Steve and I have been fans since Matthew Butcher has been doing his thing there from around 18 months ago but admittedly because of various things, we'd not revisited since before Christmas. We couldn't get into their Christmas Food Society dinner which is a monthly mid week gathering that is fun and interesting and then we never really made the effort from then.
Anyway July being Steve's birthday month, he was kindly sent an invitation to enjoy the 4 course Chef's Dinner as long as we paid for me! So we decided to take advantage and went on Friday.
Last week was the first week back at work after 5 weeks off so Friday had been very illusive and a long time coming and I have to admit, by the time we got to Morris Jones, I was pretty tired and enthusiasm was hard to muster up. The beautifully sweet and fragrant lychee martini helped though!
- Mad Cow Shots - Beef and Dashi
- Salt and Vinegar Saltbush Crisps
The mad cow shots were very playful and all about getting involved with a mix and a squirt and then down the hatch! Salty, tasty and with a sharp tang from the sour spheres at the bottom of the shot glass, this was a fun start.
The saltbush crisps were slightly warm and a bit like the crispy seaweed stuff you get at Chinese restaurants in texture. The flavours of salt and vinegar were very powerful though. Think super strength salt and vinegar crisps. Very moreish!
- Kingfish Sashimi, Coconut and Yuzu, Avocado Puree, LSA
We've had this one before but it is a favourite. It's all very dramatic as a smoke filled glass cloche arrives at the table and once the cloche is lifted the smoke escapes triggering the sense of smell as well as delighting the sense of sight.
Once the smoke disperses there is a very pretty and clean dish of fish fillets with some pale green avocado and accents of brown and black. There's also a modern looking pipette to squeeze the yuzu onto the fish. This is a very classic dish in appearance and flavour - bar the pipette and I love the textures of soft fish, silky puree and crunchy LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds) and then there's the salt of the black beads of caviar and the citrus hit of yuzu. Timeless and elegant yet with a flair of theatre it's a very well thought out and clever number.
Steve caught sight of another table receiving this dish for what must have been the first time and awe on their faces was quite a picture apparently!
We weren't expecting the next dish but it came with compliments and we're so glad it did! It was the Wild Barramundi, Ginger Sauce, Broccoli Couscous, Spring Onion and Coriander. The ginger sauce came in a test tube to be poured out as preferred. It was so delicious. I'm not a huge ginger fan but this was salty and savoury and deep in flavour and seasoned the delicate fish so well which had a crispy skin and soft white flesh. The green veg was dressed in some lemon juice and had just enough acidity to cut through the salty richness of the sauce and bring out those fishy flavours of the barra. So excited by this fishy on my dishy!
The meat course was the 12 Hour Braised Lamb Shoulder, Yoghurt Tahini, Carrot Foam, Braised Carrots. I don't like carrots but didn't think to mention this but it was fine as it was more about sweetness and cumin and the lamb that was soft and tender. I was pretty full by this point but have to concede that it was a dish executed well. Rich braised meats don't do it for me but on a chef's menu and done well, I can see where the enjoyment is!
- Sticky Toffee Pudding and Burnt Banana
- Frozen Grapes, Chambord Jelly and Popping Candy
- Violet Crumble - Honeycomb, Chocolate, Violet Ice Cream
- Chocolate Ganache and Passionfruit
I couldn't say I contributed much to the destruction of such a beautiful plate as pretty darn full but Steve did an incredibly good job! The frozen grapes were a great palette cleanser and the popping candy sure did pop. Sometimes I've had it on a dessert and it's gone soggy so popability is very low.
The honeycomb and chocolate appeals to everyone and not a bad word can be said about it. I loved the passionfruit ice cream as it was fresh and sharp and those citrussy fruit flavours are my kind of dessert.
We had a ball at Morris Jones. Great, creative food; attentive service all round in spite of a lively and busy bar, plenty of restaurant customers and a private function upstairs make for a wonderful birthday celebration. We had no idea how much a hole it had left by not revisiting in the last 6 months and it was made so obvious after this dinner!