Rockpool IS the new Otto. You go to meet. And even to eat . .

With the transient nature of the Sydney culinary scene, the relatively fresh and new Rockpool Bar & Grill IS the new Otto.

No, no, not on the food stakes (both cook totally different beasts in their respective kitchens) but for those who perceive that ‘power’ resides in a restaurant seat and the people that surround you, this is it.

The ‘bar’ part (a more workers-in. workers-out kind of vibe) is just next to the ‘grill’ (more upmarket and under the expanse of the most exquisite and grand polished granite, Hawkesbury sandstone and terrazzo floors, all mixed together by Balmain architect, Emil Sodersten.

The art deco building was opened in 1936 and while some of the clients may look like they were born around that time too, it’s a mater of wherever you look, there is some kind of self-anointed (or serious) Sydney ‘player’ chowing down on Neil Perry’s marvellous meats, seafood and a pot pourri of simply great food.

Go the Steak Tartare if you care for that kind of thing. Amazing.

It used to be the City Mutual Life Assurance Society morphed into, basically, a luxe steakhouse.

where grilling a piece of meat is dome with the precision that one would perform a double back flip with pike on a diving board.

There are shucked oysters on one table; celebrity accountant Anthony Bell on one banquette; property guy Gary Baker at another table; John ‘Boydy’ Boyd on another and Patti Mostyn and Skye Leckie on others. And they all keep coming back for more and more and more.

There’s quite the scent of woody smoke of you score a table near the exposed kitchen (as we did) rendering my hair smelling like it had been out clubbing all night, but the food and company made up for any momentary lapse of smokiness.

I love it and knowing the nature of the Sydney dining scene too well, it is fast proving itself as the restaurant du jour but has certainly much more longevity in it than becoming a one-hit wonder.

Oh, and there’s pasta with peas, broccolini, chilli, anchovy and ricotta; semolina noodles with cherry tomatoes and chilli, whole roast Dory or flounder and just a bit of everything.

Give it a whirl if you are in the city.

There is a wine list to-die-for an Catherine Adams desserts will have you floating out of Rockpool Grill like you are in rehearsal for the next Sumo intake. Very impressed indeed.

If you can’t quite do ‘the grill’ there is always the ‘bar’, separated from the grill with smart cocktails and even smarter Wagyu burgers. In fact the whole venue reeks of a new world chic in the culinary world. And don’t get me started on The Spice temple downstairs.

Wow. I’ll give you that rundown soon.

Have you had an experience at the new Rockpool Bar & Grill? Let me know…