Rocks Urban Grill + Bar

Restaurants, European Raffles Place
Rocks Urban Grill + Bar
On the rocks, but has potential. By Mary Weaver

Show me a sign, just show me a sign… ’ These were the words running through my head as we aimlessly wandered around the ground floor of The Sail, the luxury condominium at Marina Bay, in our search for Rocks. While making my reservation on the phone, restaurant staff had failed to mention I should pack a GPS and a bucket load of patience in order to find the place. Tip: it’s on the second floor, closest to the big orange escalator.

Within seconds we’re greeted by the friendly wait-staff and I’m soon perusing the reasonably priced wine list (glasses from just $10) and the food menu, which unsurprisingly has a strong selection of grilled meats, but a surprisingly strong selection of seafood. Not long after, we’re tucking into half a dozen grilled oysters with subtle overtones of lime juice, soy sauce and wasabi. Even better is the fresh kingfish ceviche which is bursting with acidity and punch, courtesy of some lime, chilli and shallots. For mains we decide to test out the grill and order a 250gm tenderloin and 350gm sirloin, both 120-day grain-fed pieces of Australian beef. The complementary sauces include béarnaise, togarashi and red wine. Portion-wise, we’re not disappointed. These steaks are huge. But once again, we’re shown that size isn’t always everything – both are a tad overcooked and a little on the bland side. The truffle mashed potatoes and sautéed wild mushrooms were standout sides.

Kingfish Ceviche

On my second time around, with two hungry girlfriends in tow, I order some dishes I’d been eyeing the previous visit. The sizzling beef maki sits at the top of the list. Served on a hot stone, three slices of tenderloin are rolled up and accompanied by a soy wasabi sauce. The trick is to let them sizzle for as long, or as short, as you like. This dish is a winner. It’s tender, fragrant and tasty. For my main, I tuck into the cod papillote provençale – which is essentially a fish steamed in a foil bag with onion, tomato and herbs. While the dish is high on the ‘wow’ factor in terms of presentation, it is lacking on the taste front. The barbecued chilli crab cakes are a major disappointment because, well, they look and taste more like rubbery Thai fish cakes. Luckily, sides of gratinated root vegetables and French fries help to save the day.

Rocks has all the makings of a solid restaurant. The decor, service and location are convenient for the after-work and work-lunch crowd, and Marina Bay will only continue to get busier. The menu is hitting the right notes – the wood-fired pizzas and the Rocks’ cheeseburger look particularly third-trip worthy – but I have a feeling that Rocks needs to bed itself in just a little more, refine the menu and give the food more oomph. Not to mention investing in proper ground-floor signage.

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Venue name: Rocks Urban Grill + Bar
Address: #02-01/02 The Sail @ Marina Bay
2 Marina Bolevard

Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-2pm; Mon-Sat 7-10pm.
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