There have been a few changes to the bar menu at Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth in recent times. There is an impressive new line up of cocktails (along with all the old classics and Rockpool signature drinks – don’t worry they haven’t gone anywhere) as well as some particularly tasty new bar snacks. I headed along recently for a master class from head bar man Dan in Perth and his Sydney counterpart Ryan to learn how their new cocktails were made. Things even got a little hands on.
Photo Credit: The ever lovely Queen of Bad Timing
As the assembled group learned, at Rockpool restaurants around Australia there are similarities on the drinks menu, but there are also subtle local differences. Rockpool are passionate about partnering with high quality local producers, which is always excellent to see.
As well as this the talented and creative bar team make what they can from scratch, including their sodas, tonics, syrups and other unique components to enhance the wow factors of each and everyone of their drinks. So there’s plenty for cocktail fans to get excited about. I’m excited.
Some of the new drinks include:
The Rockpool Tonic: Housemade tonic with lime, grapefruit and lemongrass. Bottled and carbonated, with The Westwinds ‘Sabre’ Gin (WA) and hint of Campari. $19
Fallen Apple: Zubrowka Vodka and Pomme Verte shaken through spice and cinnamon syrups, cloves finished with fresh apple and lemon juice. $18
Salvatore’s Cure All – Averna, Del Maguey ‘ Vida’ Mezcal and Tawny are shaken through with fresh pressed lemon juice and house made honey and ginger syrup. Served long. Topped with Rockpool ginger beer. $19
Negroni Rojo Grande – Four Pillars ‘ Red Label’ Bartenders Edition No 2 is barrel-aged with lemongrass and ginger infused camparai with a Pedro Ximenez Rinse. This blend is stirred down with Yzaguirre Rojo Reserve Vermouth and served on a rock. $22
Rockpool have also put added focus on non- alcoholic cocktails. Drinks that are a whole lot more exciting than a run of the mill fire engine or ever popular lemon, lime and bitters. And they are doing so to address a demand. You go out to dinner at Rockpool with a pregnant friend or someone is driving or for religious reasons they don’t drink alcohol, then they have some entirely flavourful and elegant non-alcoholic options available with thanks to the careful consideration and creative skills of the Rockpool bar team. Their lemonade alone is out of this world and is this deliciously refreshing concoction of fresh lemons (a lot of them), along with ginger for spice and a little orange blossom. It’s a lovely drink, as is the pineapple ginger soda and the Passionfruit cup. There’s real fresh fruit in all of them, nothing artificial here!
- Housemade Lemonade – Bespoke Lemon syrup, Orange blossom and mint. $9
- Pineapple Ginger Soda – Pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, mint, topped with ginger beer. $9
- Passion Club – Passionfruit, lychee, Pink grapefruit and Lime Juice on the rocks. $9
Now along with all these fun, fresh and fabulous cocktails you’ll need something to eat right? Queue the new bar snacks!
- Spice Temple’s renowned spice fried chicken wings
- A small plates section that includes Fish ceviche with sourdough; Fratelli Galloni Parma prosciutto with house made pickles; the Classic prawn cocktail with avocado and sauce Marie Rose; and Pulled pork tacos using Big Red herd farmed on Palm Springs Farm at Forest Grove from Western Australia’s own David Honen.
- Four main burgers featuring the David Blackmore full Blood Wagyu burger, a Harvey Beef grass fed burger, a fried chicken breast burger and a chickpea and quinoa burger.
Photo Credit: Rockpool Group
Particularly exciting is that Perth gets its first taste of Spice Temple because their punchy Sichuan chicken wings are on the bar menu and they are delicious! Perfectly crisp and with a pleasing kick of heat they really are an ideal bar snack.
Similarly as delicious is the Fratelli Galloni Parma prosciutto, served with pickled veg, a revamped classic with rock pools spin on the prawn cocktail and a larger dish the lamb ribs, served with a couscous salad is a delight. That lamb received high praise and for many was their favourite dish. The meat literally fell off the bone, it was just so tender. I thought it was a pretty tight race between the wings and the ribs and happily indulged in both.
I also want to give mention to the oysters because I still consider myself some what of an oyster rookie and conditions have to be near on perfect for me to be trying more than one. But call it the temp (served over ice) or the freshness (I assume they have a patch of ocean out the back) maybe even the vinaigrette, but the combination of those three aligned for three of the loveliest oysters I’ve ever had.
It’s a solid snack menu and there are other more substantial choices too with the burgers and tacos, along with an option of steak or pasta . So if you are wanting to fill the void before a show then Rockpool bar would be the ideal place to come for a delicious meal and an impressive cocktail.
My thanks to Rockpool for the chance to attend this Masterclass. It was excellent to get the opportunity to watch the pros in actions as they mixed, stirred and shook.