Rockpool Bar & Grill

Drivers, start your Martinis. Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney is perhaps the grandest restaurant Australia has seen and the perfect antipodean setting for playing out your Don Draper fantasies—or those that involve white-jacketed service, carefully crafted cocktails, and expense account–busting steaks, at any rate. Opened by Neil Perry hot on the heels of his pan-Chinese Spice Temple (located in the basement of the same Art Deco building), it’s the Sydney sequel to the successful luxe wood-fired steakhouse model he opened in Melbourne two years ago. There’s $9 million worth of wine in the cellar and meat from four leading producers in the dry-aging facility. Our picks? The hugely marbled Blackmore Wagyu skirt and the grass-fed rib-eye on the bone from Tasmania’s Cape Grim, the latter an elegantly nuanced piece of meat, the former somewhat akin to eating an old-school gentlemen’s club—all smoke, leather, and hardwood. The lengthy selection of sides includes braised green beans and poached organic carrots “inspired by St. John” (the restaurant, not the apostle), while Catherine Adams’ prune and Armagnac brulée and pink almond floating island lend a touch of frivolity to the sweet finish. It’s impressive stuff.

Rockpool Bar & Grill 66 Hunter St., Sydney, Australia (02-8078-1900;



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