It was Karen M's birthday and at her request, we celebrated it here.
The last time I was in Rochester Park on a Friday night, the parking situation was horrendous, so I was expecting the worse when I was approaching the car park that evening. To my surprise, the car park was half empty! It might have been the incessant rain that was foiling everyone's plans, but I have the feeling that the hype about Rochester might also be dying down.
We were quite impressed by the service when the staff swooped in to keep away our umbrellas when we arrived at the restaurant... but the service the rest of the night left much to be desired...
As it expected with such ambient lighting the photos are quite bad - sorry for the strain on your eyes :(
We ordered a few starters to share -
King Prawn Done Three Ways - Tempura, Chilled, Pan-tossed with Coconut Coriander Sorbet $18+++. So the photo is not very clear, but I'm sure you're thinking "are there really three KING prawns on that plate??". There were definitely three prawns served, but whether they were king prawns were debatable...
We also shared the Crab Salad $16+++ but I can't really remember how it tasted...
For the main course I had one of the specials, Butterfish wrapped in Prosciutto $38+++ -
Seeng how the starters were in pretty small portions, I was expecting the same for my main course... and was quite surprised when it turned out to have two relatively big servings of fish. This is the first time I've had butterfish - it's white and flaky like cod, but a bit meatier in texture. Each prosciutto wrapped roll was totally stuffed with the butterfish. The combination of fish with prosciutoo was amazing! But there was so much fish in each serving that I could just barely finish one piece and had to give away the other one.
The birthday girl had another one of the specials, Lamb Loin $38+++,
her husband had the Roasted Barramundi with Pumpkin and Parmesan Cheese Ravioli $30+++,
the resident vegetarian, had the Pumpkin, Nutmeg, Pine nut and Parmesan cheese Ravioli $24+++,
And the beef lover's wife had the Soy-lacquered Wagyu Ox Cheek, Coconut Rice, Green Papaya and Pomelo Salad $32+++ :)
Since I've never had Rhubarb, I was quite eager to try the Green Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream $12+++ -
The rhubarb was quite indistinguishable from the apple in the gooey mess under the crumble, but I'm sure it's what made the dessert even more sour than it already was. It was good, but impossible for one person to finish on their own... I felt quite sick after eating most of it.
Other desserts that were ordered included the Cheese Plate $25+++,
and Black and White Pudding Cake $18+++.
The service was pretty scrappy. One example was how the waiter who took our order for the desserts had a pretty poor memory, and while he was (barely remembering and) repeating our orders, he got another waiter to take over and we had to go through our orders all over again. No idea what was up with that...
Another thing that annoyed me about this place - when I called to make a reservation for 10 persons, I was told that for 10 pax and above, we have to order from a set menu (appetizer, main course, dessert - all items available on the normal menu, coffee/tea) at $80+++ per head. I thought it was a really silly rule and was quite glad when our headcount fell to 9. When I asked for the reason for the rule, the staff gave a reason which I can't remember right now but remember it as being really silly.
Didn't enjoy dinner as much as I enjoyed brunch, so if I do come back it will likely only be for brunch. Nice ambience and reasonably good food, but the service could be improved...
4 Rochester Park
Tel : 6775 9000