Necklace: Vintage, Los Angeles
Pants: Nicola Finetti
Yesterday I finally perfected the wrapped, double plait, German inspired hairstyle. It has only taken me several, failed attempts! I opted for a more sophisticated look when dressing to go out to dinner last night. Clean and simple in black and white with bright accessories to liven it up a bit. My Nicola Finetti high waisted black on one side and white on the other bootleg pants were my main focus. I have never really nailed this trend as I feel this shape of pants swamp me a little. However these are an exception, but will always have to be worn with a pointy toe heel!
Last night GJ, KJ and I went to "Morrison Oyster Room and Bar" which occupies the old "Brooklyn Hotel" space in the lower CBD. It has only been open a week and a half and has already been tipped to become busier than its close neighbour, "Jamie's Italian". Before we had even arrived it had already won me over as it accepts bookings and not just for tables over six. Hooray! Finally somewhere you can go at a decent time and not have to wait hours for a table!
|Split Garlic 'n' Pernod Prawns $26|
You couldn't miss "The Morrison" from the street (although GJ almost did). It is located on street level and has ceiling to floor glass walls allowing passers by to see how popular Morrison's is! The main room is designed around the bar which is in the middle. On two sides of the bar are seating areas (the one at the back being bigger while at the back of the bar is a service area and the special "oyster bar". Here you are able to see all the fresh oysters on offer. The back dining area has an atrium style roof. As the roof of this room is glass there are plenty of gas heaters placed in between the tables to kept diners warm in these winter months as well as an open fire. I suspect it will be lovely during the daytime in summer when the sun is able to shine through.
We had booked for 7pm however when we arrived our table was still occupied by patrons who were not nearly ready to leave. We were almost booted to sitting at the back of the bar but luckily a table came up in the front dining section (otherwise there may have been a bit of a fuss). The tables in the dining room have mismatched colourful tiles and dark, wooden seats and benches padded with dark vinyl, all of which added a retro touch. Hanging from the ceiling were single huge industrial light shades as well as smaller light bulbs fitted together. Apart from these quirky items the rest of the decor was fairly neat and clean.
Once sitting at the table we were greeted by our friendly waiter who gave us "Le Journal De Wine", a newspaper which showcased their wine and oyster menu. A cute touch! Our mouths started salivating as soon as we scanned the broad menu (despite the 20 typographical errors GJ found on it)! Made up of extremely fresh, modern cuisine with a twist,the menu was divided into eight sections. Starting with oysters and then bread and moving onto entrees, salads, main meals, shared plates, sides and desserts. Good to see that "The Morrison" has taken on the popular communal plates as I feel they are very cost effective.
|Sydney Rock Oysters $4 each|
On offer last night were two different types of Sydney Rock Oysters, one from the NSW South Coast and the other from SA. Also on offer were two types of Pacific Oysters. My family is a "Sydney Rock Oyster" fan so we had a dozen (half of one, half of the other) oysters. We feel the best way to eat oysters is fresh so we only added lemon (although GJ tried the grated fresh horseradish on some). Both were delicious and extremely fresh as they are shucked on demand for you.
For the entree we shared the "Crab and Lettuce Tacos" and the "Spit Garlic 'n' Pernod Prawns". The tacos were a highlight for me. A nice light, carb friendly entree as instead of a taco the crab was served in a lettuce leaf. The chardonnay vinaigrette gave them a great bite. The only downfall was I could have eaten all three myself and probably three more servings! The split prawns were tasty, garnished with parsley butter but you only received two whole prawns which I felt was pretty minimal for a hefty $26.
|Crab and Lettuce Tacos $15 for three pieces|
GJ had the "Chilli Crab Linguine" for his main course. It came with plenty of crab but he felt not enough pasta for a main course. I beg to differ ... it would have been the perfect amount of pasta not to leave me feeling bloated if I had of had the dish. KJ and I shared the communal "Saltimbocca King Salmon Tail" and let me tell you it was the standout of the meal. Even GJ had a taste and he doesn't even like salmon all that much! He declared that it was the best salmon he had eaten! Ever! It was a very decent salmon tail and was oven baked with capers and red wine sauce. Leaving the bones in made it even juicer! I would never have thought to cook salmon in a red wine sauce but after last night I don't know how my salmon fillet from the local fish and chips shop is going to satisfy me! The fish was cooked to absolute perfection. We left nothing on the plate, even scooping up spoonfuls of the leftover sauce! To accompany the salmon we shared "Grandma's Carrots" and "Boiled Green Beans", both well garnished.
|Saltimbocca King Salmon Tail $48|
Grandma's Carrots $6
Boiled Green Beans in Garlic Butter $8
|Top Left: Chocolate Orange Tart with Creme Fraiche $14|
Top Right: Chilli Crab Linguine $24
Bottom Left: Latte and EBT $4.50 each
Bottom Right: Salmon Tail $48
For dessert we shared the "Chocolate Orange Tart with Creme Fraiche" and the "Deconstructed Lemon and Raspberry Cheese Cake". While the tart was nice it was nothing special and I feel needed some orange pieces on the plate to add extra zing to the dish. The cheesecake however was scrumptious! We were fighting for every last spoonful. The freeze-dried raspberries which were generously sprinkled over the cheesecake were a delicious touch adding the perfect amount of crunch and acidity. To accompany our desserts we had lattes and an English Breakfast Tea. GJ and KJ found their coffees arrived lukewarm ... I suspect they had been sitting on the counter for a while.
|Lemon and Raspberry Deconstructed Cheesecake $14|
We were lucky enough to meet head chef Sean Connolly after our meal and we complimented him on the tacos and the salmon. He was extremely friendly and chatty and was grateful for our feedback. We had a long chat and he explained that he is very excited about his new restaurant and to finally have a street level restaurant in Sydney (as opposed to his former restaurant "Austral" which was located at the top of "The Star" casino). We thanked him for a lovely meal and told him that we will definitely be back again sooner rather than later.
Overall, we were very impressed with "Morrison Oyster Room and Bar" and boy am I glad that I can tick it off my list (at least until the hype dies down) before you have to book months in advance! Judging by how busy it was on a cold, Thursday night a week after opening I am expecting to be hearing about it for the next couple of months. It wasn't cheap (a dozen oysters does add quite a lot to the bill) but it was not unreasonable. The only thing I wonder is that although the oysters were very tasty Connolly is offering so many other mouth watering dishes that I feel the star oysters may just blur into the mediocre at "Morrison Oyster Room and Bar".
The Morrison Oyster Room and Bar
225 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
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