Rocks on Rosalind had me at hello. And by hello, I mean a “build your own dessert platter”, a gorgeous pork belly entree, and a good old fashioned bank heist legend...
You know that moment when you’re standing on the steps of a new restaurant, about to open the door…and you hold your breath ever so slightly, hoping that it’s going to tick all the boxes and match the buzz that you’ve been hearing? Maybe that’s just me…but being on the brink of a new dining experience is one of my most favourite things. I was overseas when they opened, I could only watch from Facebook, and I’ve been scheming my first visit ever since.
I love walking into a space where you have to pause for a moment to take it all in. Having previously been one of Bendigo’s old bank buildings, the interior of Rocks is a clever mix of modern meets industrial with a nod to their historic location. The tall ceilings and large arched windows blend with an exposed concrete wall and additional dining space inside of an actual bank vault. I’m always drawn to repeated elements, in this case the map of local quartz reefs, and the use of herringbone fabric. The vintage drinks station provides a pop of colour to offset the soft palette.
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. There’s a menu of tasting plates that you can use as entrees, mains or both. Those that prefer the traditional singular mains are also catered for, and the adventurous can construct a tiered banquet of tastes for the table. You can extend the tiered tasting concept through to dessert with twelve sweet miniature desserts for the table, or build your own platter. Then, with a view over the park towards Charring Cross, the bar provides more than enough choices from an extensive drinks menu. The staff are friendly, more than willing to help you navigate your options for the evening, and attentive without being overly so.
Next time I might order a dessert platter made up entirely of those little chocolate pots...so good! Luke's steak came with a little wooden crate of varied mustard flavours in jars with handwritten labels...and he declared it one of the best steaks he's had since Michael Jordan's steak house in Chicago :)
It wasn’t until towards the end of our meal that we looked up and noticed what looked like a bullet hole in one of the windows looking over View Street. Ever curious, I asked our waitress about it. Back in the days of being a bank, the vault was being robbed. A sniper was positioned in one of the buildings across the street, and took a shot to end the heist. The glass didn’t shatter, and the bullet hole is still visible over a hundred years later…so the story goes. A good local legend was the perfect way to end a night of delicious dining…can’t wait to return.
They shared: master stock poached pork belly, black pepper caramel & pickled daikon salad.
She had: pistachio rotolo with ricotta, pistachio and spinach, roast capsicum ragout and watercress
He had: 300g rump cap with handcut chips, sautéed spinach and shiraz jus
They shared: Rocks brownie, Aztec chocolate pot, passionfruit semifreddo, strawberry cheesecake, Callebaut and raspberry pudding.