In their own words “William Blue Dining gives (their) vocational students the chance to learn upmarket food and beverage service skills in a live environment”. Having dined at their old restaurant in North Sydney, I decided to take my aunt, uncle and two of their friends (who were visiting from Melbourne) to their new(ish) location in The Rocks (Rockpool’s old venue) last Friday night.
There were many positives; the main one being value for money. The menu is slightly limited in choice (4 options for each course), but entrees are just $11, mains $18 and desserts $9. I chose the Rare roasted beef with mash, cavolo nero and cafe de paris butter for my main and the Hazelnut marshmallow parfait with peanut butter brittle, meringue and raspberry powder for my dessert. Both were delicious; though I had food envy when I saw (and tasted) the Dark chocolate and salted caramel tart with citrus and pomegranate salad and caramel cream.
Additionally, my aunt was not sure which wine to order, and they were very patient as well as giving her a complimentary tasting to help her decide.
However, on the downside, the main waitress who helped us appeared to be brand new and didn’t know what some of the dishes were. I had expected that the students working in the restaurant would have been studying at William Blue College of Hospitality Management for awhile, but this student seemed to have just started. Admittedly, she was very polite and did come back to us with answers quickly. The other staff we spoke to were also helpful, and much more knowledgeable.
The only other small hiccup was that the bill they gave us included a 25% staff discount (despite none of us being a member of staff). When I mentioned this, they immediately took it off and we paid full price. It might have been nice if they had acknowledged their mistake and my honesty.
In summary, if you are looking for somewhere central, near Circular Quay or the Opera House, you can’t go past their 3 courses for $38!