I know my reviews are usually confined to books but I thought I’d branch out this week and for those of you who live in Melbourne, this one’s for you. For everyone else, perhaps you might be enticed to visit our beautiful city.
Last week I had the pleasure of dining at Rokkbank & Co with a group of friends. Walking through the front door we were led down an aisle where the glass floor revealed a well-lit room containing an impressive wine cellar. We were shown to a large booth of luxurious green velvet.
The first thing I noticed in this full restaurant was the noise. There was none! Just a low murmuring from other diners and soft background music subtle enough without being intrusive. What a pleasure to eat, drink and talk in surroundings where you can actually hear each other. We knew we’d be in for a perfect evening when our attentive waiter, David explained patiently what was on offer and our stomachs rumbled with anticipation. No sharing tonight, we got to order exactly as we pleased and because we were a party of eight, there was no compulsion for a set menu as so many restaurants require. Not that you can’t have a degustation menu if you wanted it because it was certainly available for $130 per person. But that wasn’t what we were after.
Our first course choices were varied and ranged from oysters, Japanese seafood plate, quail, duck eggs to name a few. The prices were reasonable ranging from $16 (for the soup) to $26 (for the Japanese seafood plate). Being a cold night I chose Cream Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Panko crumbed marinated goats cheese, shiso, and toasted pine nuts. When it arrived there was the cheese and toasted pine nuts and just as I opened my mouth to say something, David swooped in and poured the soup into the bowl (see pic below).
I’m still thinking about that soup and could have licked the bowl but of course, didn’t. Some of my friends ordered the Blue Swimmer Crab wonton ravioli. The servings were generous and delicious, particularly when paired with a rose.
The main course choices were equally interesting and ranged in price from $32 to $ 39. I chose the Roasted Western Plains suckling pig saddle and barbecued leg while others selected White Miso baked Japanese black cod fillet or slow-cooked lamb shank. Again, generously portioned so much so we could barely fit in dessert. But in the interests of checking out the full menu, we forced ourselves to share two desserts and with eight spoons we weren’t disappointed.
Chef Brendan McQueen has certainly provided a menu of interesting dishes with Japanese and Asian influences with the freshest of ingredients. The cocktails are interesting and there is a bar for a pre-dinner drink and the wine list is good. We’ll be heading back there again, I hope very soon.
Check it out https://www.rokkbank.com/ and enjoy.