The Water in the Rockpool

5th June 2015.

The beginning of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the plan was to have dinner with a friend, and then take a few portraits within the vicinity of some Vivid Sydney Festival display, but then the itinerary got appended to have some dessert at Aqua S, to try their Black Sesame flavour that everyone was raving about. Plans do tend to change.

After work i was off to dinner, ended up at Chefs Gallery in Town Hall, after a bit of a mix up in location. Usually there is a queue at Chefs Gallery and this night was no exception. I waited for my friend to arrive, and once they did, i walk up to the attendant, and ask for a table for two, and straight in I went, you know how it when my name gets bandied around, straight in you go Mr. Su. Kidding. We were seated right on the end of the bars with a view straight into the kitchen. We ordered three dishes.

First dish, my favourite at this restaurant, is the Prawn and Pork Wontons with Handmade Noodles served with Minced Chicken and Chopped Lettuce in a Shanghainese style Spicy Sauce. I love the texture of the noodles, not think, but firm, and the sauce is just so good, just need to add a little bit more chilli oil to heat it up during winter, and crack a cold sweat.

Next up was the Jumbo Prawn Dumplings encased in a translucent Pastry, now these were exactly like the description, massive prawns in a thin wrapping nice and juicy. Lather it with some chilli oil, and yum.

The last dish was the Spinach Handmade Thick Noodles wok fried with Prawns, Mussels in Shell, Baby Calamari Tubes, Chinese Shiitake Mushrooms, dusted with Seaweed and Sesame Powder. That hand made description doesn’t sit well with me, as I witnessed them using a machine to press and shape the noodles. I only had a bit of this. The noodles were perfectly cut in size, clearly machine cut, but the noodles were thick but still a good texture, you could eat the noodles alone as a vegetarian dish. Wait I take that back, you’ll need to add some chilli oil.

After dinner took a few portraits of my friend, and then off I went to meet my other friends, supposedly at Aqua S, yeah right. Off I went to my second dinner, lucky I didn’t eat too much at Chefs Gallery.

Took a short walk from the car park spot, and to Rockpool est.1989 (don’t forget that est.1989 in the name of the restaurant). It was raining just before my walk. We didn’t book a table, but you know how it is, when I walk into a restaurant. I was there first, asked for a table, and there would be one ready when the rest of the party arrived. When eating at a table, Rockpool insists most patrons have the degustation menu, but I asked for the Bar Menu, and so we got the bar menu. It also helps when a person I’m dining with is a frequent visitor of Rockpool. I haven’t been to Rockpool since it relocated, well haven’t been to Rockpool in a long time.

I was dining with three others, the ordering was left to the people who frequent this establishment. First dish up was the Chicken Wing with Caviar, I put this whole thing in my mouth, and just let the caviar burst in my mouth. Yum.

Finger Sandwiches was up next, three of them. Caviar with Chives and Capers, as most people know anything with caviar is just so good. The Crab with Tabasco Mayonnaise, this had chilli in it, anything with chilli in it, I devour, and this was no exception. Prawn with Sesame, this was my least favourite, but nonetheless was still good, nice and mushy top.

Oxtail Chong Fun (Cheung Fun) Noodle, Shiitake and Black Fungus, this was apparently a new dish on the  menu, according to the two regulars. The ‘Noodle’ is thicker than the usual found at most Chinese restaurants, the outside was smooth, but the inside has a firmish texture. Otherwise the flavours of this dish was very good. I like my Cheung Fun, if only this was served in the normal quantity of three and a side of chilli.

Oysters, what are they, I didn’t have any.

Next up was the Braised Short Rib, hot and numbing with Steamed Bread and Cucumber. This was eaten bite by bite. I nearly had a fluttering of the eyes moment. The meat was very tender and the flavours meshed well. The Hoi-sin sauce was for decoration, only touched a bit of it.

‘Chou Farci’ Chicken and Prawn Mousse wrapped in Iceberg Lettuce with Umami Broth. The dish’s highlight was the broth, just drink it. A must have dish, oh wait, most of the dishes you must try.

The last dish before dessert was the Beef Short Rib Pastrami with Shiitake Condiment. As you can see from the photos, the meat was cooked very well, and it just fell apart nicely. Slice it up and swirl it around in the condiment, and let it just melt in your mouth.

The Date tart was the last dish of the night, as it is placed on the table the waitress exclaims, well maybe not that loud, original recipe since 1989. Yes, it was good. I won’t need to describe it, just go eat it.

That was my double dinner date for the start of the long weekend, and i never got to try the Black Sesame Soft Serve from Aqua S, that’s ok, I do not like desserts anyway.

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