I called Rockpool to make a booking and they had a 930 pm slot open and I asked if we could get the tasting menu at that time and they said sure! so I made the booking, we showed up at 915, were asked to sit in the bar, we did, ordered a glass of wine and sat there for over 15 min. By the time we were shown to our table and chose to order the 9 course tasting menu, we were told it was too late.
I was very disappointed and the restaurant did nothing to make it better and the server cheerfully told us we could just make our own tasting menu.
Certain parts of the dinner - like the oysters - seemed to take forever. The food was good, the fish we had was superb, everything had lots of attention to detail, but I felt like the service was not really what I wanted from fine dining. The head chef kept clapping his hands and saying hurry up andd everyone would say yes chef, but possibly that kitchen is not moving so fast.
So, if you want a tasting menu, do not make a 930 pm reservation. When I asked Aria, they told me ahead of time that was too late for the tasting menu - I appreciate the honesty.
Rockpool have indeed returned to the fine dining formula they used to offer. Their mains are back up to $55-$65...and they're offering dego again. Mr Gimlet, i think you're right about Aria. I had dego at Aria 2 weeks ago and it was excellent. I think their service is better than most of the 3 hatters. The level of professionalism from first contact (on the phone) to being farwelled at the door is world calss (wine service leaves a bit to be desired...). If you'd told them you wanted dego at 9.30 at Aria, im sure they would have warned against it.
Ah, I'm out of date on Rockpool. I tend to frequent Melbourne Bar and Grill these days anyway. I have a tenuous connection via my taxi driver to Mr Moran - I was left with the impression they didn't really want to chase three hats anymore (though that could just be sour grapes....)