Goodbye Rockpool, Hello Eleven Bridge
Sometimes, old is new again, and so it is with Eleven Bridge. Rockpool, a wonderful high end stalwart of Sydney’s restaurant scene since 1989, is reinventing itself as Eleven Bridge. Lets go check it out!
The room channels a sophisticated, darkly romantic vibe. We’re upstairs in a private room, which is going to turn out to be a good idea later when we’ve had a few wines and get a bit loud. I do think it is weird that we were asked to select our wines (and quantity) at booking though – quite odd!
We warm up with the homemade bread with a couple of butters and little nori nibbles, but our real excitement is about the Eleven Bridge fried chicken. It’s a mixed reaction when it arrives, a divided vote between “the most moist succulent piece of chicken ever” and “ho-hum”.
Bring on the dishes
I’m entranced with the hand rolled strozzapreti with moreton bay bug and crustacean butter, it’s rich and fresh and balanced, with perfect bug meat. I could eat this every day. Other favourite entrees are the snapper fish and chips, and the prawn and scallop cake.
My main is phenomenal, the tea smoked lamb pastrami with lap chuong, eggplant and black bean sauce. The lamb is superb quality, and the tea smoking amps the flavour app another notch. The scene-stealing meal is the whole partridge steamed in bread with glazed turnip. I have fun watching the ceremonial presenting of the steamed partridge in it’s bread, the waiter breaking the bread casing open, the carving of the partridge and the presenting of the best parts to the diner – what theatre!
Talking of theatre, how about the vacherin of pandan custard, lime granita, and jasmine rice? It looks plain enough on arrival, an ice-cream on top of granita in a white bowl. I give it a little tap and it collapses open, revealing the beautiful mix of fresh citrusy flavours and textures. Mind blowingly delicious!
Also popular around the table is the passionfruit souffle with passionfruit ice-cream, a beautiful big blast of flavour.
And then to our surprise and delight, we are presented with a selection of petit fours, hello! The golden wagon wheel is delicious but too rich, while the white chocolate yuzu and the little choux pastry with salted caramel cream are truly divine (even if I did spill it all down my top – oops!).
This meal joins my ‘Top 3’ for the year, the others being Dinner by Heston and Guillaume, what lovely memories. What’s your best meal this year?
Best bits: that tea smoked lamb is out of this world.
Worst bits: weird booking requirements from the restaurant.
Where am I? Eleven Bridge, 11 Bridge St, Sydney 2000 Australia.