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Myffy Rigby, Food & Drink editor at Time Out Sydney, on Rockpool:
The first thing that hits you when you enter the 1936 City Mutual Building - considered by many the finest art deco building in Australia - isn't the pristine stone and brass work. It's the smell. Push through the heavy brass doors and be greeted by a mingling of grilling meat, wood fire and leather. Breathe it in as you look up at the grandeur of the room. Rockpool Bar & Grill has to be the most stylish dining room in town with incredibly high ceilings, Manhattan-style art deco architecture, private dining rooms including a dress circle upstairs. It's like something out of 'Mad Men'. And it's a throwback to a time when money was no object.
People said chef and owner Neil Perry was taking a huge gamble opening two multi-million-dollar restaurants in the same building in the middle of a global financial crisis, but he can now give all those naysayers the two-fingered salute. What credit crunch? Head to the bar for a pre-prandial cocktail. Riedel glasses - 6,500 of them - are stacked in backlit metal brackets like working art.
Rockpool Bar and Grill. 66 Hunter Street, Sydney, Australia. +61 2 8078 1900. www.rockpool.com/sydney/bar-and-grill.
More on Rockpool Bar and Grill from Time Out Sydney