Occupying a whole section of the Crown Entertainment Complex are all three of Neil Perry’s Melbourne restaurants, one of which is Rockpool Bar & Grill.
David Blackmore owns the only Mishima bull outside of Japan and a few times a year, Rockpool serves up some of this rare beef. I knew the mishima burger was available earlier this month but it seemed to have disappeared from the menu a week before I came. I planned to go and try the full-blood wagyu anyway, but to my joy, I found myself looking at the mishima burger listed on the menu – quite the opposite to what seems to happen to me normally, where what I want to try is no longer being served.
There’s a choice of table or bar seats, each having a different menu. Bar seats are not able to be booked and are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. I took a place at a bar seat, which to my surprise, was not really at the bar counter. Of course, there are a few counter seats, but I was directed to a small table near the bar instead. Separating the bar/table seats and the actual bar were the impressive, nearly full-ceiling wine cabinets. I was offered both the main menu and bar menu, though I’m not sure if this was because I came at 6pm, right when Rockpool opened for service.
The waiter recommended the patty be cooked to medium rare; soon afterwards a juicy burger arrived on the table. Compared to other burgers, this one seemed to have a coarser consistency and the Mishima wagyu had a very nice ‘beefy’ flavour. It lent itself well to the accompanying zucchini and onion pickles, but I did think there was a bit too much pickle – the sourness seemed to overpower the meat slightly.
It felt odd eating with my hands at such a nice venue so I tried eating the burger with a knife and fork. It eventually grew to be quite difficult and tiresome, so in the end I picked it up to finish it off. I thought it tasted juicier when I was biting into the burger directly, though I do have to say I felt quite self-conscious doing so.
The service here was very pleasant and professional and the fit-out was modern and classy. Maybe one day I’ll return to see how the mishima compares to the full-blood wagyu burger.
David Blackmore’s Mishima Wagyu Hamburger w. Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle ($22)
Rockpool Bar and Grill
8 Whiteman St
Southbank, VIC, 3006
(03) 8648 1900