The Rook, Town Hall

Sydney has seen quite a few new eateries popping up in recent months and one which has caught my attention is The Rook, a casual rooftop bar that also serves up some nice dishes. I am huge fan of rooftop bars and I wish that they were more common in Sydney, so I was pretty happy to discover that The Rook is located conveniently on York Street at the top of a nondescript office building just a street away from Myer.

At first I was a bit worried that we had the wrong building because it didn’t look like it housed a funky bar, but all those fears disappeared when the lift doors opened and we stepped into a whole different world through the dark wooden corridor into a bustling bar with some industrial warehouse style furnishings. There is a restaurant area too which is filled with natural light streaming in through the clear roof panels.  The Rook is not quite a rooftop bar in the traditional sense as there’s no open air area, but the high ceiling still helps it feel relatively spacious.

The food menu is limited at The Rook but the options they have chalked up on the blackboards hanging above their open kitchen sure sound appetising. We can’t pick between the burgers, so we decide to get two of them to share and half a lobster too. The boys go for some Pacifico beers which apparently taste like tropical South America in a bottle and after a longer than expected wait, we dig into the dishes.

Half Lobster with Garlic Butter and Lemon, $50

We had chosen the Garlic Butter sauce for our Half Lobster and it wasn’t a very big serving for the price but they had thoughtfully cut up the juicy flesh into manageable chunks for us to split between the three of us. The garlic butter sauce had been absorbed nicely into the lobster meat and my only complaint was that I wished that there was more to go around. The truffle fries which came with the dish (and all the burgers on the menu too) were thickly cut and crunchy on the outside, but I couldn’t really detect much of the distinctive aroma of truffle in the fries. They did well to pad our stomachs though and because the chips were a bit dry, we dipped them in the sauces which came with our burgers.

Wagyu Burger, $20

The fancy Wagyu Burger had a typical Australian twist to it as it came with pickled beetroot, as well as cheddar and aioli to keep it gourmet. It was quite hard to split since it pretty much fell apart when I tried to cut it in half – clearly there’s a reason why it was held together with one of those glorified toothpick things, so I don’t recommend the burgers for sharing. Although the patty of the Wagyu Burger was quite flavoursome, I actually preferred the Fried Chicken burger we ordered…there’s just something about perfectly crunchy crumbed chicken fillets which gets me everytime. The Fried Chicken burger came with a moreish herb mayo and tomato slices sandwiched with a crispy fried chicken filling which lived up to expectations and delivered satisfying crunch and flavour.

Fried Chicken Burger, $20

Apart from the decent food and drinks at The Rook, the service is also very friendly and quite attentive, so I can see this new kid on the block becoming pretty popular once more people find out about it and the crowds start making it hard to nab a table…but for now, this hidden treasure will be one of my favourite spots for a bite after work and cocktails on a Friday night.

The Rook
Level 7, 56-58 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9262 2505

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The Rook on Urbanspoon


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