The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room is one of the hottest new bar and dining concepts set to reignite Sydney’s love affair with oysters. The thirty varieties on the menu have a broad appeal, but the Morrison is more than just an oyster bar.
The Morrison Oyster Bar
Chef Sean Connolly (ex Astral Restaurant) has partnered with Fraser Short (ex the Keystone Group) to create a stylish venue at the site that was occupied by the Brooklyn Hotel for several years.
The Conservatory room
Split into three spaces, The Morrison has a New York brasserie feel with its exposed bricks and high ceilings, an oyster bar in one corner and a long bar in the centre. At the back of the venue, you’ll find The Conservatory, with a cosy fireplace, fairy lights and a retractable roof.
The Morrison’s food philosophy is not just about providing diners with the finest varieties of oysters on offer. The emphasis is on quality seasonal produce sourced from the freshest growers Sydney has to offer.
The Morrison Cocktail
The cocktail list includes signature cocktails and house classics of old such as the Negroni and the Manhattan. The signature drink is the Morrison Cocktail ($15), made from freshly-juiced Granny Smith apples blended with white cane spirit. The drink is light, refreshing and makes a good palate cleanser.
Mixed Oyster Platter
The oysters are the first attraction. The menu divides them into Pacific, Angassi and Rock, and the Morrison currently serves 350 dozen oysters a week. They are freshly shucked, served in their brine and presented on a bed of ice, with lemon, a vinaigrette sauce and fresh horseradish.
On taste tonight are oysters from Maclay River, Clyde River, Pacific Oysters from Hawkesbury River and Coffin Bay from South Australia – and if one has to choose a favourite, it would be the latter. Each has a different flavour profile, ranging from the briny to the more meaty. Savoured with just a squeeze of lemon and a flute of Pommery Brut, you can truly taste the sea.
Crab and lettuce tacos
The crab and lettuce tacos ($16.50 for 3) are more akin to a san bow chow than a taco. A thin iceberg lettuce leaf holds pieces of snow crab meat dressed in a chardonnay vinaigrette and topped with Yarra Valley caviar. The dish is summery and light, with the pearls of caviar releasing a burst of flavour as they pop in the mouth.
The sashimi scampi dish ($30) deserves a standing ovation. Served split in halves and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt flakes, the chilli adds a good measure of heat to the sweetness and fresh flavour of the shellfish. Chef Connolly, who has joined us at the table, recommends it with a dry Martini ($18) made with Belvedere vodka and a twist, and it’s the perfect combination.
Martini and Crab Toast
The crab toast ($18) makes a good entrée to share among two persons. Snow crab, Pepe Saya crème fraiche, lemon zest and chive are served on top of dark rye toast. It’s creamy without overpowering the delicate flavour of the crab.
Chef Sean Connolly
“Everything tastes better served in the shell or on the bone,” Chef Connolly explains. “The back to basics approach keeps the meat as close to its origin as possible and helps retain the moisture making it tender and more flavoursome.”
King fish saltimbocca
Take the king fish tail saltimbocca, it is wrapped in prosciutto and sage then oven-roasted with red wine and caper sauce. Tender and moist, the fish falls off the bone and retaining its natural flavour.
Slow roast lamb loin
The Slow roast lamb loin is cooked for four hours,with raspberry vinegar and star anise. The liquorice and acidity from the raspberry vinegar cut through the fat and enhance the sweetness of the meat – a dish that is testament to the Morrison’s food philosophy.
Duck fat chips
Side dishes include the crisp and flavoursome duck fat chips ($10) that you can’t put down,
the wedge salad ($8), a style that is popular in the USA and comes served with a blue cheese, capers and hen’s egg dressing,
and Grandma’s Carrots ($8) which are reminiscent of those grandma made, soft, sweet and salty at the same time.
The main courses are paired with Mendala Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley in Victoria and Petaluma Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coonawarra in South Australia.
Chocolate Brownie and malt ice cream
For dessert, you can’t go past the chocolate brownie ($10) topped with a delicious malt ice cream and caramel popcorn, the latter adding a fun element and a sweet note on which to finish.
Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake
For a lighter alternative, the Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake ($12) is a luscious serving and comes served deconstructed with a generous scattering of dehydrated raspberries on top and lemonade jelly.
Desserts are served with Brachetto d’Acqui 2011, a sparkling red wine from Bologna. Its sweet and floral notes make it an easy drinking wine that complements the Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake.
Photographs of the The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room below:
Front parlour room
The Conservatory room
Fraser Short with Chef Sean Connolly
If the near full capacity on a Monday night is an indication, Sydney is already embracing the Morrison Bar and Oyster Room. Go for the shucked-to-order oysters and a cocktail, stay for the appetising seafood dishes or dine under the retractable roof as you gaze at the stars. You’ll feel at home within the Morrison’s stylish interior as you enjoy the team’s welcoming hospitality. It will be an experience you will want to repeat.
The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room
225 George St, Sydney 2000
02 9247 6744
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