SINGAPORE RESTAURANT

Rocks Urban Grill + Bar

4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

This sophisticated Euro grill is everything you’d expect from the Emmanuel Stroobant group. Prices may be a little on the high side, but the quality of the food more than makes up for this. Rocks’ forte lies in its grilled meats, which are, on the whole, very good. The sizzling beef maki makes for an excellent starter and if you’re looking to go easy on the red meat, you’ll find the four cheese pizza a very agreeable alternative. Rocks also offers a three-course set lunch menu that changes weekly—very good value for money if you ask us. Reservations are a must, unless you don’t mind sitting under the air-con vents at the bar.

When we visited the Emmanuel Stroobant Group of Restaurants’ latest baby on a weekday afternoon, it seemed as if someone had decreed it the power lunch venue du jour. There they were, Raffles Place’s finest, schmoozing like it was still 2006.

Since we did not have a reservation, we were told apologetically that we would have to sit at the bar. To be fair, the bar area is actually very nice and airy, and comes with an excellent view of the Marina Bay Sands area (although there’s not much to look at now).

That aside, what we like about Rocks is how it does the simple things so well. Here’s what we couldn’t get enough of: The asparagus soup with grilled prawns (part of a three-course lunch set menu), which was like the gustatory equivalent of snuggling under a warm, fluffy comforter. The Quartzite pizza, with its pleasing mélange of gorgonzola, parmesan, mozzarella and mascarpone, was a nuanced and sophisticated take on the ubiquitous four-cheese staple. Also good was the gratinated root vegetables, though it was a little on the small side.

Now here’s what we weren’t too crazy about: The seared red snapper (also part of the set menu). While it was fresh and moist, it didn’t leave us much of an impression, save to wonder if we should have ordered something else. The elegant and very pretty strawberry shortcake dessert redeemed things somewhat, though calling it a strawberry shortcake is a slight misnomer since the berries were lost in the creme chantilly.

While Rocks was on the whole a very polished establishment, it’s sadly missing that spark that differentiates the good from the great. A large part of this has to do with the service—which was okay, but not nearly as polished as the rest of the restaurant. Frankly, it was rather languid and indifferent at times—the snapper, for instance, took ages to arrive and instead of explaining that the kitchen needed time to sear it, we were left craning our necks to see if anything was coming our way. Given the prices charged, diners would be forgiven for expecting a great experience, and not just good food.

Venue Details
Address: Rocks Urban Grill + Bar, #02-01/02 The Sail, 2 Marina Blvd., Singapore, 018987 Singapore
Phone: 6438-4404
Website: www.rocks.com.sg
Area: Marina Bay
Cuisine: Western
Price Range: $$
Open since: July, 2009
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 6:30pm-midnight
Reservation recommended, Parking available: at The Sail, Late night
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