On Wednesday evening Bron and I ate dinner at Morks in Florey. When Bron mentioned Morks and said it was Thai I wondered why it was named Morks. It didn’t sound Thai but what would I know. Bron had found Morks on-line (TripAdvisor.com) when searching for a good place to eat locally. She’d also heard recommendations from work friends.
Florey is in the northern suburbs of Canberra in the town of Belconnen. I didn’t realise until speaking with a friend at work that the rent at the Florey shops is pretty high and the move of Morks to the Kingston Foreshore in August this year will be economically wise.
It will be interesting to see the new shop front presentation in Kingston. As you walk out of the restaurant you are confronted by a Dominos pizza sign which immediately makes you feel happy you’ve had a fantastic meal in Morks :-)
Sorry about this poorly focused shot, it gives you an idea of the tasting menu. As soon as I saw this I wanted it. Then I looked at the rest of the menu and wanted that as well. Bron and I have agreed we will return to eat through the menu. Tasting menus are fantastic to get an idea of the style and tastes of a restaurant. This tasting menu had us wanting to try everything. We’ve had degustation meals before which we’ve always enjoyed but this one just looked so balanced.
Scallop and pig
Okay, so it doesn’t sound that great unless you’re an offal lover like me and @DrOffal http://droffal.wordpress.com/ The scallop and the pig’s ear were beautifully cooked. The chilli relish and grilled spring onion gave the flesh amazing heat and taste. The taste is amazing. I loved everything about this dish. The scallops were soft with a beautifully caramelised surface.
I love the way the tasting menu alternates between a meat-based dish and a vegetarian offering. This eggplant was delightful. I loved the fried shallot. It had a wonderful smoky flavour and the coriander sauce was a great accompaniment.
For both Bron and I this was the surprise dish of the night. I’ve been a long time fan of John Dory. I don’t think Bron has tried it before. It was cooked with a crispy crusty coating and the flesh was delicate and tender. The Kaffir lime curry was superb. Words cannot describe the sauce and the lovely wombok surprise hidden in the fish. I wanted a spoon and had to make do by applying the back of my fork to the sauce and quickly licking the sauce from it and repeating the process. I seriously was wanting to lick the plate and mentioned this to Bron. I asked her to distract the other customers somehow while I applied my tongue to the plate. She declined :-( When Benn took our plates we mentioned how much we loved the sauce and he jokingly offered to get us more.
This sorbet did exactly as it was meant to. It refreshed our palates. On putting a spoonful in my mouth I was transported to my childhood in Brisbane. My grandparents and my grandfather’s brothers all lived together and raised me when I was very young. There was a farm just outside of Brisbane and the owners grew lychees with small seeds. I remember going there once a year and getting large wooden boxes of lychees and spending days eating lychees. We also grew a tree in our back yard and it was right up to when my parents sold the house a few years ago that we were still enjoying lychees from that tree. Thank you Morks for reviving olfactory memories.
Bron mentioned she needs to do more with cauliflower after tasting this dish. The cauliflower was coated in a crumb and cooked just right. All too often we over or undercook cauliflower. I want to know how these fritters were cooked. I could eat this all day. It’s a vegetable right? It must be good for me and more must be better for me.
I’ve been watching MasterChef Australia the Professionals and admiring Marco Pierre White. His common refrain when served one of something is why wasn’t there two. This prawn and pea open wonton dish (it says prawns [plural] on the menu Mork) was delightful and I wanted a second prawn :-) http://www.marcopierrewhite.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Pierre_White
I assumed when we sat down and decided on the tasting Menu that this would be the dish of the night. It almost made it. The John Dory pipped it for me. That said, this was a great dish. The flesh fell from the bones and melted in my mouth. We got some rice to soak up the sauce which was so nice. The sauce was a perfect consistency, not too thick not too thin. It was soy salty and soy sweet.
This dainty dessert was just right. Coconut and passionfruit together. A party time of happiness in my mouth. The ice cream was complemented nicely with the warm sticky sweet rice it was served on.
We got home to my place and I still had macarons that Bron had given me.
Rose water and vanilla macarons
These were lovely with a cup of peppermint tea.
The Tasting Menu cost $130 for both of us. The restaurant is BYO and doesn’t sell alcohol. This suited us well. I cannot say in words just how much we both enjoyed this dining experience. We’ve both eaten well in Canberra and have had many dining experiences, but this rates amongst the top of any resturant we’ve eaten in in Canberra. The service was perfectly paced. We were never ignored and plates weren’t removed in haste. The team were friendly and they all looked like they worked well together. There was a familiarity amongst them that was clear to the entire restaurant. It was nice to see Adul out and about from the kitchen. Benn was friendly and helpful when he could see I was posting images to Instagram he told us the Instagram handle for the restaurant and the blog address.
Morks is so worthwhile, I’d say if you live in Canberra and if you like food, you should eat here. I know we will be going back again (and again and again).