Book Review - Rockpool Bar & Grill

July 2012

Three Australian Restaurants with the Grill On

“A city really gets the restaurant scene that it deserves.” - Neil Perry

Rockpool Steak Philosophy & Technique

A handful of chef restaurateurs can attest to the growth in Australia’s fine dining scene over the past 25 years, and Neil Perry is one of them. His professional identity revolves around the modern Australian concept and his three Rockpool Bar & Grill restaurants reflect our culinary evolution as a nation.

Following Perry’s penchant for perfection, the Rockpool Bar & Grill cookbook is a mammoth of cultural information that offsets his generous serving of cooking tips and steakhouse recipes. Neil claims, “A city really gets the restaurant scene that it deserves”; and it seems Melbourne, Sydney and Perth are worthy of their own Rockpool Bar & Grill establishments.

For those who’ve yet to partake in the B&G experience firsthand, no matter where you reside, the laudable Rockpool Bar & Grill (Murdoch Books, Oct. 2011) is the kind of book worthy of your kitchen library and may very well migrate couchside as there is an ample amount of story in there as well, all about the people who contribute to Rockpool's quality.

Melbourne’s Southbank Class on Home Grill

Neil Perry opened Rockpool Sydney in 1989 and after thirteen years in business they began winning The World’s 50 Best Restaurants status, a prestigious accolade granted by S. Pellegrino – since 2002 they’ve won this exalted award a total of seven times.

February 2012 marked Rockpool’s 23nd birthday and by this time, the business group had become a triumvirate. By this time, attributing to the brand's success, their steakhouse endeavour, Rockpool Bar & Grill, had been up and running for over five years.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne launched in October 2006 when John Alexander, an astute businessman at Crown Melbourne, took a liking to Neil’s pitch. “John said he believed in the Rockpool brand and trusted my food philosophy and dedication to delivering on quality, but he also said do anything I like as long as Rockpool is in the name,” reflects Neil Perry.

In March 2009, the same heritage listed building that housed Spice Temple in Sydney CBD (that they’d opened only months before) also became home to Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney. As of January 2011, Western Australia became part of B&G loop with the launch of Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth.

Today all three critically acclaimed world-class B&G restaurants run on Neil Perry’s steadfast commitment to quality and his book by the same name, at 450 plus prestigious pages, showcases those values. Rockpool Bar & Grill cookbook stands out with simple yet elegant photography by Earl Carter that parallels Perry’s own vision, giving us a tour of the venue and its fine food.

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Review of the Restaurant’s Food & Fine People

When the B&G began in the mid 90’s, Australia finally had the infrastructure to support that level of development and at Rockpool Bar & Grill they became professional good food ambassadors. But hospitality is as much about people as it is about the food and B&G, being committed to industry quality on both fronts, reflects that in house and within the pages of Rockpool Bar & Grill.

This read is a spacious exploration depicting like-minded B&G staff, producers and suppliers; meanwhile it’s an intimate portrait of tried & true recipes whilst offering a detailed source to serve account of treating produce for results that are nothing short of grand.

Shop well and get thee to the kitchen with Rockpool Bar & Grill in tow, and if you pay attention you will surely be eating well. Considering produce, such as top-quality beef, and sustainable suppliers, found in specialized family farms, is the first part of making something unforgettable – as in an amazing steak.

The same ethic applies to any other dish in this book, well presented and designed for perfection. In Rockpool Bar & Grill Neil Perry gives you the beginning, middle and end in his Rockpool story and for serving amazing food. And if all you’re in for is how to cook the perfect steak, well, that’s certainly in there – Neil doesn’t hold back with the beef. Fancy seafood? How to choose a scallop is in there as well.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Cookbook

What it takes to run Rockpool Bar & Grill is big business, but beyond that fascinating tale this book puts a lot of energy into serving up key cooking elements that ensure Rockpool cooks can deliver the goods day after day and guarantee you an element of success. The details in Rockpool Bar & Grill will champion you in the kitchen so that you, too, can succeed with your Wagyu or so be it, your silverbeet.

As visitors are assured in B&G quality, Rockpool Bar & Grill cookbook offers a great reading experience. Those who opt for a Rockpool Bar & Grill eBook will also enjoy five videos offering a more face-to-face connection with Neil Perry.

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Simple & Easy Recipes by Neil Perry

House-chopped salad, a great way to start a meal and Seafood stew with spicy mussel and saffron broth, spicy and intense in flavour. Just a few samples from a colossal collection found in Rockpool Bar and Grill.

Rockpool Bar and Grill was released by Murdoch Books in October 2011. Check with your local bookstore for availability.

Collecting the works of Neil Perry? Rockpoolwas recently released in softcover and reviewed by the AGFG.