PJ

Oh pork. How you soothe the soul...(and clog the arteries *sigh*) ....

Some food places are so hidden...

Tucked away in the middle of a small block of shop lots between a condo and some houses (a very residential area) in SS2, Toast & Roast almost seems like it's purposely trying to avoid attention:
(I had no idea it was so close to my home...)
Modern signage but standard coffee shop "ambience" inside....

It's really simple inside - pretty much a relatively clean and comfortable coffeeshop setting.... with an array of tantalising, glistening roasted meats hanging in the "stall" in front.
(Actually, that's the only stall in the coffeeshop)

The main star there is the Premium Char Siew (Small, 8, Medium 16, Large RM 24):
Delicious (and harmless?) sin....

MMMMmmmm....
It had such a nice balance of moist yet crispy, with slightly charred bits contrasting well against the tender meat, which was not too cloyingly sweet...
:D
(The best part to order is "poon fei sao" (Half fat skinny)... which has the added yumminess of the perfect balance of melt in mouth fatty bits and tender meat)

You can of course eat the char siew with rice, but that day we had the Hakka Mee with Mince Meat (RM 5) instead:
A hearty meal of carbs and some meat....

Although slightly on the salty side, the bouncey noodles topped with moist, savoury minced meat sauce was a yummy eat, especially since it was topped with bits of crunchy chee yau char (um. Pork fat croutons?).
:)
(I think the Char siew would go better with regular steamed rice actually.... The noodles are almost a meal on it's own and the meat sauce, although tasty, sort of overpowers the char siew...)

We also ordered the Green Curry Pork (Small RM 6, Large RM 10), which they have on certain days:
A random bit of Thai cuisine at a Chinese coffeeshop....

I'm not sure if its authentic but it was still yummy - lemak (creamy) enough with a good fragrance of basil, and not too spicy.

Thank goodness for my dear food-aholics who rescue me from my episodes of work related food hiatuses.
:)

(*waves at the gorgeous Bangsar Babe (and Rif)... and to Nips for giving us a good reason to meet up*.. THANKS Y'ALL!)

So it's: Relatively comfortable ambience (for a coffeeshop), good range of roast meats and some noodles/ side dishes BUT nothing bad really, just that some of the pricing seems to be on the higher side (for a coffeeshop) and parking can be a bit of a pain......


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Toast And Roast @ SS2, PJ

No. 20, Jalan SS2/72, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 5
Price** : RM 11 per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 016-682 2249/ 013-340 3983
Opening Hours: 9am to 4.30pm (or until stocks last, as their Facebook page warns...)
(Closed on Tuesday)

NOT HALAL



MAP:

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OTHER REVIEWS:
- Bangsar Babe
- Lots Of Cravings
- Malaysia Food, Travel & Tourism Blog
- So What's Up
- Cumi Dan Ciki

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