I went with a group of friends to Rockpool bar and grill on a Saturday night. We were told we could only book at 6pm or 8:30pm. We booked the 6pm session. Our party all turned up by 6:30pm, and we were being rushed by the staff to order immediately. Several items on the menu they would not serve us given the time required to prepare it, and they wanted us out by 8pm. We were rushed in making ordering decisions, and in the end all four of us hurriedly chose the same $115 sirloin steak. We ordered 5 sides, and a bottle of wine. The food arrived, with exaggeration, almost immediately. The steak was good, but nothing special, and disappointing given the price. The sides were uninteresting and unimaginative. Perhaps it was poor selection, but given the rushed nature of the visit, I did not have time to peruse the comprehensive menu.
Dessert was similarly limited to what they could produce immediately. We ordered- pavlova- unimaginative- meringue with simple cream balls and passionfruit - nothing interesting about it, could have been made by a novice at home; creme caramel -average. Profiteroles- I will not comment on as I am too biased by my disinterest in profiteroles at the best of times. And a cheese board, which appeared satisfactory. The tea I ordered never turned up.
All in all we left with a bill of ~$180 pp with minimal digestion time, and rushed out the door. My comments are that although the trend of booking by sitting times may suit the restaurant and be a profitable way to market a most unnatural dining time of 6pm, it provides an incredibly poor dining experience. Patrons should be able to choose a time that suits them- what's wrong with having dinner at 7:30? Your patrons may actually have been hungry at 7:30pm on a Saturday night, they may have drank more bottles of wine and ordered more sides, and have had time to consider entrees rather than being forced to order mains as soon as they arrived. We may have had more time to appreciate and savour the food. I concede that we had arrived by 6:30pm, but had we have all been there by 6pm we would regardless have liked to have time to enjoy some wine and bread, then entrees, whilst working up an appetite given that we were forced to sit so early.
I believe that this restaurant could be enjoyed under different conditions, and would not dissuade anyone from dining there, but advise caution with booking times. I will personally be avoiding any restaurant that serves patrons in sessions.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.