Food review

Week 51: Rockpool Bar and Grill


They say to save the best until last. While I have something different in mind for the final bolognese (to be posted tomorrow night!!), I thought treating myself to a Wagyu bolognese at Rockpool Bar and Grill would be a nice reward for surviving the year-long challenge. Neil Perry’s Rockpool restaurants are renowned for their unrivalled beef – the Wagyu steak selection here is topnotch (up there with France Soir, Vlados et al).

It felt odd ordering spag bol here and let’s not beat around the bush – my mouth was watering for a famous Rockpool steak! So, I opted for the Cape Grim aged 36 month old grass fed Wagyu fillet and ordered the Wagyu Bolognaise with hand cut fettuccini as a side dish to share amongst the table. Why not?

I didn’t have a good experience the last time I tried a Wagyu bolognese which was at Trunk in week 12 – they failed miserably in my eyes! I hoped Rockpool would prove a good bolognese can come from excellent quality meat and not just the fattier and cheaper kind many use to add flavour.

Rockpool  Wagyu bolognaise

Presentation looked promising. A little bit oily on first sight, but the sauce looked rich. I was expecting the bolognese to hero the Wagyu with tomato flavour to take the backseat. And that’s exactly how it turned out – you could  taste the incredible, tender, tasty beef  but I found it lacked tomato punch. There was definitely tomato present but it wasn’t balanced as I prefer. But I get it – it’s Rockpool and beef is the signature so why would they want to mask it too much?

The texture of the meat was on the fine side – the meat was quite crumbly, and I would have liked more denseness to it. The pasta was sensational – one of the best yet with silky texture and great elastin cooked to the perfect al dente. Seasoning first class, pasta-to-sauce ratio generous but size small (lucky I ordered the steak!).

It was delicious and so was my perfect medium rare fillet.

Price: $25
Score: 16+

Note: dishes which score 16+ are contenders for the title of Melbourne’s best Spaghetti Bolognese. All scores above 16/20 will be disclosed after the winner announcement finale party this Thursday on the score page.

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