The Rook

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Naturally, the dinner conversation came to the name...
Rook - the castle chess piece that moves in straight lines. Now, also a newish bar/eatery that sits in a prime rooftop position in an office block on York St. Pretty much in the middle of town, so perfect for an after work tipple. When making the ascent in the lift, you almost feel like you're entering a secret club, that or the best house party in town (erm, bubbles and lobster - hello?). 

The interior has that sort of thrown together feel that you know has been meticulously thought out. The timber walled bench seats and dangling light bulbs add to the house party feel. It gives you the warm and cosies. Photo credit: Sophie Roberts for Broadsheet Sydney

On that note, can I just sing the praises of the relaxed liquor licensing here now? Thank you, Clover! The worst thing about our visit was most certainly the weather. It was absolutely pissing down + hideous + heinous +++. Despite their rooftop venue let me assure you, the Rook is fully enclosed and has heating! Yuss.

The Florabotanica cocktail: sheer genius. Find the recipe this way. The bacon/lobster croquettes as entrée were super creamy with a béchamel replacing the traditional potato. These were scant on lobster (and flavour I must say) but we'd soon make up for that on the following courses...

What better way to seek solace from crappy weather than with a cocktail. The list at the Rook is impressive (short and sweet shall we say), and delicious. At one point we had a sort of  cocktail tasting going at one point, which could have ended badlyThe Florabotanica and Nobis are two of the best. What ended up being a disaster was being talked into getting a bottle of chilled Gamay - a red wine. What were we thinking *shakes head*

The damned well best onion rings there ever were. Did that even make any sense? The perfect accompaniment to a beer/beverage of your choosing, these rings were golden crispy and contained actual onion. Kudos! I could eat shedloads of this stuff, die young and happy.

Le pièce de résistance...
It's taken me the longest time to figure out how to do accents on the keyboard haha

The Rook has gained a bit of a rep for their lobsters. It's basically one of the two or three things they actually have on their menu. I ordered the garlic butter variety with a serving or truffle fries (super chunky and addictive) and chopped salad. Cooked in its shell and served in all (well, half) it's glory, the lobster was cooked well and very juicy (must be all that butter right) but on the smaller side. It costs a pretty penny but if you're craving lobster (aren't we all), you should give it a whirl at least once!

Service at the Rook swung wildly between extremely attentive and total disinterest. This was a rather small detractor because when you have all this good food and drink around you sort of cease to care! Having said that, I wasn't that impressed when my cocktail was swept away from my reaches not yet finished. What's going on there? You can always ASK first (pls).

Lobster 'other ways': lobster risotto (left) and the Fried chicken burger (right). The risotto was a rather hearty serve and quite heavy. The amount of lobster here was teeny tiny and completely swamped by the sheer volume of risotto rice. The fried chicken burger seemed to be a bit of an afterthought - Sydney is going through a bit of a 'fried anything and everything must be good' phase. The burger was so so, rather MacDonalds-esque. I'm not sure if that's a good thing either

Dessert was definitely more fizzle than sizzle. Here we have the deep fried mars bar & vanilla bean ice cream (left) and the mango and strawberry eton mess (right). The mars bar was sort of a profusion of all sorts of sweet ingredients that didn't really go together. The actual mars bar was itself a tad soggy (sad face). The eton mess I didn't understand, being winter I was amazed to see those fruits in a dessert at this time of year. The mango was still frozen and the strawberries tasteless. Use pears, rhubarb or my personal favourite - quince! Anything that's in season really ;)

Despite my few misgivings, I actually had a great time at the Rook. Fun certainly comes to mind. What with its old school 80s soundtrack mixed with more modern stuff, the Rook is somewhere you can sit and enjoy your lobster mornay or crack out the dance moves by the bar (maybe). I'll be sticking this one in the memory bank for future reference. Check mate!

Thanks for reading!
The Rook on Urbanspoon


  1. Love that first picture of the table setting :) & mmmm that lobster and chips look delightful!

  2. I thought to write down the first sentence from the previous comment;-)really like it...



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