Saturday, 12 October 2013

Restaurant Review: Morris Jones

Location: 163 Chapel Street, Windsor
Phone: 03 9533 2055
Cuisne: Modern Australian, Wine Bar
Overall Impression: 9.5/10
Morris Jones recently underwent a radical transformation to provide its diners with an experience that is less "pub grub" and more gastropub. In April of this year, after taking just three weeks to pack up his LA home and move back to Australia, new Head Chef of Morris Jones, Matthew Butcher took up his new position. And boy are we glad he did!

Under Butcher’s guidance the food at Morris Jones has been taken to new and unexpected heights. The menu is designed to encourage swapping and shared eating, providing a delicious opportunity to sample many of the amazing flavour combinations. 
Divided cleverly into categories such as ‘From the Sea’, ‘From the Garden’, ‘From the Land’ and ‘From the Fire’, the dishes are quirky, playful but most of all, they are simply delicious. And of course, all dishes can be matched with wines. 

There was an incredible precision to Matthew's cooking that spoke volumes about his calibre. Mathew's tutelage under Gordon Ramsay and his time at Vue de Monde are blindingly apparent when you see and taste the food he is sending out. It is absolutely no surprise that for the first time, Morris Jones has been listed in the upcoming 2013/2014 edition of the 'Age Good Food Guide'. 
The ambience of Morris Jones is stylish and relaxed, with the 1887 heritage building providing the perfect canvas for the culinary art. The service was how it should be - relaxed, friendly and attentive. 
Amuse bouche - beetroot, goat’s curd, red sorrel, buckwheat 

Our meal started with a beautiful amuse bouche. The acid balance of the balsamic dressing was perfect and the buckwheat added a wonderful textural edge. 
Black and blue tuna – white radish, chestnut, puffed quinoa, yuzu & soy 

Simply stunning. This dish was well balanced, loaded with umami and complex, due in part to the skilfully subtle smoking. The creamy chestnut purée cradled the fragrant yuzu and soy and brought the whole dish together. The tuna itself was both beautiful and beautifully prepared. 
Jerusalem artichoke soup – broad bean, truffle cream, foraged mushroom 

Presented beautifully, the waiters pour the soup over the mushrooms at the table. The earthy mushrooms were cooked perfectly giving them a wonderful texture. Combined with the dispersed broad beans and truffle cream, this dish was restrained and elegant. 
Otway crispy pig – cucumber, prawn popcorn, dashi & basil seed 

The centrepiece course of pork belly continued the trend of stunning dishes that preceded it. The pork was moist on the underside and topped with a perfect crust of crispy crackling that was accentuated by the prawn popcorn. The meat was lean and tender - a far cry from the excessively fatty pork belly many restaurants are now serving. The delicious dashi and basil seed consommé provided a delectably unique and refreshing accompaniment to the pork. We could not fault this dish - it is a must try for the non-health conscious. 
 Morris Jones delivered two superb desserts to conclude our meal. 
Passion & fruit – amaretto, everything passionfruit

This striking dessert was an explosion of intense passionfruit flavours. The meringues were crisp on top and addictively sweet and chewy in the centre. Paired with the crumble base and the meringue, the tartness of the passionfruit curd and sorbet produced a balanced dessert. 
Chocolate biscuit – raspberry sorbet, salted caramel

With a rich billowing chocolate centre and a slightly crisp exterior, it was a decadent end to a decadent meal. The raspberry sorbet was refreshingly light and fragrant and paired well with the chocolate, as did the salted caramel (although everything pairs well with salted caramel...) 
The new Morris Jones is an extremely capable restaurant that offers a wonderful dining experience. We left spellbound - from the amazingly tender pork belly to the earthy artichoke soup. Each course was well thought out, complex, delightfully balanced and impeccably executed. Morris Jones is also amazing value for money considering the calibre of dishes being served ($80 for their chef’s 4 course tasting menu). 
Last year, after sampling Estelle we urged our readers to visit Estelle before (as we correctly predicted!) it gained a Chef's Hat. This year, we are urging you to visit Morris Jones whilst it is still a secret; before it gains a Chef's Hat and getting a table becomes difficult. Given the quality of the food and the service, we believe this is inevitable and simply cannot wait to return.

 Morris Jones on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Morris Jones.

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