Roc's - Jam Factory; if you've never heard of it, been to it, or noticed it as you enter the Village Cinema complex at the Jam Factory - 500 Chapel Street, South Yarra, now is the time for you to discover this little hip New Yorkish wine bar and restaurant. You'll find it upstairs just left of the escalator, past the candy bar and opposite Gold Class. It's quite the discovery and has sparked pleasantly surprised fans to start their own unofficial Facebook page of praise.
Let's talk about some important things first; such as Roc's first Melbourne Cup Party and the daily unlisted specials at Roc's you're now privy to.
Mr & Mrs Beatrice & Roc Kirby. Roc was the founder of Village Roadshow and a pioneer of the Australian Film & Cinema industry
If you're looking for somewhere classy yet comfortably close and familiar, surrounded by other entertainment as well, Roc's is holding a special Melbourne Cup Event on Tuesday 1 November from 11am to 4pm, with a menu to suit. Don't miss out on this great event and secure your place now!CLICK HERE for tickets and more information about the event.
The Melbourne Cup is one of the biggest celebrations of the year and just because you're not at the track does not mean you can't make the most of this day. For $80pp enjoy Gold beverage service and canapés served from 11am – 4pm and soak up the live action racing on the big screen.
Roc's is named after Roc Kirby, an Australian businessman and founder of the Village Roadshow cinema chain and film production company. It's homage paid by his sons and grandson. Roc himself has been credited in the book On with the Show as being 'one of the few people to judge correctly that TV would not kill cinema, 'and refused to scuttle out of it when his contemporaries were deserting it in droves'. Thank goodness for that, for movie buffs like me who just HAVE TO see some films on the big screen. To be honest, I'm there every week, however I digress.
Roc's sons Robert and John and grandson Clark are still involved, and are the successful drive behind the business, along with long time 'adopted son' Graham Burke. The daily running of Roc's is in the hands of the venue manager Anthony Gardik who is also responsible for the drinks menu. An appointed executive chef takes care of the food.
Roc's is spacious, with mood lighting and an art collection on the walls from Roc Kirby's own private collection. A piano stands in the corner and there are four impressive sculptures of legends like Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, along with a continuous TCM (Turner Classic Movies) screen running in the corner. The backlit moving image picture of a woman smoking intrigued me. The image went through the slow motions of her taking a puff of her cigarette, with real smoke seemingly emanating from the picture box. When told there was another at Gold Class, I ran over to check that one out too. Pretty cool!
Your tastebuds are in for a treat with both food and drinks on board. You can order little plates like house marinated olives; dips with house made flat bread, chicken liver pate, crab cakes, grilled chorizo and prawn skewers, duck tacos, calamari, mussels, pizzas and more, ranging from $9 to $22. How about something sweet like creme brulee with pistachio biscotti; grand marnier macerated strawberries with vanilla bean chantilly or chocolate, pecan bread pudding with creme anglaise. Yum! at 11 to 13 dollars. You can also opt for the Roc's Highlight 3 course set menu or Roc's Chef Selection 5 course set menu. You want to know about Salumi and Cheese selections? There's a page full of it.
The drinks menu is also overflowing with Roc's Gin and Negroni experiences, or you can go on a journey around the world (4 taste flight) with the whiskey or have a (5 taste flight) Scotch tour. The Glenmorangie Age Study (5 taste flight) might be more to your taste or you can settle on a good old beer taster (4 taste flight). With sweet, bitter, sour, dry, and strong cocktails to choose from, Roc's is your oyster. The wine list comprises of sparkling, champagne, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris/grigio, white varietals and blends, pinot noir, shiraz and so much more in the form of rose, dessert, sherry and port with a variety of port and cider thrown in. There's something for everyone at this venue that serves alcohol responsibly.
Just get out there and discover this local gem and make it your own! You don't need to roll out far, before or after a movie or a simple dedicated night out with Roc's in 'the hood'. Bon appetite and bottoms up!