Restaurant Review – Rocksalt

By 26 June, 2009 30

Rocksalt, located at the Hawker shops in Belconnen has long been one of my favorite dining experiences. Its one of those culinary gems you often find hidden away at suburban shopping centres and my visit last night reaffirmed my delight.

Its style is firmly Modern Australian, and while its definitely a fine dining restaurant you wont be disappointed by little servings on large expanses of white plates. Serves are generous and with an extensive wine list there is always something to match your palate.

One of the things that impresses me most about Rocksalt is that they always seem to have friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating staff, bucking a trend of poor service we’ve seen of late in Canberra. My last two visits have been without the benefit of a booking & has saved me from having to face cooking at home, all enthusiasm for that task drained by a long day at work. Rocksalt also cater well for family diners, with my 3yo son getting his own menu and some crayons with which to colour it in. This time around though he didn’t like the mushrooms in his gnocchi but devoured everything else on the plate.

I think their current menu is an improvement on the last, but as always, notable for its interesting combinations of flavors and textures (Rocksalt is the only place I’ve ever seen an avocado sorbet which was simply delicious)

This time round i was treated to a great Rabbit and Fig terrine, Kangaroo fillet w/ baby carrots, beetroot relish and a horseradish cream (although thought the carrots were a little crunchy for my taste) and finished off with Vanilla Pannacotta with citrus segments in kaffir lime which was amazing.

Being a little greedy i’d also had 2 oysters in some sort of light szechuan and mango tempura batter for an appetizer that were so good i ordered another 4 just before dessert arrived.

My wife tried the Caramelized Onion and Feta Tart, Fillet Mignon with onion mash, wilted spinach and truffle aioli (it was a Huge fillet) and a Belgian Chocolate Tart. She was certainly not disappointed and wandered around the rest of the night with one of those satisfied smiles on her face you get from having a great meal.

IMO Rocksalt retains its crown as one of the best dining spots Belconnen has to offer for an intimate night out, or a great dining experience with friends.

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30 Responses to Restaurant Review – Rocksalt
#1
Ian4:12 pm, 26 Jun 09

Its been a while since we’ve been there, but yes the couple of meals we’ve had at Rocksalt have been very good.

#2
zig4:19 pm, 26 Jun 09

Can’t agree more. Great place to go for a good meal out.

#3
Jim Jones4:41 pm, 26 Jun 09

Damn but that place is good. The wine list is completely awesome too.

I’m drooling thinking about it.

#4
ant4:42 pm, 26 Jun 09

Bad time of the afternoon to read this review! Now I’m starving.

It sounds like underwhelming mushrooms are on the move and have made their way to Belconnen already. Just as well the kid noticed them in time.

#5
jessieduck5:13 pm, 26 Jun 09

I’ve never been but it always comes up in conversations as one of people’s favourite restaurants so I will have to make the effort to go very soon.

#6
grunta1237:33 pm, 26 Jun 09

Do you guys all work there?

#7
jjoking8:16 pm, 26 Jun 09

didn’t it change hands recently? and how many of the previous posters now own it?

#8
Nemo8:34 pm, 26 Jun 09

I’ve only been there for lunch and was completely underwhelmed. I’d heard lots of great things about it, so was looking forward to the visit. I ordered a smoked salmon lunch dish which had a sliver of smoked salmon about the size of your average post-it note and that was about it. I cant remember the exact price, but it wasn’t cheap. One of my dining companions found a curly black hair at the bottom of her creme brulee as well.

Have had much better meals at cheaper restaurants.

#9
pepmeup8:37 pm, 26 Jun 09

I take it nemo is not one of the new owners!

#10
pepmeup8:42 pm, 26 Jun 09

im going there on saturday night, just looked at the menu and it seems a bit of a wank, but i will be interested to see how closly they match the food to menu when it mentions types of veg ie kipfler potato

#11
ant9:39 pm, 26 Jun 09

If I was one of the owners, I’d make sure the mushrooms passed muster. They were probably lunch mushrooms, rather than gnocchi mushrooms.

#12
LaLa10:34 pm, 26 Jun 09

My b/f took me to dinner there last year. Food was really yummy, the portions were generous and the staff friendly and helpful. And no, I don’t work there and never have..

Is it that hard to believe that most of the time it’s actually a great restaurant?

#13
Hrmmm11:05 pm, 26 Jun 09

Often good, given changes of ownership. Outsiders from the ACT have enjoyed the atmosphere and meal as well. The staff were willing to work to match wine and food as well. Must go back to check.

#14
Granny11:25 pm, 26 Jun 09

Yes, Rocksalt is superb.

#15
bigfeet9:52 am, 27 Jun 09

Well the review was doing well until this bit Rocksalt also cater well for family diners, with my 3yo son getting his own menu and some crayons with which to colour it in

That put me off going there.

#16
ant11:00 am, 27 Jun 09

bigfeet said :

Well the review was doing well until this bit Rocksalt also cater well for family diners, with my 3yo son getting his own menu and some crayons with which to colour it in

That put me off going there.

Yeah, I must admit I mentally moved it down the list a bit too when reading that. Kids are fine, but these days too many of them are permitted to scream and run about which makes the dining experience unpleasant.

Maybe the restaurant gives them the crayons in the hope it will keep them quiet and occupied.

#17
Hells_Bells7411:27 am, 27 Jun 09

Please refrain from taking your kids to restaurants if you ever have any accidentally in the future because maybe then mine will be grown and I won’t have to put up with yours ruining my dining experience if that’s what you think kids are all about, I’d hate to see yours then.

#18
ant11:40 am, 27 Jun 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

snip

What a bizarre comment.

#19
Hells_Bells7411:58 am, 27 Jun 09

Not like I expected you to get it or anything!

#20
sepi12:00 pm, 27 Jun 09

Don’t panic – I[‘ve never seen kids at Rocksalt yet.

#21
Brindabella5:12 pm, 27 Jun 09

I’ve eaten at Rocksalt a few times. I am a big eater, and I must say that although the food is top grade, I have always needed to order an entree, a main, a desert, a few drinks and a coffee at the end to feel satisfied. I would go more often if the portions were larger.

#22
Hells_Bells746:48 pm, 27 Jun 09

Sorry ant. I just reread what you and bigfeet said and it was silly of me to say anything, my head saw red. Probably just some of your other comments led me astray (still no excuse). Sorry again, I’m sure your kids would be fine.

#23
ant9:03 pm, 27 Jun 09

sepi said :

Don’t panic – I[‘ve never seen kids at Rocksalt yet.

I guess it’s not the presence of kids that’s an issue, it’s more the question of, is it an adult space, or a kid space? Can we co-exist, or do the kids get to take over and turn it into kid space? If an upmarket restaurant becomes like a McDonalds, where do we go for a quiet, relaxed, dignified night out?

It’s a legitimate issue, I think. And one that’s about behaviour, not about whether one’s a kid or an adult.

#24
Granny11:59 pm, 27 Jun 09

It is definitely an adult restaurant. You are not likely to see children there, but when you do take them they are made welcome. We all went along for my adult daughter’s birthday once and were able to take the children. I think they just kind of absorbed the classier ethos and kind of knew that certain things were appropriate there whilst other things weren’t.

I remember my parents taking us out to restaurants when I was a child and the worst disgrace was if we dropped our fork on the floor. Even though we were not of school age we knew how to behave and what was expected of us. It was exciting to go to a nice restaurant and it was a positive learning experience for us.

There are some kids who you couldn’t take to Rocksalt, but they would probably be fairly problematic at Maccas also I should think.

#25
justsayit2:05 am, 28 Jun 09

Haven’t been there yet but might based on this.
I just wish I could have seen the waiting staff’s face when the reviewer requested 4 more appetizer oysters between the main and dessert.

#26
grunta1235:31 pm, 28 Jun 09

I have a little fella myself (7yo) and he goes wherever we go. Hyatt, Marriott, Mezzalira wherever. He is always well behanved and loved the opportunity to eat real food. Very rarely does he resort to any childrens menu (most of them are crap). Dresses up in his sunday best, participates in conversation and enjoys the dining experience. Mind you we are out of the restaurants by 7pm most time so we probably won’t come across ignorant pratts who don’t like dining with children. I think you are the ones who should stay at home.

Rant rant rant

Ahhh.. Feels good to get that off my chest.

#27
pepmeup2:50 pm, 30 Jun 09

did go to Rocksalt on saturday,

Staff were loverly

atmousphere was relaxed and enjoyable

portions were smaller than I would have hoped

I had an entree and main that both listed kipfer potatoes in there discription, niether actually contained kipfler potato, this may seem like a small thing, but why dress up your menu when you are going to find the cheapest ingredients for the plate. Kipfle potato whole sales at about $3/350 per kg washed white flesh chats (nadine/sabago) whole sale at abot 40/80 cents per kg. If they are going to mention a high wax yelloe flesh potato they should use it.

Also if the owner do read this, pac choi has a green stem and bok choi has a white stem, jsut because every one else gets it wrong it doen’t mean you have to on your menu, so you could change all the buk chois to pac chois.

but on a whole it is a great place to eat, I think it is over priced but i think that of 80% of canberra resturants

#28
housebound3:43 pm, 30 Jun 09

We’ve been to Rocksalt twice. The first time, the food was fantastic but this was more than compensated for by the high prices for the amount. My partner at the time made a second small meal when we got home. It as defnitely a gourmet experience for people who don’t eat much.

The second time was for a function, and the food was basic, late and cold.

Some people love this place and rave forever and some come away with our experiences. Maybe you have to get there on the right shift.

#29
ant4:23 pm, 30 Jun 09

grunta123 said :

time so we probably won’t come across ignorant pratts who don’t like dining with children. I think you are the ones who should stay at home.

Rant rant rant

Ahhh.. Feels good to get that off my chest.

You really need to read things properly, before abusing people as “ignorant pratts”, lest the insult come back and splatter all over you.

People with concerns here about children are concerned about the way some parents let their kids run and scream around restaurants. Plainly, from reading the first part of your post, you don’t do this. So, if you recognise that it’s a bad thing to have one’s kid screaming around a restaurant, why do you term people who don’t enjoy it “ignorant pratts”?

#30
I-filed6:34 pm, 30 Jun 09

I’ve had salad with grit in it at Rocksalt several times. Inexcusable. I don’t go there any more!

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